Read on to learn how to trim a lavender with woody stems. Pruning now can cause dieback that may kill the plant. That encourages tender new growth which will be killed by winter cold, weakening the plant so it might not make it through another season. 01:42. While pruning lavender, if you cut into woody stems, they won’t grow again, but simply die. In this article, I will show you when and how to prune a lavender, how often to do it, and which tools to use for the best results. Ideally, winter pruning should be skipped as generally pruning encourages plants to regrow and if winter is very cold, the new growth may not be successful and may be prone to frost. Here is what happens to a subshrub if it is prematurely pruned in fall or winter. You can cut it back to the ground or, if you want slightly taller plants, cut it back to one to three feet. If you don’t prune lavender regularly, the plants will get woody and will produce fewer flowers. These plants bloom well without spring pruning, but they'll respond well to pruning out dead, damaged or diseased wood. From now on, in following years, prune the plants in the same way. I recommend watering potted lavenders even if there has been rainfall within a two week period as pots will dry out quicker as they are above ground. Don’t give up on these plants. Be careful not to overdo it. For this stage, choose harvesting time (mid-summer or early autumn) to prune 8 to 10 centimeters above the woody bits. The Spanish variety is very drought tolerant and is a good plant for attracting beneficial insects to the landscape or garden. This is the year when the full harvest is expected so just before the buds start to open, harvest your lavender and at the same time prune it too. In its second year, plants are much larger, already producing some flowers, but not a lot. Pruning is necessary for some shrubs - not because they actually need it, but more because we have either planted them in the wrong place, or they are simply not conforming to what we think they should look like. If you cut back too far, you can kill the plant. Q. But if you don't mind losing this spring's blooms, go ahead and prune. Pruning and training of woody landscape growth is a continuous process during the year but the main season for pruning your trees and shrubs is quickly approaching. How to Plant a Potted Fig Tree in the Ground. Early spring is good for a second pruning, which should be much softer than pruning in the harvest time. This may work better with some varieties than others, so you’ll just have to experiment. They’re so tall I didn’t realize they had begun to bloom since the blooms are at the very top, probably at least 20 feet high. If you forget, wait until spring, when foliage growth is just starting. Just trim it back slightly to stop it from going woody and to encourage nice shape and lush branches. When should I prune lavender? Get involved. Proper pruning and harvesting of lavender ensures the plant will have a longer lifespan, and the plant will keep producing flowers for a very long time. These plants also live shorter and often their branches get split and broken. Prevention is … If you started pruning them early on, they’re ready for a more drastic chop. If you’re wondering how to prune lavender and when to prune lavender at the correct time, have no fear. What happens if you don’t prune lavender? Once this happens, it’s almost impossible to save the plant. If you want to keep your lavender flowers in a bundle, tie a rubber band around them before you cut them off. Removing any signs of the flower bud process will keep the plant in a vegetative cycle which encourages a larger, hardy strong lavender plant. That’s why it should be cut back just a bit – few centimeters, just to keep it nice, rounded, bushy, and compact. Lilacs flower on old growth, so if you prune before flowering you'll remove the flower buds. Learning how to prune lavender correctly keeps the plant healthy and ensures its continued growth for many years to come. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. If it is several years old and has never been pruned, it may not survive heavy pruning. I prune my lavender at the harvest time which is here, where I live, in the middle of the summer (early July). The variety of lavender will determine how much you can prune off the lavender bush without damaging it. Don't prune your lavender after late August. You should cut an inch or two into the green leafy growth to give the plant a more compact shape and encourage dense growth. On the below photo you can see my two years old lavender plants – they just started to get bit bushier. Potted lavender need to be watered once every two weeks under normal conditions. This same rule may be applied to dead wood or branches when pruning Lavender bushes. Lavender is an easy and mostly pest free small shrub that is a nice addition to the landscape. MORE: Master Gardeners: Know when to pick persimmons. The Shasta Master Gardeners Program can be reached by phone at 242-2219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t prune lavender regularly, the plants will get woody and will produce fewer flowers. My lavender bushes are looking rather ragged. Pruning lavender. Another important thing to consider when deciding when to prune lavender is to know that lavender plants need three years to become mature. The danger is that if you cut too much, the new baby plant may not recover. If you have a garden, it more than likely contains lavender! This is the time when you also start with drying lavender flowers and very soon after that with using and storing. 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