Having an established lavender plant is essential for surviving the first winter. Several years of trial and error research with growing experience the farm has developed a guide to growing lavender to help determine the best growing methods. It's best to plan a pruning routine to reduce maintenance and to harvest the best dried lavender bundles from your plants in a timely manner. Pruning can fall during any season which may require continuous pruning lavender. They do very well outdoors and have long, slender blooms that occur late spring to early summer. Don’t try to do the whole plant at once. There are many different varieties of lavender. Prune lavender lightly to maintain the rounded shape. Common Lavender Pests & Problems After that, do not fertilize regularly. This method reduces loosing valuable buds and eliminates the need to return for another day of pruning your lavender plants. (If your lavender has a lot of woody growth, then read my guide on how to deal with it). Q. This will remove some of the top growth, but you don’t want all those flower stalks weighing the plants down. Pruning every year is important to maintain appearance, promote blooms, and extend the life of the lavender. The danger is that if you cut too much, the new baby plant may not recover. In frost free areas, your lavender plants may remain evergreen. From Farmer Rick: “Since the lavender plant is so young, pruning is heavy to shape and control the lavender … The best time to prune is just as the flowers are starting to open. 01:42. Snow will insulate lavender plants only if no ice has accumulated before the snow fall. Also, remove all flower buds before they can fully develop to encourage the plant to grow larger and stronger. (see image) Following a harsh winter season as seen during the winter of 2013-14 (see 2014 Winter Blog) you may want to prune the entire lavender bush down to the bare woody hedge. New plants need to be pruned in spring when new green growth has appeared. If you wait longer, you risk cutting off the flower buds that are forming. There are many different varieties of lavender. MILLIE: As always, ‘listen’ to the plant. There will probably be some winter die back, but if you wait until the new growth starts, you will be able to see which stems are dead and can be pruned out. This means that pruning can be done in early- or mid-spring without sacrificing the current years flowering. Lavender plants left to their own devices will become woody and flowering will diminish. Prune right after the plant flowers and at the beginning of fall. The one thing to look out for here is wet soil. Pruning once a year is great. Plan to prune your lavender plant once or twice per year. Pruning this early in spring with a dose of nitrogen will encourage vegetation to grow. Peaceful Acres has played around with multiple seasons of planting. When to Prune Lavenders. If you want to keep your plant healthy then you should prune it twice a year, every year. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, Lavender is not the easiest plant to grow. Winter is not kind to lavender plants. We use gas-powered hedge trimmers to prune the 30,000+ plants in our fields. One year old lavender plant First Year Lavender Pruning. After you've trimmed lavender, you can display it in a … Then all the new growth would go into the foliage, not the flowers, to produce less woody looking shrubs with more growth at the base of the plant. Start pruning your lavender as soon as you have it, very young. It can seem severe, but pruning off all that top growth strengthens the roots and gives you a bushier, more compact plant. This is important because the parts of the plant that turn to wood will not produce new lavender stalks. My lavender bushes are looking rather ragged. The main pruning should be done at the start of spring to really dictate the lavenders shape and appearance. This also reduces the second and third year harvested yields and stunts overall plant growth. Always prune after flowering. The best time to prune lavender is after flowering, but this plant is forgiving. This ‘true lavender’ is the most versatile of them all, able to live for up to 25 years or more if maintained properly. Pruning in spring can delay floweringwhich might be your preferenceand is a good time to take down dead, winter-killed parts and shorten growth to the fat, vigorous buds. Follow the contours of the plant. Trim them under the leaf node, remove the lower leaves and plunge them into a 50% compost-and-horticultural-sand mix. Typically pruning should take place during the harvesting of lavender bundles. However you should also perform a light pruning of your lavender plants in the late summer/early fall to prepare you lavender for the coming winter. The flowers will continue to open after you harvest them and you will be able to enjoy both their beauty and their fragrance in bouquets or however you plant to make use of them. Lavender is not the easiest plant to grow in most areas, but your best bet at success is to get your plants well established early. SERIES 29 | Episode 09 When should I prune lavender? Spring pruning prevents flowering but encourages branching, allowing the new lavender to develop strong roots and a full framework of branches. Second year pruning should begin after its first flowering. The important thing to remember about first year plants is not to prune down into the woody part of the stems. Therefore, to prevent leggy, woody growth over time for as long as possible, it's best to prune twice a year. This last photo is of our new Impress Purple (an intermedia) which is only 1 year old (awww, baby lavender!) Grab the flower stalks by the handful and slice them off at the base. