Best Results: How To Prune Lavender In The Spring?

Lavender plant is one of the most beautiful and fragrant plants you can grow in your garden. To make your lavender plants bloom well every year, you should prune your lavender regularly. Besides, pruning lavender will create a stronger, healthier plant. It may seem counterintuitive to prune a plant to make it stronger, but pruning the stems enables the plant to focus its energy on developing stronger stems and more leaves, which results in greater utilization of the plant’s resources.

Pruning prevents younger stems from displacing older ones and turning them yellow as a result of being obstructed from the sun. It also gives you the chance to control the plant’s size and general structure. Since flowers only bloom on fresh growth, it prevents the stems from becoming woody and enhances the amount of flowering it will produce.

And, spring is the best season to prune your lavender every year. However, you can’t simply cut them all to get the best growth. You need some techniques to make your lavenders grow well. Don’t let your lavender just grow without proper pruning! If you don’t know how to prune lavender, it can take over your entire garden—and not in a good way.

While lavender looks amazing when it’s full of flowers and colorful blooms, it can be a bit much when it gets out of hand. Especially if you’re new to growing this plant, you may be wondering how to prune a lavender plant in spring. Therefore, our experts will guide you with some techniques on how to prune lavenders in spring. If you want to keep your lavender healthy and looking great, here are some tips for how to prune lavender in spring.

When Is The Best Time To Prune Lavender Plants?

Ideally, pruning lavender should be done twice during a growing season. The early spring and fall season after flowering should be the best time for you to prune lavender. Some experts also consider pruning lavender in the spring and the late summer. Although there are various thoughts regarding the frequency and timing of lavender plant pruning, our garden experts recommend trimming in the fall after flowering, then consider conducting lavender pruning in spring.

In addition, spring is the best time for you to prune lavender more aggressively to reduce the growth of woody stems and promote healthy new growth. The age of the plant and how well it has been pruned in the past, will determine how much wood your lavender plant has. In order to allow the plant plenty of time to rebuild itself, you should do this early in the growing season.

how to prune lavender in the spring
The Best Time To Prune Lavender Plants

After the summer has ended, our experts recommend to avoid over pruning lavender because the plant can find it difficult to endure the coming of the colder weather. Instead, consider lavender harvesting during the fall as a way to dry and perfume your home. In particular for less hardy French, Spanish and Italian lavenders, we suggest waiting until the following spring if you fail to trim your lavender plants throughout the summer.

If several inches’ worth of new growth has already appeared, you might need to wait until harvest to avoid losing a lot of your flowers. Avoid pruning too late in the season to avoid the plant dying from winter dryness. It is preferable to leave a plant unmanageable for a year rather than kill it by late pruning.

When to harvest a lavender plant largely depends on what you intend to do with it; our garden experts call for cutting lavender as the blooms open, while others call for cutting lavender as they start to fade. Moreover, when it comes to pruning lavender in spring, wait until you see new growth start to sprout before doing so.

How To Pruning Three Types of Lavender Plants

Pruning a lavender plant is not hard, but it’s important to know what you’re doing before you start in order to avoid over pruning. In the following points, we will tell you pruning lavender techniques and tips for some types of lavender plants. From the hardy plant to the tender ones, these pruning lavender tips will help you to get the best results.

1. Pruning Hardy Lavenders

how to prune lavender in the spring
Pruning Hardy Lavenders

After they have completed flowering in late summer, hardy lavenders are best pruned. Here are some steps to prune hardy lavenders:

  • To get the best results, our garden experts recommend trimming down to about 22 cm above a cluster of new shoots.
  • Make a proper cutting. If you cut lower than that, the lavender plant may die.
  • Don’t forget to add organic mulch to make your lavender grow well.

2. Pruning Half-hardy Lavenders

how to prune lavender in the spring
Pruning Half-hardy Lavenders

Half-hardy lavenders are frost-resistant. Therefore, you can prune lavender according to the same instructions as for the hardy lavender plant once the first flush of flowers has faded. The following points below will help you to get the best results:

  • Similar steps with pruning half-hardy lavenders, make a proper cut approximately 22 cm above new shots.
  • Don’t forget to nourish and keep your plant stable with organic mulch.
  • Then, continue deadheading your lavender plant no later than the middle of September.

3. Pruning Tender Lavenders

Pruning Tender Plants
Pruning Tender Lavenders

Unlike the hardy lavenders, you should check and trim tender lavenders regularly. Here are some tips to prune tender lavenders:

  • Throughout the summer, tender lavender plants should be deadheaded. Don’t let deadhead lavender stay until winter since it will impact its growth.
  • Occasionally, if the bush is out of shape, don’t forget to trim back “hard” to new growth.

Where Do You Cut Lavender?

To maintain healthy new growth, lavender plants must be pruned at the proper location, which is only a little bit above side branches or leaf nodes. Our garden experts recommend trimming just above leaf nodes or side branches, as you would while harvesting.

Look around the lavender plant’s base. Typically, this plant component is green. You’ll notice rough, woody growth there that doesn’t have any sprouts or leaf nodes, followed by more tender new growth in green or light brown above.

how to prune lavender in the spring
Where Do You Cut Lavender

In addition, you shouldn’t cut lavenders into the lowest point of bare woody growth. Any lower than that and you’ll be chopping off the woody portion of the plant, which isn’t necessarily a good idea.

