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Lavender Pruning Tips

Annuals & Perennials

How and when to prune lavender varies depending on the type of lavender you’re growing.  Here are tips for the three most common types.

English Lavender

Classic English Lavender is beloved not only for its memorable fragrance, but also for the silvery foliage and stems that add texture to a border. It’s one of the hardier and most commonly grown lavenders with blooms that come on strong in early summer.  It makes a great short hedge!

Pruning:

  • Prune right after the first flowering and again in late August after the last flush has faded.
  • Cut off about 2/3 of the plant’s height or to just above the bottom two sets of leaves on each stem.
  • Take care not to cut into the woody part of the plant which can cause damage.
  • Twice a year pruning will keep your plant healthy and compact.

English Hybrids

The glam, later flowering lavenders (Lavandula x intermedia) have long flowering stems topped by slender tapering flower-heads with stems that splay outwards from a rounded mound of foliage. Use them make as the centerpiece of a border or to highlight corners and edges of beds or where you can enjoy the movement with every breeze.

Pruning:

  • Prune in late August after they finish blooming.
  • Less hardy than their English cousins, take extra care not to cut back into the woody part of the plant.
  • Cut back by about 1/2 of the height of the plant leaving plenty of green leaves intact.
  • Aim for a tidy, rounded mound of foliage.  This can make them look good in winter, too.

Non-English (French, Spanish, Wooley, Etc.)

These ‘tufted lavenders’ have full, thick flower spikes and flower much earlier, in late spring in warmer zones and early summer in colder ones and often bloom right into fall. Such a diverse collection of lavenders with plenty of variation in fragrance, size, color, texture, and flower heads makes them fun to play with in the garden.

Pruning:

  • The least hardy of the garden lavenders which means they need a bit more of a gentle touch.
  • Give them a trim after the first flush or flowers have faded
  • Do not cut them back hard as with other kinds of lavenders.  It can kill them.
  • Deadhead for the rest of the season.
  • In late summer shape foliage into a mounded form.

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