Hello lavender fans!
This is the first in a series of posts detailing how to care for your lavender.
In this post we shall be discussing how to prune your lavender once it has been finished flowering and when to do it.
The most important thing to remember when pruning lavender is to never cut back into the old wood when pruning. By doing this, you run the risk of not allowing for new growth the next season, therefore killing of the plant entirely. It is tempting, especially with lavender, to take this step as older lavender does tend to go quite woody, which can be unsightly. Only ever cut into the old wood if you are prepared to plant in new lavender.
To keep the plant healthy, cut off the green stem at least a couple of inches above the old wood. This will allow for new growth for the next flowering season.
When to prune your lavender is a lot more flexible than where on the stem to prune it; it really depends what you want to with the stems that you cut off. If you want the stems for bunches, or flower arrangements or just for its scent, then prune the lavender just as it starts to go purple, but before it starts to flower. The scent of the lavender is in its oil, and it is at its most potent during this period.
We recommend pruning the lavender just as it starts to turn, giving the flower optimum chance for regrowth in the next flowering season, furthermore the stems themselves will still have a scent in them to freshen up your homes.
However, we do understand that sometimes this does get overlooked and the pruning process gets neglected. Lavender is a very hardy plant, once it is an established plant – either when bedded or in a larger pot – it can survive winters without any of the pruning process taking place. You can get away with pruning over the next spring, picking off the deadheads to allow for new growth. Obviously, this method can prove a little risky, as it increases the likelihood that the lavender may die off.