It used to be conventional wisdom not to ever cut into ancient wood. Thoughts have now changed, and gardeners are now instructed to trim down to about 22 cm (9 ins). Therefore, cutting to just above a cluster of fresh shoots is essential. Lower than that, and the lavender plant will perish.

We also recommend pruning lavender regularly to avoid becoming lanky and woody and less able to support its own weight. Otherwise, the plant will expand out and more of the original wood in the plant will be visible when the stems are heavy with blooms. We don’t want that to happen, so prune your lavender properly for the best results!

How To Prune Young Lavender Plants In Spring?

If you want your lavender plant healthy and to look nice, and live longer, regular trimming is imperative. For young lavender, annual pruning will improve flowering and prevent lavender becoming woody. Therefore, you’ll find an increasing number of flowers blooming every year!

Some lavender cultivars can grow for up to 20 years if they are properly pruned. If unattended, it quickly develops a shapeless, woody appearance, has few flowers, and has long, naked stalks.

how to prune lavender in the spring
How To Prune Young Lavender Plants In Spring

Here’s how to prune your young lavender plants to keep it looking good and smelling wonderful for years to come in your yard.

  • Check a woody base below the leafy portion. It will be the area to prune your lavender.
  • Cut each stem back by up to a third with a clean sharp pair of secateurs, to get rid of the flowers and some of the green stem growth.
  • Since it’s a young lavender, do not cut the plant back “hard” by going near the woody root of the stem. It is crucial to leave lots of green on the stems.
  • As you approach the plant’s outer margins, try to create an even dome shape. You can leave the stems longer in the center and progressively cut them shorter.
  • Make sure branches that are dead, frost-damaged, or infected need to be entirely removed.

Finally, you can experience a second flush of blossoms after cutting your lavender plants. Once finished, prune them in the same way, but hurry before the chilly fall weather arrives.

How To Prune Mature Lavender That Is Woody?

As a lavender plant grows older, it becomes progressively more woody, especially in English lavender. If you don’t prune your lavender plants annually, the rate at which they get woody will quicken. Since lavender plants grow quickly, you should do lavender pruning regularly during their second year to keep them in good form.

Besides, pruning mature lavender gives many benefits. You’ll find out that lavender that has been pruned maintains its full appearance, promotes flowering, and produces a large number of new tips for you to collect throughout the season.

Prune Mature Plants
How To Prune Mature Lavender That Is Woody

So, here are some simple steps for pruning mature lavender.

  • Prune lavender by roughly a third into the foliage. To do this, take handfuls of the stems and cut them off with clean and precise secateurs.
  • Make sure there are numerous little nodules or shoots below the cut, which are about the thickness of a drinking straw, since it will renew nicely.
  • You shouldn’t cut too close to the woody part of the stems or it might have trouble surviving the winter.
  • Around the plant, spread an organic mulch that has thoroughly decomposed. The lavender plants should have grown new, hardy shoots by the time they become dormant in the fall so that they are prepared for the whims of the winter weather.

After all, a woody lavender is an ideal candidate for repair trimming since it has spread and gaping sections. Small shoots protruding from the base’s woody part suggest that stems should renew.

Final Thought

Pruning lavender plants regularly will make them look attractive, promote flowering, and keep them from becoming overly woody or becoming scraggly and sparse. Therefore, it’s critical to comprehend the proper way pruning lavender plants.

Remember, excessive pruning might actually lead to the death of your plant! However, don’t worry! You won’t have any trouble to prune lavender plants; it’s not as difficult as it might seem!


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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What happens if you don’t prune lavender?

If you don’t prune your lavender regularly, plants develop an ugly, lanky, woody base that is prone to splitting open. In addition, this also reduces lavender’s lifespan. Therefore, to make your lavender life longer, annual pruning is a crucial step.

How much should you cut back lavender in the spring?

Cut each stem to just above the bottom two pairs of leaves, or about 2/3 of the plant’s height. Two leaf sets above the woody growth are known to work best and are advised to be pruned. By avoiding trimming into the woody growth, which can cause rot, this lessens stress on the plant. A healthier, thicker lavender plant with consistent growth is produced by leaving two leaf sets.

Will lavender re-bloom if cut back?

Yes, they will if you do it properly. In late spring through early summer, lavender blossoms. It will probably bloom again in the late summer if just little pruning is done right after the first blossoming. After this second blooming, a thorough trimming will get it ready for winter and promote new flowers in spring.

Can you cut lavender back to the ground?

No, you can’t. Lavender won’t regenerate from old wood. So,it should never be cut back underneath woody growth. Just be in mind to cut lavender off above the leaves. In addition, the dead stems could hang out all summer if you leave them in place for too long, which is not very attractive.

Can you cut lavender back in March?

Of course! The best time to prune is in early spring, from March to May. During this time, prune any dead branches all the way to the bottom of the hedge. You might want to cut the entire lavender bush to the bare woody hedge after a particularly difficult winter, as was the case during the winter of.

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