June 30, 2024 steps to prune lavender

7 Easy Steps to Prune Lavender

If you want to keep your lavender plants healthy and flourishing, proper pruning is key. Knowing how to prune them the right way is essential for their continued growth.

So this easy to follow guide will help you to learn how to prune your lavender like a pro. I’ll walk you through each step with precision and practical advice so your lavender thrives.

The Benefits of Pruning

Pruning isn’t just about keeping your lavender looking good – it’s essential for the plant’s health and strength. Pruning:

  • Encourages new growth
  • Enhances air circulation
  • Prevents woodiness at the base
  • Maximizes bloom production

Best Time to Prune

Timing your pruning is crucial. For most lavender types the best times are in spring just as the new growth starts to appear and then again in late summer after the last flush of flowers.

Pruning in spring gives your plant a good start to the growing season and the late summer trim helps prepare it for winter.

Tools You Will Need

  • Clean, sharp pruning shears
  • Gloves (lavender can be sticky!)
  • A small rake or hand fork for cleanup

Step-by-Step Pruning Guide for Lavender

These easy to follow steps will make sure you get the best results from your pruning efforts.

Spring Pruning: Stimulating Growth

1. Inspect and Clean Tools
Start with sterilized pruning shears to prevent the spread of disease. Wipe the blades with alcohol or a bleach solution.

2. Evaluate the Plant’s Health
Look closely at your lavender. Identify any dead, damaged or diseased stems. These should be your first cuts as removing them prevents decay and disease from affecting the rest of the plant.

3. Decide on the Shape
Determine the natural shape of your lavender – it typically should look like a soft, rounded mound. Planning your cuts can help maintain this form and avoid over-pruning.

4. Begin Pruning
Start by removing any old, woody stems that don’t have new growth at the base. Cut these back to about 2 inches above the ground making sure you’re cutting just above fresh, green shoots.

5. Reduce Plant Size
Trim back about one-third of the overall height and volume of the plant. Make cuts just above a leaf node or a branching point to encourage new growth to sprout from these areas.

6. Thin Out the Center
If your lavender has become dense in the middle carefully thin out some stems to increase airflow and light penetration, which are important for both plant health and bloom production.

Late Summer Pruning: Preparing for Dormancy

1. Deadheading
Once the lavender has bloomed and the flowers begin to fade it’s time to deadhead. This involves cutting off the spent flower stalks down to the first set of leaves. This not only tidies up the plant but also encourages a potential second bloom in climates where late season growth occurs.

2. Light Shaping Cuts
After deadheading step back and observe the overall form of the lavender. If it looks uneven or overly spread out make light shaping cuts to maintain symmetry and balance.

3. Address Woody Growth
Check the base of the plant for old, woody growth that hasn’t produced new shoots. Lightly prune these areas but be careful not to cut into very old wood that doesn’t show signs of new buds as it may not regenerate.

4. Final Touch-Up
Remove any remaining damaged or diseased stems noticed during the deadheading phase. This cleanup helps the lavender enter the dormant season in the best possible condition.

Tips for Each Cut

Angle Your Cuts: Make cuts at a 45-degree angle about 1/4 inch above a leaf node or bud. This angle helps repel water away from the bud, reducing the risk of disease.

Avoid Cutting into Old Wood: Lavender often does not regenerate from old wood. Focus on green, semi hardened wood when making cuts.

Regularly Clean Blades: If you’re pruning multiple plants clean your shear blades periodically to avoid transferring pests or diseases.

Common Pruning Mistakes

Cutting Too Much: Never prune more than one-third of the plant in one go.
Pruning Too Late: Late pruning can lead to tender new shoots that will suffer in winter cold.
Ignoring the Plant’s Base: Always ensure the base isn’t becoming too woody as this can reduce flowering.

Post-Pruning Care

After pruning it’s important to care for your lavender so it recovers well and maximizes its growth potential:

Watering Water the plants if the soil is very dry but be cautious of overwatering, as lavender prefers drier conditions.

Fertilize Lightly Use a low-nitrogen or balanced slow-release fertilizer to give your lavender the nutrients it needs without encouraging excessive soft, leafy growth that can be damaged in winter.

Mulch Sparingly Apply a thin layer of organic mulch like chopped leaves or bark around the plants, keeping it a few inches away from the stems to prevent moisture buildup around the base.

Advanced Tips for Lavender Care

Renovating Old Lavender: For very old or woody plants, consider a harder pruning in early spring. You might risk the plant but it could rejuvenate an otherwise declining lavender.
Dealing with Pests and Disease: Keep an eye out for fungal diseases and pests. Good air circulation from proper pruning helps prevent these issues.

Fun Uses for Pruned Lavender

Don’t throw away those pruned lavender stems! Here are some fun uses:

Lavender Sachets Dry the flowers and use them in sachets to scent drawers and wardrobes.
Infusions Use the stems and leaves to make infused oils or vinegars.
Decor Craft beautiful wreaths or bundles for natural decor.

Wrapping Up

With regular care and these expert tips, your lavender should now thrive and bring beauty and fragrance to your garden for years.

steps to prune lavender

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