A hardy plant for dry spots and one of the longest-blooming semi-shrubs around, lavender (Lavandula) would earn a place in most sunny gardens even if it didn’t have such a heavenly scent.There’s more good news: Lavender is easy to prune, and when you do it you’ll be covered for the rest of the day in those aromatic oils.Pruning in late summer or early fall before the first frost encourages good air circulation, which guards against rot.Lavender is regarded as a semi-shrub or subshrub—a plant that looks like a perennial because most of its growth is soft and green but older base stems turn to wood. .
How to prune lavender – and the best time of year to do it
Knowing how to prune lavender is important if you want these heavenly scented plants to stay in good shape for years to come.Lavender is an essential plant for adding fragrance to the garden, and has long been prized for its therapeutic properties.Lavender only requires a light trim in its first year, but to avoid the plants from becoming leggy in future, it’s important to get them off to a good start.At this early stage, pruning is about encouraging new growth, and developing a nice mounded shape.If you have grown the lavender from seed or cuttings, then it is beneficial to pinch out new growth tips to help the plant become bushy.Try to make an even dome shape by leaving the stems longer in the middle, and gradually going shorter as you move to the outer edges of the plant.Lavender plants will establish quickly, so from their second year you will need to follow a simple – but thorough – pruning regime to keep them in shape.Don’t prune lavender too hard after summer ends, or it may struggle to survive the onset of colder weather.To prune your lavender in the summer, grab handfuls of the stems and, using clean, sharp secateurs, snip them off, removing up to a third of the plant’s growth.Spring is the time for pruning your lavender harder to minimize the development of woody stems and encourage fresh new growth.Take a stem and examine it – you’ll notice it has a woody base set below the leafy section.But I avoid having to do this by cutting right back into the wood,’ says Judith Hann, author of Herbs (opens in new tab).Monty Don even suggests a third trim in the fall, to help it ‘hold a tight pebble shape’.Cut back lavender before winter to create a tidy mound that will give structure to the garden over the coldest months. .
Does Lavender Die in the Winter?
With proper care and pruning, lavender will survive in the garden for years to come within its hardiness range.Tip Lavender can survive and grow as a perennial, retaining its foliage, in many plant hardiness zones.In colder climates, they can be grown as annual plants, or you can bring them indoors for the winter if they're potted.Lavender needs well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil pH, full sun and limited organic matter added to the bed.Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem and plant them in well-drained, fertile potting soil or garden-quality vermiculite.Transplant them into larger pots, and once a good root system has developed, plant them in the garden.Lavender blooms each year on new wood, so pruning should occur in early spring, before the stems begin to flush new growth.Pruning helps to prevent the lavender plant from becoming overly woody and promotes healthy, new growth.You can use fabric row covers or winter mulch options, such as evergreen boughs or straw, to create a barrier against the cold and wind.Let the lavender hang upside down in a cool, dark place with good air circulation until dry.Try adding lavender buds to marinades and sauces, vegetables and meats in place of regularly used herbs. .
My lavender plants died. When, why and how to re-plant lavender
Lavender plants go dormant in the winter, and sometimes it takes them a while to show signs of life come spring.It’s better to wait a bit longer and see if a plant will bounce back, especially when it comes to lavender and other perennials.When to decide to pull your plants out and replant can also can be determined if it is diseased or has severe die back and is performing marginally.Lavender plants need 8-10 weeks in the ground to get established before winter arrives.Depending on your zone, and how much time you have before your first freeze, fall planting can be a great option.The cold temperatures of winter will kill the cover crop, but only after they grow a bit during fall to provide a nice blanket over your soil.Pulling out dead plants and preparing the soil now, rather than waiting until spring, not only makes spring planting and easier job, but also helps to replenish your soil as we enter into winter months.So, right now, you can pull dead plants and get the soil ready for re-planting lavender in spring.In another blog post, we outlined step-by-step how to prepare a bed for planting lavender. .
Pruning Lavender: A Step-By-Step Guide
But don’t worry, the basics of pruning are the same for all types of lavender, both in the garden or in pots.Pruning lavender regularly keeps them looking nice, encourages flowering, and prevents them from getting too woody or growing scraggly and sparse.Don’t worry, cutting back lavender plants is not as scary as it sounds, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time!Ideally, you should prune lavender twice a year – once in the spring just as the fresh growth starts coming in, and once in the summer right after it’s done blooming.Summer pruning, which helps to keep the plant looking nice and encourages more flowers, is optional.But spring pruning is very important to get rid of the ugly winter damage and encourage fresh lavender growth.This usually means waiting until late spring or early summer to prune lavender.I know it can be hard to wait so long before pruning lavender after winter, especially when the plant looks so ugly.You don’t have to be as precise with your cuts for summer pruning, so you can go ahead and use hedge pruning shears or even a electric hedge trimmer to make quick work of trimming lavender bushes in the summer.The reason you want to wait until you see new leaves on the plant before trimming lavender in spring is because that way you will know exactly where to make your cuts.When trimming back lavender in the summer, you can focus on shaping the plant, rather than worrying about exactly where to make each cut.One important thing to keep in mind whenever you’re pruning lavender is to never cut the woody stems below the leaves.If you leave the dead stems too long, you might see them sticking out all summer, which doesn’t look very nice.However, I would strongly urge you to wait before you cut off any branches that look dead, especially if you’re new to pruning lavender.So you might find that those branches that look dead in early spring may end up growing in the summer.Summer pruning is good for shaping lavender plants, keeping them full and compact, and it helps to delay woody growth.To deadhead lavender, simply remove all of the dead flower spikes, cutting them down to the tops of the main branches. .
