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Pruning lavender is not hard, however it is necessary to understand what you’re doing before you start cutting back lavender plants in order to avoid over pruning. In this post, I will tell you when to cut back lavender plants, provide you lots of lavender pruning pointers, and reveal you precisely how to prune lavender step-by-step.

Pruning Lavender: A Detailed Guide

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Before we start, I want to point out that there are a couple of various kinds of lavender plants. English lavender is the most common (and the hardiest), and it’s the variety that I grow. However don’t fret, the fundamentals of pruning are the same for all types of lavender, and for both garden lavender and potted lavender too.

So, you can follow these steps whether you’re pruning English lavender like mine, or if you have Spanish or French lavender. The only distinction is that English lavender can manage a harder pruning in the summer season than French or Spanish lavender can.


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If you’re new to growing lavender plants, you might not know that pruning is an extremely important part of lavender upkeep. Pruning lavender regularly keeps them looking nice, motivates blooming, and avoids them from getting too woody or growing scraggly and sporadic.

But before you grab your pruners, it is very important to comprehend precisely how to prune lavender plants, because over pruning can end up killing your plant. Don’t fret, cutting down lavender plants is not as scary as it sounds, and you’ll master it in no time!

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Ideally, you ought to prune lavender twice a year– as soon as in the spring just as the fresh growth begins can be found in, and when in the summertime right after it’s done flowering. Summer season pruning, which assists to keep the plant looking great and motivates more flowers, is optional.

However spring pruning is really crucial to get rid of the unsightly winter damage and motivate fresh lavender growth. So, if you just have time to prune lavender once each year, do it in the spring.

It’s best to wait till you see leaves growing before cutting down lavender plants in the spring. That way, you will know precisely where to make your cuts. This normally means waiting until late spring or early summer season to prune lavender.

I understand it can be hard to wait so long before pruning lavender after winter, especially when the plant looks so unsightly. But attempt to resist the desire to prune too early.

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For pruning lavender in spring, you’ll wish to utilize precision pruning snips or little pruning shears so that you have full control and know precisely where you’re making it.

You do not have to be as precise with your cuts for summer season pruning, so you can go on and use hedge pruning shears or even an electric hedge trimmer to make fast work of trimming lavender bushes in the summer season.

It’s also essential to use clean, sharp pruning tools whenever you trim plants, so make sure to clean and hone your pruners prior to beginning.


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The reason you want to wait up until you see new leaves on the plant before cutting lavender in spring is because that way you will understand exactly where to make your cuts. If you prune lavender too early, you could be cutting off the brand-new development prior to it begins, or even worse– you might wind up over pruning the plant.

Spring pruning is much more accurate of a job than pruning lavender in summertime. When trimming lavender in the summertime, you can concentrate on shaping the plant, instead of stressing over exactly where to make each cut.

One essential thing to bear in mind whenever you’re pruning lavender is to never cut the woody stems listed below the leaves. Always make certain to leave some fresh green leaves on all of the stems. Stems that are pruned down too far will never grow back.


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Before you start cutting back lavender plants, take a close take a look at your plant to ensure there is lots of brand-new growth. If not, then give it a bit more time to grow. If you see lots of fresh development on the plant, then it’s safe to start pruning.

Here are the steps for trimming lavender plants in spring …

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Step 1: Discover the fresh brand-new leaves on the stem– To find out where to make it on each branch, find the area where the new leaves are growing. Often times this will be towards the bottom of the stem, so carefully move any particles or other branch off of the way till you find it. The new leaf buds are very vulnerable and can easily break off when mishandled.

If there’s a lot of scraggly new leaves at the top of the stem, discover the spot where the thick fresh growth begins to eliminate all the scraggly bits on top. This will offer you a fuller plant, and keep your lavender from getting too woody.

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Step 2: Prune lavender right above the brand-new development– Cut the old stem back to simply above the top of the brand-new development. Take care when you’re cutting so that you don’t mistakenly cut or break off any of the brand-new leaves.

Try to make it as near the brand-new leaf buds as you can. If you leave the dead stems too long, you may see them protruding all summer, which doesn’t look really good.

Simply remember to constantly prune lavender above the leaves. Never ever cut lavender back to wood below all of the development, because lavender will not grow back from old wood.

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Step 3: Cut off any dead branches– You can cut any dead branches all the method down to eliminate them. Nevertheless, I would strongly prompt you to wait before you cut off any branches that look dead, specifically if you’re brand-new to pruning lavender.

Lavender can be very sluggish to start in the spring. So you may discover that those branches that look dead in early spring may end up growing in the summer season.

So, to avoid over pruning lavender, I advise leaving the branches that you’re unsure about on the plant up until it’s time for summertime pruning. If there’s still no growth on them by then, it’s safe to say they are dead, and you can eliminate them. Dead development can safely be pruned from the plant at any time throughout the year.

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As I mentioned above, trimming back lavender in summer is totally optional. Summer season pruning is good for shaping lavender plants, keeping them full and compact, and it assists to postpone woody development. Plus, cutting down lavender plants in the summer season after they’re done blooming will likely offer you more flowers.

After the plant is done flowering in the summer, cut down 1/3 to 1/2 of the new development, being careful not to cut any branches to the leafless wood.

If you’re too nervous to suffice back that far, then you can try deadheading lavender rather. To deadhead lavender, merely remove all of the dead flower spikes, cutting them down to the tops of the primary branches.

If you want to grow more plants, make sure to keep a few of your lavender cuttings from your summer pruning. Growing lavender from cuttings is enjoyable and easy! If you’re interested in trying that, here’s my tutorial for how to grow lavender from cuttings.

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It is essential to enter into the habit of cutting back lavender plants on a regular basis. If you never ever prune lavender, the plant will grow to be woody and scraggly looking, which is not very quite. Pruning lavender not just eliminates the awful dead growth, however it likewise helps to set off bushy development, and offers you lots of flowers too.

Now that you know precisely how and when to prune lavender, your plants will live a long and healthy life. And you will get to take pleasure in all those yummy smelling lavender flowers every year.