How to Prune Lavender That Is Woody

Lavender (Lavandula) is a versatile plant that you can use in your landscape as an ornamental or as a culinary herb. It’s a tough plant that can withstand cold winters and hot summers, but it does need a little help to stay healthy and looking its best.

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Why You Should Prune Lavender

Pruning lavender is essential to maintaining a healthy plant. Lavender blooms on new growth, so removing old, woody stems promotes fresh growth and encourages more blooms. Pruning also helps to control the size and shape of the plant.

Lavender should be pruned in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. To prune, simply cut back the stems to just above where the green leaves begin. For plants that are particularly overgrown, you can reduce the height of the plant by up to one-third.

When to Prune Lavender

Pruning is important to the health and shape of your lavender plant, but it is also crucial to know when to prune.

Lavender blooms on new wood, so to encourage the best possible growth and flowering, you should prune in early spring. This will give the plant ample time to produce new growth before the hot summer months.

If your lavender is overgrown or has become leggy, you can give it a hard prune in early spring. This will force the plant to produce new growth from the base, resulting in a fuller, bushier plant.

You can also lightly prune your lavender after it has finished blooming. This will help promote new growth and ensure a bountiful bloom next season.

How to Prune Lavender

To prune lavender that is woody, start by cutting off any dead or dying stems with a sharp pair of shears. Next, cut back any stems that are longer than 6 inches. Once you have trimmed all the dead and excess growth, shape the lavender plant by cutting it into a mound. Finally, cut off any flowers that remain on the plant.

Step One: Assess the Plant

Before you start pruning, it’s important to assess the health and vigor of the plant. Lavender is a resilient plant, but it can be susceptible to certain problems, such as powdery mildew, root rot, and over- or under- watering. These problems can weaken the plant and make it more difficult to recover from pruning. If your plant looks unhealthy, wait until it has recovered before pruning.

Step One: Assess the Plant
Before you start pruning, it’s important to assess the health and vigor of the plant. Lavender is a resilient plant, but it can be susceptible to certain problems, such as powdery mildew, root rot, and over- or under- watering. These problems can weaken the plant and make it more difficult to recover from pruning. If your plant looks unhealthy, wait until it has recovered before pruning.

Next, take a look at the overall shape of the plant. Is it too tall? Too wide? Too leggy? Once you’ve determined what you want to change about the plant’s shape, you can begin pruning.

Step Two: Cut Away Dead or Diseased Wood

Cut away any dead or diseased wood from the plant using a sharp pair of pruning shears. Cut the wood all the way back to healthy tissue. Make all cuts at a 45-degree angle so water will run off the cuts and not sit on the plant.

Step Three: Cut Away Old Wood

Use pruning shears to cut away any dead, woody stems. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle, about a half-inch above where it intersects with a live stem.

Step Four: Cut Away New Growth

Cut away any new growth from the plant. New growth is any lavender that has not flowered yet. This includes any stems that are still green, as well as any buds that have not yet flowered. It is important to cut away new growth because it can take energy away from the plant, preventing it from flowering.

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