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, 12 Essential Spring Cleaning Tasks for the Garden, Hardy Chrysanthemum (Garden Mum) Plant Profile, Growing Geraniums in Containers—Indoors and Out. Many questions are asked when to prune lavender. This also reduces the second and third year harvested yields and stunts overall plant growth. Remove any dead branches all the way down to the hedge bottom. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. We find the best time to prune lavender in the Pacific Northwest is fall, well before the first frosts come. Should I prune now so they will look good next year? Typically pruning should take place during the harvesting of lavender bundles. Just grab what you can hold. The right time to prune lavender is after the blooming, at the end of summer. Look for where the woody section turns to soft green growth and then prune about 2 - 3 inches above that. 10 Minute GardenerMark Abbott-Compton By year 3, your plant should be quite large and blooming with abandon. Prune for healthier lavender plants. Light pruning is best after the first harvest, followed by a heavier one during summer or fall. For a first-year plant, keep your pruning soft and avoid any drastic cuts. The soil needs to be well draining, between pH 6.5-8, low to medium fertility, with a porous structure, which can be achieved by amending soil with sand or gravel and lime if your garden soil is particularly acidic. Allowing your plants to flower the first year of planting greatly reduces the size of your lavender plant for over wintering. Use hedge trimmers or pruning shears, if possible, to keep things nice and tidy. Take care not to cut into the woody part of the plant which can cause damage. Start your plants off right. Without it they grow a large, lanky, woody base that can split open — it looks bad and shortens the plant’s lifespan. Make sure it is growing in a well-draining site to begin with. Choose young two- to three-inch shoots that have just started to harden up. Deep pruning I recommend only during the early spring. Smaller fall plantings experienced more soil wash around the plants base which resulted in uplifting of the root system. If you have tall stems where the buds have formed and flowered off you should prune these down below the first set of leaves before the bud stem starts. Don’t wait too long to prune, though. If you prune too drastically, they might not regrow. You never want your lavender to be sitting in wet soil, which will rot the roots. Cut off about 2/3 of the plant’s height or to just above the bottom two sets of leaves on each stem. Pruning lavender every year will enhance blooming. All lavenders bloom on the stems that grew in the current year. To be honest, once a lavender plant is too leggy and woody, we think the best thing to do is to dig them out and replace with new young plants. Younger plants grown in pots would have a better start if they were not allowed to flower the first year. You should wind up with a rounded mound. A first-year lavender bush will typically produce only enough flowers to form 1 or 2 bunches, but older plants can give you up to 10 bunches. This is very important when re-generating a thought to be dead lavender plant. Join now. If you get a second flush of blooms in the fall, you can go ahead and cut them back. French lavenders are short-lived and usually only last for five years. You can slot your lavender pruning when it works for you, as long as you complete it by early spring. Excessive weight of snow will create a situation lavender farmers call '. Pruning Lavender after the First Year: Lavender plants should be pruned once per year, preferably in the spring, just before new growth starts. Pruning in late-summer or early-fall encourages good air circulation, which guards against rot. Keeping up with this repeated pruning will result in magnificent plants. Fertilize them lightly the very first year after planting. 