How to prune lavender plants for hearty, healthy blooms

Gardener prunes lavender plants

Lavender is an herb that has natural calming properties. If you grow your own, you can use it to make essential oil to relax sore muscles, relieve insect bites or make your home smell wonderful. In your garden, it will attract pollinators. But for your plants to thrive, you should learn how to prune lavender throughout the year.

When To Prune Lavender

Learning how to prune lavender can keep it from becoming overgrown, leggy and less abundant.

“Annual pruning will improve flowering and prevent lavender becoming woody,” plant expert Sarah Raven told Homes and Gardens.

Experts recommend pruning lavender at least twice each year. You should prune them first in the spring and later after they flower. For the best results, you should prune your lavender sprigs three times:

    • Once early in the season, as the plants are developing.
    • A second time after they have finished flowering.
    • A final pruning late in the season.

However, you should only trim lavender plants lightly in their first year of growth. When the plants are new, the purpose of pruning is to encourage new growth and help them develop the desired shape.It is essential to wait to prune lavender plants until all chances of frost have passed.


How To Prune Lavender

Fortunately, lavender is easy to prune. The best tools for spring pruning are precision pruning snips or small pruning shears. Later in the year, you can use hedge pruning shears or an electric hedge trimmer.

For the first pruning, start by removing any dead stems. Then, pinch off fresh young tips that are developing.

After flowering is complete in late spring or early summer, prune back the stems. For tall varieties of lavender, trim off about a third of the plant’s height. If you have lower-growing lavender, prune about two inches or so the new growth.

Later in the year, when the plants become woody, prune the bushes to give them a nice, rounded shape. However, take care not to cut too close to the woody base of the stems so the plants can survive the winter.


Pruning your lavender plants can keep them blooming for years, so don’t skip this step!

Gardening, Home

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About the Author
Tricia Goss
Tricia Goss is a Texas-based writer and editor with nearly two decades of experience. She is passionate about helping readers improve their skills, gain knowledge and attain more happiness in life. When she’s not working, Tricia enjoys traveling with her husband and their dog, especially to visit their five grandchildren.

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