Home Life & Style Lavender needs to be pruned at the ‘perfect’ time so it blooms...

Lavender needs to be pruned at the ‘perfect’ time so it blooms brilliantly in summer

Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant plant popular in gardens due to how easy it is to care for, but it is essential to know the right time to prune it. 

The ideal time to cut lavender should be in late summer or early autumn just when the herb stops producing flowers, however, it can also be pruned now in May before flowering season begins.  

Michael Griffiths, an expert who goes by The Mediterranean Gardener online, said: “If you missed pruning your lavender in late summer or it is looking untidy or has frost damage, now in mid to late spring when the new growth appears is the perfect time to prune.” 

It is incredibly important to prune lavender if you missed the opportunity to prevent it from becoming woody or spindly as it will not produce as many flowers if not pruned at least once a year. 

Michael said: “No one wants lavender that becomes leggy or twiggy because you didn’t prune it in the right way at the right time.” 

READ MORE: Four plants to grow with lavender for a healthier and more beautiful garden

How to prune lavender 

It is incredibly easy and quick to prune lavender properly as long as you use a sharp clean cutting tool and make sure not to cut more than two-thirds back, otherwise, the plant can struggle to grow again. 

Michael said: “You can prune lavender as hard as you like, as long as you are not cutting into old wood and leave some new growth beneath the cutting point.” 

It is important not to cut the stems too far down into the old wood, which is the more mature and thicker woody stems of the plant. 

Old wood tends to flower less but provides structure to the plant, and cutting into it can cause the plant stress and greatly weaken it. It can lead to your lavender plant not producing flowers again or can even kill the plant. 

According to Michael, you will be able to “really easily” tell what part of your lavender plant is old wood as it will be “this brown stuff down here with this almost white foliage” while the new growth which you can cut will be “bright green.” 

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Michael said: “I don’t want to prune down here [on the old wood] at all, I don’t want to touch any of this stuff, I want to come up here and I want to be just above the old wood so I’m gonna take that to just there. 

“If you do cut down into old wood, that area may not regrow and you could lose the plant so if in doubt, stay above that new growth.” 

Cut the stem around two to three inches above the old wood and into the leafy section of the new growth, and create a rounded shape for the lavender plant by cutting the outer stems a little shorter than the inner stems. 

Remove any dead or damaged branches, and your beautiful lavender plant will then be ready to flower spectacularly in the summertime. 

Michael said: “Pruning in spring will delay flowering slightly, but in the end, you’re gonna get a better-shaped bush that will last longer.”  


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