Winter is not kind to lavender plants. The top growth will serve as insulation, keeping the crown and roots of … Preventing Woody Lavender. You can cut them back to any height you'd like and you will get new growth from that point. New shoots and flower stalks will start to emerge and you will have a hard time avoiding them while you cut away the last summers growth. Unpruned lavender plants have a short lifespan. The only way to keep this from happening is annual pruning. Removing any signs of the flower bud process will keep the plant in a vegetative cycle which encourages a larger, hardy strong lavender plant. The best time to trim the plant and cut back dead stems is in spring, after you see its first flush of new growth. If you ignore pruning needs or don’t prune correctly it will probably cost you a pretty penny – in … This same rule may be applied to dead wood or branches when pruning Lavender bushes. When should I prune lavender? If your lavender bush is looking ragged, it may not have been pruned for a few years. The English and hybrid crosses should only be pruned back about one third in size and can either be pruned right after bloom or in the early fall. That encourages tender new growth that'll be killed by winter cold, weakening the plant so it might not make it through another season. Don't prune your lavender after late August. By Debra Knapke. If you started pruning them early on, they’re ready for a more drastic chop. Update on my Lavandula dentata, cut back brutally to 15cm (6") last autumn (message 2 above).It has now regrown to more than 90cm (3') across and high and is flowering - not profusely, but better than I had hoped. Unlike many perennial plants and shrubs that can be pruned now, it is best to wait to prune lavender until after bloom in spring or in early fall before any danger of frost. 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. Lavender is an easy and mostly pest free small shrub that is a nice addition to the landscape. But if you don't mind losing this spring's blooms, go ahead and prune. These are best pruned right after bloom in late spring. If you want to keep your lavender flowers in a bundle, tie a rubber band around them before you cut them off. The basic tool to prune lavender is garden scissors or pruning shears. When you are pruning lavender, it is best to do it regularly and spring is a great time to start. If lavender isn’t pruned regularly, it will become woody and produce fewer fragrant leaves and flowers. Try to cut as close to the woody stems as possible, to stimulate new growth, but not into them, as that may kill the bush. Get involved. Q. Gardening tools you'll need to prune lavender. This is the time when you also start with drying lavender flowers and very soon after that with using and storing. In this video I am winter pruning my lavender bushes, removing some woody parts in hope to recover part of the plants – have a look: Pruning lavender regularly is an essential part of looking after the plant to stop it from getting woody. Pruning lavender plants and bushes are essential at least once a year to make sure the plant is healthy and it lives longer. Potted lavender need to be watered once every two weeks under normal conditions. On the below photo you can see my three years old lavender plants in full blossom – right time to harvest and prune. If you prune right after bloom you may get a second bloom later in the season and the lavender should be pruned again after the second bloom. In its second year, some plants already blossom so they are ready for pruning. Not pruning lets a plant get large and woody and forms nooks and crooks that trap water, thereby introducing several hazards: Again, early spring, or right after flowering, is the best time for this. What happens if you don't prune lavender? If you have lavender plants that were not pruned back last fall, and if you are located in Western Washington, there is still time to prune your lavender back for the spring. It is a running joke* in the Olson family that every spring my mother, Susan the Purpled, is convinced that all of the lavender has died and our fields will need to be completely re-planted. You will soon be aware of why 'when to prune shrubs' is as important as 'how to prune shrubs'. If you don’t prune lavender at least once a year (twice is recommended) you will get large woody stems as opposed to nice, lush green foliage. Prevention is … I've done that many times. So pruning in year one and year two should not be the same and from year three onwards, you can prune in the same way. For a first-year plant, keep your pruning soft and avoid any drastic cuts. Basically, the time or season of the pruning depends on the climate you live in – If you live in a mild climate it is much easier to be successful than if you live in a very cold climate when freezing temperatures may damage recently pruned plant. If you have a garden, it more than likely contains lavender! It didn’t damage anything. You should prune it back in late winter or early spring. This may work better with some varieties than others, so you’ll just have to experiment. This will help simulate more blooms this spring. MORE: Master Gardeners: Know when to pick persimmons. You prune English lavender by cutting it back by two thirds in the second half of August and you can cut into the bare wood, if needed. How to prune and harvest lavender. Don’t prune lavender until after the flowers are over. 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. 