Growing a Lavender Tree Indoors or Out
You can easily introduce one into your home or garden to add an element of nature and a pop of color!Continue reading to learn how to grow and care for a lavender tree – both indoors and outdoors!English lavender plants are a go-to in my gardens, and potted inside my home.I love their muted gray green foliage and soft purple blooms.You can find rosemary, lavender and more, shaped into beautiful traditional trees.With its beautiful, structured form, it adds a classic style in any home or garden.These DIY galvanized planters are a fun and simple way to bring lavender to your porch.Don’t forget that others would love to receive lavender pots for gifts!Lavender oil has a strong scent and is used in many bath products for aromatherapy and skin benefits.English lavender varieties tend to be the most popular here in the Midwest, as they are hardy through zone five.You’re probably familiar with the classic English lavender plants that are often grown in gardens and pots, both indoors and out.Yet, it takes on a whole new look with the foliage portion sitting on top of a thin trunk in topiary form.A lavender tree is made from a plant that was trimmed and trained to grow from the top.Lavender trees look really nice in pots that are placed indoors or on a patio.Lavender trees like a lot of sun, around 6 hours each day.Place the plant inside the hole and fill with dirt to cover the roots.A lavender tree will generally remain quite petite in growth, with a height of 2-3 feet.With a few simple care steps and the right lighting and temperature conditions, it’s very possible to grow lavender indoors.They tend to become leggy and more difficult to shape by that time, with their woody stems becoming hardened and tired.Without regular pruning the woody stems can get leggy and the plants will stop blooming.Lavender likes full sun with well drained, sandy soil with a bit of an alkaline blend that you can add with a touch of lime.I’m pretty sure that you’ll be successful if you decide to grow a lavender tree!Receive exclusive content, including never-seen-before photos, our favorite home decor DIYs and more! .
How and When to Prune Different Types of Lavender
The soothing smell, gorgeous blooms, and tidy habit of lavender make it one of the most prized plants in most gardens. .
Does Lavender Grow Back Every Year?
French and Spanish lavender cannot come back as they are not as tolerant to frosty winters.However don’t give up hope, weaker lavender plants can be grown indoors so long as you put them in pots.Provide the right conditions and care and French lavender can even flower indoors and keep growing next season as well.English lavender easily makes it through the winter with very little help from you and it certainly doesn’t need to be brought indoors.Avoid planting those lavenders that are intolerant to cold weather let alone harsher winter.This rather delicate lavender can only survive winters if it is brought indoors out of the cold.If you are looking for a houseplant, read about the four best lavender plants for growing indoors.If you have a weaker lavender type, you have to plant it in pots and bring it indoors or they will perish.In states that have a warmer climate like California, Las Vegas, and Florida, winters are not that much to talk about.There definitely won’t be any chances of snow and ice, meaning your lavender (even the weaker ones) can stay outside.Warmer winters provide higher chances for your dormant lavender to spring back to life and blossom for years to come.An ill plant will have lower chances of coming back after winter.Wilting foliage Discoloration of foliage (brown, yellow, gray) Stunted growth with no flower production Infestation of insects – lesions on leaves, small dot-like structures on stem nodes Browning of the bottommost stem (caused by overwatering).Failure to cure a disease or pest problem will reduce any lavender’s ability to come back after winter.Even if it does come back, it won’t be long till the illness proves to be fatal!If these conditions and care activities are provided to the plants, they stand a good chance of coming back when winter ends.A large number of novice lavender growers don’t take pruning seriously.The good thing about starting pruning early is that even if you are inexperienced, you will get lots of practice!For this you won’t need pruning shears, instead, you can just pinch off newly grown tips.Waiting too long to prune a young lavender bush will result in woody growth that is hard to shape.Once flowers are spent, you can cut back ⅓ of the green growth from the top of the plant.Completely functional roots become important when winter requires the plant to store food.This is usually carried out in an attempt to increase the bloom capacity and the tendency of flowering plants, particularly lavender.During spring temperatures increase and the plants can easily get many more hours of full sunlight.You can diagnose the problem by checking out these 8 common reasons why your lavender isn’t flowering.It is definitely possible for lavender to come back after winter and it may take some initiative from you.But, even if you make conditions favorable, French/Spanish lavender will not survive winter outdoors unless you live in a warm state.English and Lavandula x intermedia lavenders are the most hardy types and can be left outside during winter. .
How to Prune Lavender
An annual pruning is an important step for long-lasting lavender (Lavandula spp.and hybrids) plants.Without it they grow a large, lanky, woody base that can split open — it looks bad and shortens the plant’s lifespan.Start pruning lavender when it’s small to encourage your new plant to focus on making more roots and branching stems, which results in a nice mounded habit later.The dotted line in the illustration above shows you how to cut foliage and any flowers back by one-third to one half before planting.With the outside stems slightly shorter than the center ones so the plant will have a mounded growth habit from the start.Lavender grows quickly, so by the second year, the plant should be about twice as big and ready for pruning once the blooms are spent (or cut blooms while they're still fresh and make a luxurious lavender sugar scrub!).Follow these simple steps to keep your lavender looking great for years to come.Get a second flush of blooms quicker on reblooming varieties with deadheading.That encourages tender new growth which will be killed by winter cold, weakening the plant so it might not make it through another season. .