How To Prune A Lavender Tree ( Find Out!)

Last Modified

February 24, 2023 by Hirah Ehsan

Pruning lavender is not hard but it’s essential for us to know what we are doing in order to avoid excessively or over-pruning.

Lavender, with its pinnate silvery green leaves and purplish flowers, has a crisp, clean, and floral scent.

How To Prune A Lavender Tree?

An effective and easy way to prune lavender is to start in the springtime and then again after flowering.

A slightly more delicate procedure involves three rounds of pruning:

  1. Pinching off young tips as they are in the developing phase.
  2. Cutting back stems about one-third of their length after completion of flowering.
  3. If the stems have grown old and woody, then completely removing them proves beneficial.

The best time to prune lavender is “after flowering is complete “.

All lavenders blossom on stems that grew in the current year, so pruning can be done in early or mid-spring.

Pruning before the first frost improves air circulation and also protects against rots so twice-a-year pruning can help your plant thrive.

Kinds Of Lavender Plants:

There are different varieties of lavender plants for instance English lavender, Spanish lavender, and also French lavender.

The difference between these different kinds is that English lavender can bear a harder pruning during summer as compared to Spanish or French lavender.

English lavender is also known as Lavandula angustifolia and it is a low-growing single leafless stem with compact spikes.

Spanish lavender is also known as Lavandula stoechas it has a short stem and full spike flower with open petals.

Spanish and French varieties are attractive; they are not as hard as English lavender and require full sunlight to thrive.

However, they are not more difficult to maintain and prune.

How To Avoid Lavender From Getting Too woody:

Pruning is an essential part of lavender maintenance. Pruning keeps lavender nice, encourages flowering, and also prevents it from becoming too woody and growing in a scraggly manner.

If you do not prune lavender, it can become scraggly and woody which renders it unable to bloom.

To avoid the above circumstances, it is essential to get into the habit of trimming your plant regularly.

Tools For Pruning:

For pruning lavender in spring, you have to be precise with your cuts so you can use precision pruning strips or small pruning shears.

In this way, you will be able to know exactly where you are making cuts.

Hedge pruning shears or even an electric hedge trimmer can be used for the quick trimming of

lavender bushes in summer.

Methods For Pruning:

If lavender is pruned too early, there is a possibility that you could be cutting new growths before they start and it might result in over-pruning the plant.

When pruning a plant in summer, shaping the plant is more important than worrying about where

to make each cut.

An important thing to always keep in mind is to never cut the woody stem below leaves because

stems that are pruned down too far are unable to grow.

The wood that forms on lavender does not rejuvenate. So always keep that in mind.

There will be no shoots production on old wood and if there is any production of shoots, they will be spaced out which will detract from the plant’s appearance.

How To Prune Woody Lavender:

Old plants cannot be rejuvenated by cutting deeper into the wood but they can be rejuvenated by cutting the points above the wood.

Cutting the third node above the woody part can stimulate the hidden nodes to grow and bloom.

Disadvantages Of Not Pruning The Plant:

If a lavender plant is not pruned, it may get large and woody giving rise to several hazards by trapping water.

This trapped water will promote the rotting of plants in summer, and early frosting in autumn.

In winter it freezes and easily splits the woody parts which are then vulnerable to snow loads that can deform or break the plants.

How To Take Care Of Your Plant:

If you live in an area where lavender is prone to winter dieback then it is better to not prune your plant until new green growths are evident at the base of the plant.

If the plant is disturbed too soon during the season, it is highly unlikely for the plant to develop new growths.

Do not prune lavender too hard after the end of summer because the plant may struggle to thrive in cold weather.

Is Deadheading Necessary?

Deadheading is not necessary for the plant if adequate pruning is done.

However, if you want to encourage the growth of a few more fresh flower heads, deadheading will not harm the plant

Allowing Lavender To Grow Back:

Avoid cutting into the dead woody growths. If lavender is harvested just as it is flowering, the second flush of flowers can be witnessed.

The Don’ts Of Pruning:

  1. Do not prune lavender after late August. Pruning at this time will allow tender growths that are killed off in winter
  2. Removing more foliage will stress and kill the plant
  3. Do not cut the woody stems as they are unable to grow back

Pruning Established Plants:

Established Plants require heavy pruning which requires the stems to be cut back one-third after its done flowering.

Additional Tips For Healthy Plants:

Keeping an eye on your lavender plant can help sustain a healthy and growing plant.

Checking new growths and the woody base for rots can really help your plant stay healthy.

For propagating new lavender just make sure you use the branches that are yet to flower.

For propagating you should trim the leaves off the bottom of each stem and place them in a pot for propagation and observe your plant.

Always be free to take a professional’s advice especially when you do not feel confident enough and when your plant is young.

It is always essential to know what you are doing so that the health of your plant is not compromised at any cost.

If you feel confident enough then do not hesitate to grab your pruning shear and start pruning so that you can enjoy the season of a full flush of lavender blooms.

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