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. Removing any signs of the flower bud process will keep the plant in a vegetative cycle which encourages a larger, hardy strong lavender plant. We have established three methods for pruning lavender plants to achieve the prefect hedge. Additionally, a … Here's how to prune lavender so it looks (and smells) great year after year. Allowing your plants to flower the first year of planting greatly reduces the size of your lavender plant for over wintering. You can feel the  branches and notice if all the leaves are dry and falling off the branches. Lavender will go 'woody' if not pruned regularly, 2/3rds each year from year 1. Don’t shear straight across. Since you did such a good job of creating a mounded shape in years 1 and 2, the plant is so full by year 3 that using your pruners is not the most efficient way to prune any longer. You can see the unpruned lavender behind the recently pruned lavender. Good pruning is key to keep growing lavender looking tidy and producing robust blossoms. March through May, early spring is the best time to prune. They will grow healthier, bloom more profusely and live longer if you do a little annual pruning. Don’t forget to clean up the sides, too. Pruning twice a year is better. Prune back about 1/3 of the new growth each time, shaping the lavender bush into a nice mound shape. Pruning. The important thing to remember about first year plants is not to prune down into the woody part of the stems. 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. Because lavender blooms on the stems that grow in the current year, pruning can be done in early- or mid-spring without sacrificing the current year's flowering. Lavender plants need 3 years to hit maturity. Take lavender cuttings from all your varieties every June and July. Pruning lavender. Follow us. Drying and Using Lavender Dry the lavender. You can prune at harvesting time and prune to shape in early spring. Learn more on pruning Lavender and how to prune Lavender like a pro. How to prune English lavender. Although spring planting has proved to establish a much hardier plant than the fall months all seasonal planting have survival comparable survival rates. English Lavender should be pruned right after it its first flowering and again in late August, right after the last flush has faded away. Plant your lavender in well-drained, rocky soil, on a slope (if possible) to ensure drainage. Pruning your Lavender will prevent your shrub from turning to wood. Pinch off new growth and cut flower buds in the first year. SERIES 29 | Episode 09 When should I prune lavender? This will make sure it stays compact and strong. After the initial harvest sporadic buds will shoot up and form. Pruning should begin early, when lavender plants are still young. An annual pruning is an important step for long-lasting lavender (Lavandula spp.and hybrids) plants. In your own garden, as you are preparing your other plantings for the winter, add "prune the lavender" to your fall gardening checklist. http://learn-how-to-garden.comThe autumn is a perfect time for pruning your Lavender to keep it healthly and productive. A. Unpruned lavenders tend to become woody and have decreased blooms. If you have a mild, but wet winter, check your lavender plants to make sure the tops are not holding excess water, which can cause the crowns to rot. That’s why it should be cut back just a bit – few centimeters, just to … Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Don’t be afraid of this tough love. Prune with shears, electric hedge trimmers or even a brush cutter, for general pruning these will get through the foliage. Go Back To Lavender Care Search. You should see the new growth by the time the tulips are blooming. Pruning in late-summer or early-fall encourages good air circulation, which guards again… In the first year, pinch off new growth to encourage a more bushy appearance. The reason for doing this is because lavender is one of those plants that does not respond to pruning of old wood, and hard pruning back to old wood of a more mature specimen (over 3 years) may well kill the bush. The first and less crucial “pruning” session can simply be harvesting a good amount of the first bloom of flowers in spring. Pruning: Prune right after the first flowering and again in late August after the last flush has faded. If possible, pruning twice a year … The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Pruning lavender gently each and every year, as described above, will keep it compact and stop it getting leggy, so you will never need to be fierce. Peaceful Acres trims off all lavender bud shoots as  we would establishing a new lavender plant so the energy is put into new growth fast. When to prune lavender. Pruning lavender after flowering is ideal, but if you miss the window, don’t fret. Don't be afraid to cut the leaves down to 2 inches above the woody base. MILLIE: As always, ‘listen’ to the plant. This reduces random pruning and lengthy, woody growth. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Get involved. Pruning Lavender in spring should be done very early on to avoid pruning off undeveloped flowers about the same time you would plant spring bulbs. ... Use your pruning shears to cut at least 2 inches (5.1 cm) above the woody part of the stalk to give the plant enough to work with for a new bloom. The only downfall we have found is the reduced size, yield and second year growth from a lavender plant planted in the ladder part of the growing season. The top growth will serve as insulation, keeping the crown and roots of the plant protected from repeated freezing and thawing. Remember, lavender has a bushy growth habit, so trim regularly to keep the spaces between plants open. 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