When to Prune Lavender
To keep your plants healthy and thriving, it is a good idea to prune your lavender at once per year. While pruning is good after each set of blooms (if your lavender blooms continuously), you can also do it in autumn after the last set of blossoms bloom. Pruning is not only good for the overall health of your plant but also keeps it looking aesthetically pleasing.
If you want to propagate your lavender, keep that in mind when you go to prune it. This post will cover how to prune your lavender plants and what you need to get the job done.
Tools Needed to Prune Lavender
If you have one or two plants and want to take your time, you can easily prune your lavender plants with pruning sheers or precision snips. Both tools will allow you to take care of where you are pruning each stem so that you can ensure that your plant is perfectly uniform just how you want them to look.
If you have multiple plants or less time to prune, you can get away with using hedge clippers or even a motorized hedge trimmer. Just be sure to pay attention while you work so that you don’t cause any long-lasting damage to your plants.
In addition to the tools you need to clip your plants, you could also use gardening gloves if you want to ensure you keep your hands clean or safe. While there is nothing inherently dangerous about snipping the plant, if you have venomous insects or spiders in your area, you may want to be sure that there is a barrier between them and your fingers.
When harvesting your lavender as you prune, consider taking a small box or a garden basket with you to gather the blooms together and keep them organized. This will help you keep as many of the flowers as you can to get the most use of your lavender in the future.
How to Prune Lavender
To ensure that you don’t cause damage to your plant and to keep it looking good for years to come, make sure that you never cut into the woody stem. You should also wait for your plant to reach at least its second year of growth before you prune it to ensure it is mature enough.
While you can prune your plants in the spring, you do have to be a lot more precise in order to not cut back so much growth that it doesn’t do well the rest of the year. For that reason, this post focuses on how to prune your plants at the end of the season to give your lavender proper care.
Step 1: Identify where the woody stem meets the foliage.
Spend a little time examining your plants to figure out where the woody stem meets the foliage. This is especially necessary if you plan to quickly prune your plant with a power tool or large gardening sheers.
Step 2: Prune your plants.
Cut the stems of your plant between 2-3 inches above where the woody base meets the soft, green part of the stem. Once you have done a few, you should be able to complete each plant fairly quickly off that gauge. If you are keeping your lavender to dry out, set it aside in a box or basket.
Step 3: Shape your plants.
To keep your plants looking symmetrical year after year, take a bit of time to shape your plants after pruning (or during pruning if you want to be extra careful). Most gardeners choose to shape them in the dome shape that defines most lavender plants.
What You Should Never Do When Pruning Lavender
Make sure that you never prune lower than the 2-3 inches above where the woody parts of the stems end. This could inhibit future growth or damage the plant enough to make it struggle or even die.
Never prune your plants later in the year than late summer (end of August). Pruning too late won’t give it enough time to recoup a little before the harshness of the winter months.