3. If you missed all the above times, winter pruning is also an option. If you choose to prune in the spring, don’t wait too long. Another soft pruning time is in the early spring when I cut again just a bit – just a few centimeters. Do not cut the inner, woody stems of the lavender plant. This way the plant will balance root and leaves growth which is very important in this stage. Heavier pruning wakes up dormant older stems to make them bloom and flower once again. Suckers, which are sprouts from the roots of grafted plants, can eventually take over the selected cultivar if you don't remove them. Just make sure you don’t cut too much of the plant. If you can’t do it in early spring, just skip it, as doing it late in the spring may damage young flower buds that are forming at that time. 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. For larger plants, use garden loppers, preferably bypass loppers, as they are more efficient. If you prune right after bloom you may get a second bloom later in the season and the lavender should be pruned again after the second bloom. Cut off at least one-third of the new growth or, you can do it even mo vigorously and cut down up to just 5 centimeters above the woody part or two leaf sets above the woody growth, whichever is longer. The gardener office is staffed by volunteers trained by the University of California to answer gardeners' questions using information based on scientific research. These plants also live shorter and often their branches get split and broken. The Spanish variety is very drought tolerant and is a good plant for attracting beneficial insects to the landscape or garden. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. You may trim out dead growth at anytime you happen to notice it without harming the plant. Cut it in a way that forms a rounded shape. This must-have plant not only looks great when it flowers but lavender also offers a calming scent that is said to help you get a good night’s sleep. In my garden they are usually flowering for about a month before it’s clear that they’re over. In its third year, lavender is considered to be a mature plant – large and rounded, producing a lot of flowers. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Don’t prune your lavender after late August. That encourages tender new growth which will be killed by winter cold, weakening the plant so it might not make it through another season. If you don’t prune lavender regularly, the plants will get woody and will produce fewer flowers. If you prune it lower, the plant may not recover. Lilacs flower on old growth, so if you prune before flowering you'll remove the flower buds. Lavender pruning- When is the best time to prune lavender? How often should I water my potted lavender? If you cut back too far, you can kill the plant. How to Plant a Potted Fig Tree in the Ground. A. Unpruned lavenders tend to become woody and have decreased blooms. If you don't have one on hand, a hand pruner will also work just fine. And my plants grew beyond the light too (mint is a total weed). If you're using a harvesting knife, hook it around the bunched lavender and pull the knife toward you, cutting off the lavender stalks. What happens if you don’t prune lavender? Want to know how to prune lavender for best results next summer? If it is several years old and has never been pruned, it may not survive heavy pruning. Once this happens, it’s almost impossible to save the plant. Should I prune now so they will look good next year? Pruning time is important, timing is seasonal pruning as well as pruning that depend of how old is your plant. You may be better off to replacing the bush. Pruning lavender with a hedge trimmer is also possible but be careful not to cut too much of the plant. I prune my lavender at the harvest time which is here, where I live, in the middle of the summer (early July). You should cut an inch or two into the green leafy growth to give the plant a more compact shape and encourage dense growth. If you don’t cut them back annually, the woody parts will get bigger and bigger over the years and you’ll end up with less productive plants, with fewer flowers and less green foliage. However, lavender should not be pruned during the winter. Another important thing to consider when deciding when to prune lavender is to know that lavender plants need three years to become mature. Follow us. If most of your lavender is gone woody, you should prune it again just up to the two sets of leaves above the woody part. You can prune lavender in any season, however, the summer pruning, done at the same time as harvesting is the best pruning time of the year and it should be the harder prune. Shape the plant into a slightly mounded cushion. These plants bloom well without spring pruning, but they'll respond well to pruning out dead, damaged or diseased wood. For mature plants - Don’t hold back! On the below photo you can see my two years old lavender plants – they just started to get bit bushier. From now on, in following years, prune the plants in the same way. Be careful not to overdo it. If you forget, wait until spring, when foliage growth is just starting. If you want to know what to do with woody lavender, understand that pruning woody lavender plants can often restore them to their former glory. In this case, leave pruning for after the harvest which is usually in the summer. Cutting a … Don't prune these particular trees in the winter, Winter's coming, so get busy in your garden, Master Gardeners: Know when to pick persimmons, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. If you don’t prune the lavender, it will grow misshapen, “leggy”, and split at the base as the branches get longer and heavier. You just don’t want them pressing against the light. 