Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pruning Lavender

Lavender before pruning.

Usually I prune my lavender shortly after it is done blooming. It is a great time to do it since it keeps the lavender looking prim and maintained. But really it doesn't need pruning until just before it starts its summer growth.

Lavender after pruning.

This last year things have been so busy that I did not get the prunning done until shortly before Christmas. But as things slowed down I grabbed the hand pruners and headed out to the back flower bed.

The main point of pruning lavender is to take off the old flower heads. As long as you do that you will be good. If you want to do more to guide the shape, snip off and inch or two of the leaves. Just remember, don't cut back so fare that there aren't living leaves left on a branch. Lavender is one of the shrubs that needs those leaves to regenerate growth. Cutting away all the leaves will lead to dead twigs.

Making a cut.

Most people use hedging shears to get their lavender pruned. Shears do a great job, and get it done much quicker that hand pruners. I like to do it the slow way because it creates more texture. And I have gotten fed up with the smooth meatball look that is so common today.

Remember, the leafy cuttings can be used either fresh or dry to create a relaxed mood or encourage sleep. 

The trimmings can be composted or used
to help relaxation.


  1. I have a lavender plant that is in severe need of pruning. Is it too late to cut it back? It's very woody and not very pretty anymore.

  2. My lavender is setting flower buds now and yours probably are too. Wait until after they have bloomed. Then you can prune without losing the wonderful flowers.

  3. Nice site. I found it through a beekeeping forum on FB. I want to start a lavender bed for our bees and we live in central NY, zone 5. What is the best lavender for bees and can I save the seeds for future planting?

  4. The species Lavandula angustifolia or English lavender is the most winter hardy and the most likely to do well in a zone 5. There are many varieties of this species that will do well with your bees. The biggest difference the bees will notice is the size. The bigger size will be easier to notice for your bees.

    Check with a local nursery to see what varieties of L. angustiflia are available. Make sure they understand you want the species and not a hybrid and the seeds will be good. Lavender seeds will often sprout on there own where I live in Utah, but they are a bit finicky when you are actually trying to get them to start.

    If you can not find something local, drop me a line and I will give you some links to online dealers. If you need help sprouting the seeds let me know and I will post instructions.

    Remember, you will need to have full sun and well drained soil for best growth. Any cold spots you have in your garden should also be avoided.

    Good luck and enjoy both your bees and your lavender!