If you prune too drastically, they might not regrow. Remember, lavender has a bushy growth habit, so trim regularly to keep the spaces between plants open. This ‘true lavender’ is the most versatile of them all, able to live for up to 25 years or more if maintained properly. Without it they grow a large, lanky, woody base that can split open — it looks bad and shortens the plant’s lifespan. Look for where the woody section turns to soft green growth and then prune about 2 - 3 inches above that. Pruning every year is important to maintain appearance, promote blooms, and extend the life of the lavender. Second year pruning should begin after its first flowering. Start pruning your lavender as soon as you have it, very young. (see image) Following a harsh winter season as seen during the winter of 2013-14 (see 2014 Winter Blog) you may want to prune the entire lavender bush down to the bare woody hedge. Don’t be afraid of this tough love. If you get a second flush of blooms in the fall, you can go ahead and cut them back. Also, remove all flower buds before they can fully develop to encourage the plant to grow larger and stronger. Prune for healthier lavender plants. Then all the new growth would go into the foliage, not the flowers, to produce less woody looking shrubs with more growth at the base of the plant. Prune right after the plant flowers and at the beginning of fall. New plants need to be pruned in spring when new green growth has appeared. Always prune after flowering. From Farmer Rick: “Since the lavender plant is so young, pruning is heavy to shape and control the lavender … While the plant is in bloom, usually in mid-summer, gather up the flower stalks and once again prune the plant back to 2 - 3 inches above where the soft, green growth begins on the lower part of the plant. Start your plants off right. Lavender plants left to their own devices will become woody and flowering will diminish. Removing any signs of the flower bud process will keep the plant in a vegetative cycle which encourages a larger, hardy strong lavender plant. When to Prune Lavenders. Pruning: Prune right after the first flowering and again in late August after the last flush has faded. Take lavender cuttings from all your varieties every June and July. Pruning in late-summer or early-fall encourages good air circulation, which guards again… Remove any dead branches all the way down to the hedge bottom. Therefore, to prevent leggy, woody growth over time for as long as possible, it's best to prune twice a year. English Lavender should be pruned right after it its first flowering and again in late August, right after the last flush has faded away. French lavenders are short-lived and usually only last for five years. Grab the flower stalks by the handful and slice them off at the base. They do very well outdoors and have long, slender blooms that occur late spring to early summer. Fertilize them lightly the very first year after planting. Pruning twice a year is better. Pruning Lavender after the First Year: Lavender plants should be pruned once per year, preferably in the spring, just before new growth starts. Winter is not kind to lavender plants. You should see the new growth by the time the tulips are blooming. For a first-year plant, keep your pruning soft and avoid any drastic cuts. A first-year lavender bush will typically produce only enough flowers to form 1 or 2 bunches, but older plants can give you up to 10 bunches. Should I prune now so they will look good next year? First year pruning is a little different from other years. Because lavender blooms on the stems that grow in the current year, pruning can be done in early- or mid-spring without sacrificing the current year's flowering. Lavender plants need 3 years to hit maturity. The best time to prune lavender is after flowering, but this plant is forgiving. We find the best time to prune lavender in the Pacific Northwest is fall, well before the first frosts come. The important thing to remember about first year plants is not to prune down into the woody part of the stems. 01:42. Many questions are asked when to prune lavender. Your plant should be quite a bit larger this year, with more blooms. Pinch off new growth and cut flower buds in the first year. Take care not to cut into the woody part of the plant which can cause damage. The best time to prune is just as the flowers are starting to open. The first and less crucial “pruning” session can simply be harvesting a good amount of the first bloom of flowers in spring. Common Lavender Pests & Problems How to prune English lavender. The soil needs to be well draining, between pH 6.5-8, low to medium fertility, with a porous structure, which can be achieved by amending soil with sand or gravel and lime if your garden soil is particularly acidic. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Pruning should begin early, when lavender plants are still young. Pruning. Follow the contours of the plant. ... Use your pruning shears to cut at least 2 inches (5.1 cm) above the woody part of the stalk to give the plant enough to work with for a new bloom. Go Back To Lavender Care Search. Spring pruning prevents flowering but encourages branching, allowing the new lavender to develop strong roots and a full framework of branches. The top growth will serve as insulation, keeping the crown and roots of the plant protected from repeated freezing and thawing. Peaceful Acres has played around with multiple seasons of planting. Don’t try to do the whole plant at once. If you have a mild, but wet winter, check your lavender plants to make sure the tops are not holding excess water, which can cause the crowns to rot. Lavender is not the easiest plant to grow in most areas, but your best bet at success is to get your plants well established early. Since you did such a good job of creating a mounded shape in years 1 and 2, the plant is so full by year 3 that using your pruners is not the most efficient way to prune any longer. Although spring planting has proved to establish a much hardier plant than the fall months all seasonal planting have survival comparable survival rates. This also reduces the second and third year harvested yields and stunts overall plant growth. You never want your lavender to be sitting in wet soil, which will rot the roots. After that, do not fertilize regularly. Pruning your Lavender will prevent your shrub from turning to wood. The important thing to remember about first year plants is not to prune down into the woody part of the stems. MILLIE: As always, ‘listen’ to the plant. 10 Minute GardenerMark Abbott-Compton All lavenders bloom on the stems that grew in the current year. After the initial harvest sporadic buds will shoot up and form. Drying and Using Lavender Dry the lavender. After you've trimmed lavender, you can display it in a … This method reduces loosing valuable buds and eliminates the need to return for another day of pruning your lavender plants. The danger is that if you cut too much, the new baby plant may not recover. Peaceful Acres trims off all lavender bud shoots as  we would establishing a new lavender plant so the energy is put into new growth fast. You can prune at harvesting time and prune to shape in early spring. Don’t wait too long to prune, though. This will remove some of the top growth, but you don’t want all those flower stalks weighing the plants down. This will make sure it stays compact and strong. Cut off about 2/3 of the plant’s height or to just above the bottom two sets of leaves on each stem. You can feel the  branches and notice if all the leaves are dry and falling off the branches. The reason for doing this is because lavender is one of those plants that does not respond to pruning of old wood, and hard pruning back to old wood of a more mature specimen (over 3 years) may well kill the bush. Join now. A small sythe or curved harvesting knife is a much better tool for this. You should wind up with a rounded mound. The right time to prune lavender is after the blooming, at the end of summer. In areas with freezing winter temperatures, you should hold off doing any hard pruning to your lavender plants until you see new growth starting, in the spring. Excessive weight of snow will create a situation lavender farmers call '. They will grow healthier, bloom more profusely and live longer if you do a little annual pruning. Learn more on pruning Lavender and how to prune Lavender like a pro. Pruning in late-summer or early-fall encourages good air circulation, which guards against rot. MILLIE: As always, ‘listen’ to the plant. This reduces random pruning and lengthy, woody growth. If possible, pruning twice a year … Having an established lavender plant is essential for surviving the first winter. Trim them under the leaf node, remove the lower leaves and plunge them into a 50% compost-and-horticultural-sand mix. Pruning can fall during any season which may require continuous pruning lavender. Pruning Lavender in spring should be done very early on to avoid pruning off undeveloped flowers about the same time you would plant spring bulbs. It's best to plan a pruning routine to reduce maintenance and to harvest the best dried lavender bundles from your plants in a timely manner. We have established three methods for pruning lavender plants to achieve the prefect hedge. In frost free areas, your lavender plants may remain evergreen. Pruning in spring can delay floweringwhich might be your preferenceand is a good time to take down dead, winter-killed parts and shorten growth to the fat, vigorous buds. You can see the unpruned lavender behind the recently pruned lavender. SERIES 29 | Episode 09 When should I prune lavender? Follow us. Choose young two- to three-inch shoots that have just started to harden up. Q. There are many different varieties of lavender. Just grab what you can hold. Several years of trial and error research with growing experience the farm has developed a guide to growing lavender to help determine the best growing methods. Plan to prune your lavender plant once or twice per year. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, Lavender is not the easiest plant to grow. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, 12 Essential Spring Cleaning Tasks for the Garden, Hardy Chrysanthemum (Garden Mum) Plant Profile, Growing Geraniums in Containers—Indoors and Out. The flowers will continue to open after you harvest them and you will be able to enjoy both their beauty and their fragrance in bouquets or however you plant to make use of them. If you want to keep your plant healthy then you should prune it twice a year, every year. In the first year, pinch off new growth to encourage a more bushy appearance. Keeping up with this repeated pruning will result in magnificent plants. Prune with shears, electric hedge trimmers or even a brush cutter, for general pruning these will get through the foliage. Typically pruning should take place during the harvesting of lavender bundles. You can slot your lavender pruning when it works for you, as long as you complete it by early spring. Typically pruning should take place during the harvesting of lavender bundles. To be honest, once a lavender plant is too leggy and woody, we think the best thing to do is to dig them out and replace with new young plants. There will probably be some winter die back, but if you wait until the new growth starts, you will be able to see which stems are dead and can be pruned out. Pruning lavender gently each and every year, as described above, will keep it compact and stop it getting leggy, so you will never need to be fierce. This is very important when re-generating a thought to be dead lavender plant. The first growing season of a newly planted lavender plant it's recommended to remove ALL bud shoots as soon as the little green buds start to form. http://learn-how-to-garden.comThe autumn is a perfect time for pruning your Lavender to keep it healthly and productive. If you have tall stems where the buds have formed and flowered off you should prune these down below the first set of leaves before the bud stem starts. Pruning lavender after flowering is ideal, but if you miss the window, don’t fret. Younger plants grown in pots would have a better start if they were not allowed to flower the first year. It can seem severe, but pruning off all that top growth strengthens the roots and gives you a bushier, more compact plant. My lavender bushes are looking rather ragged. Don't be afraid to cut the leaves down to 2 inches above the woody base. Allowing your plants to flower the first year of planting greatly reduces the size of your lavender plant for over wintering. Pruning this early in spring with a dose of nitrogen will encourage vegetation to grow. Plant your lavender in well-drained, rocky soil, on a slope (if possible) to ensure drainage. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Pruning lavender. Don’t forget to clean up the sides, too. The one thing to look out for here is wet soil. If you prune lavender right before it goes into bloom, it will significantly delay the arrival of flowers. Get involved. Use hedge trimmers or pruning shears, if possible, to keep things nice and tidy. Prune back about 1/3 of the new growth each time, shaping the lavender bush into a nice mound shape. We use gas-powered hedge trimmers to prune the 30,000+ plants in our fields. This last photo is of our new Impress Purple (an intermedia) which is only 1 year old (awww, baby lavender!) Smaller fall plantings experienced more soil wash around the plants base which resulted in uplifting of the root system. Lavender will go 'woody' if not pruned regularly, 2/3rds each year from year 1. There are many different varieties of lavender. The main pruning should be done at the start of spring to really dictate the lavenders shape and appearance. Pruning lavender every year will enhance blooming. Snow will insulate lavender plants only if no ice has accumulated before the snow fall. However you should also perform a light pruning of your lavender plants in the late summer/early fall to prepare you lavender for the coming winter. That’s why it should be cut back just a bit – few centimeters, just to … Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Additionally, a … Allowing your plants to flower the first year of planting greatly reduces the size of your lavender plant for over wintering. Make sure it is growing in a well-draining site to begin with. Here's how to prune lavender so it looks (and smells) great year after year. This also reduces the second and third year harvested yields and stunts overall plant growth. One year old lavender plant First Year Lavender Pruning. This means that pruning can be done in early- or mid-spring without sacrificing the current years flowering. If you wait longer, you risk cutting off the flower buds that are forming. In your own garden, as you are preparing your other plantings for the winter, add "prune the lavender" to your fall gardening checklist. By year 3, your plant should be quite large and blooming with abandon. This is important because the parts of the plant that turn to wood will not produce new lavender stalks. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. March through May, early spring is the best time to prune. When to prune lavender. Don’t shear straight across. Good pruning is key to keep growing lavender looking tidy and producing robust blossoms. Deep pruning I recommend only during the early spring. Remove each additional lavender stem as ready. (If your lavender has a lot of woody growth, then read my guide on how to deal with it). Prune lavender lightly to maintain the rounded shape. 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