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. 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. If the lavender flowers were not removed after bloom you can cut them off now as long as there is no chance of rain for a few days. As with so many plants, the biggest risk in pruning lavender is being too nervous to try. Plants respond well to pruning out dead, damaged or diseased wood. You can cut it back to the ground or, if you want slightly taller plants, cut it back to one to three feet. My lavender bushes are looking rather ragged. If you’re wondering how to prune lavender and when to prune lavender at the correct time, have no fear. Pruning lavender. Here is what happens to a subshrub if it is prematurely pruned in fall or winter. After that, I just prune it a bit sometime in mid-October, just to make sure the bushes are kept nice and rounded. Join now. 2. Read on to learn how to trim a lavender with woody stems. Hydrangea paniculata, sometimes called Hardy Hydrangea, also blooms on new wood. That’s why regular pruning is important to avoid bushes going woody and looking unsightly. In its second year, plants are much larger, already producing some flowers, but not a lot. 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. If your lavender … The flowers of the English and hybrid varieties can be used in cooking, flower arrangements and making many lavender scented products such as wands and sachets. It won't hurt them at all. In the above photo, you can see my one-year-old lavender plant (grown from cuttings) that needs just a one-centimeter cut in the early spring. That’s why it should be cut back just a bit – few centimeters, just to keep it nice, rounded, bushy, and compact. MORE: Winter's coming, so get busy in your garden. 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. Early spring is good for a second pruning, which should be much softer than pruning in the harvest time. The danger is that if you cut too much, the new baby plant may not recover. Cutting too far back to bare woody stems or removing too much foliage stresses the plant and often kills it. Learning how to prune lavender correctly keeps the plant healthy and ensures its continued growth for many years to come. Pruning lavender plants and bushes are essential at least once a year to make sure the plant is healthy and it lives longer. You may have convinced me not to prune my tall crepe myrtles. For this stage, choose harvesting time (mid-summer or early autumn) to prune 8 to 10 centimeters above the woody bits. New shoots will quickly appear at the base of the bush and these will have enough time to grow and harden up before winter comes. Then harvest stems for their fragrant foliage and flowers from late spring through the midsummer months, but stop harvesting in late August or early September. Regular pruning is essential to keeping the bush looking healthy and vigorous, however, the amount and timing of the pruning is important. Pruning now can cause dieback that may kill the plant. If you don’t prune lavender regularly, the plants will get woody and will produce fewer flowers. 1. While pruning lavender, if you cut into woody stems, they won’t grow again, but simply die. With that being said I cleared out the machine after and it all works perfectly fine. 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. Pruning lavender is important in keeping a lavender plant producing the type of fragrant foliage that most gardeners seek. I don’t store autumn leaves for composting. 01:42. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Lavender’s woody stems don’t produce new green growth, so as stem tissue shifts to wood, your plant is losing the ability to produce additional green shoots, which are the ones that flower. The most common lavender varieties I see growing around Redding area are Spanish (lavandula stoechas) English (lavandula angustifolia) and some of the hybrid crosses (lavandula x intermedia). Pruning this way shapes the plant and encourages new growth where the blooms are produced. The variety of lavender will determine how much you can prune off the lavender bush without damaging it. The Shasta Master Gardeners Program can be reached by phone at 242-2219 or email mastergardener@shastacollege.edu. But if there is green growth just above the woody stems, start with light pruning to encourage lower growth, and then prune a little heavier each year. Before getting started, you … If you check my aero garden post you can see what happens when you don’t prune the roots of mint and basil. 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. Any time you prune them it encourages new growth. 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. You’ll know when that is as they’ll be more grey than blue, and you won’t see any bees or other pollinators buzzing around them. Just trim it back slightly to stop it from going woody and to encourage nice shape and lush branches. Learn how to prune lavender, sage, thyme, geranium, wormwood, and other subshrubs to keep plants healthy, ... Don't cut plants like lavender to the ground, and don't touch them in fall or winter. If you’re new to harvesting lavender and wondering what you need to do, don’t worry cause we’ve got you covered. Whatever type of lavender you grow, don't prune it heavily late in the season. 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