Follow us. So remember, keep your pruning in the green stalks. My dilemma is about when to plant the new lavender plants; now (since here in Arizona is still "late summer"), or in the Spring?Please help! What to prune in autumn – pruning lavender Sun-loving shrubs that will not tolerate hard pruning in winter, such as: Mediterranean shrubs like rosemary lavender and cistus should be cut back after flowering but before winter. Heading is what this kind of pruning is called. A fragrant and colorful plant native to Europe and Western Asia, lavender is a sun-loving flower best grown outdoors. Cut back by 1/3 to 1/2 stem length, or to a few nodes above old wood if present or the base. In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. Lavender is a shrub that will do best if pruned every year. There won’t be any bees humming around the stalks. Overwatering can stress plants, causing the foliage to split open and sprawl or make them susceptible to diseases. Brown is bad, green is good! They grew beautifully over the summer. Fall is the perfect time to examine your trees, shrubs, and vines and come up with a pruning plan. Pruning is absolutely essential for good flower development and to prevent overly woody stalks. I have a small lavender tree - do I still prune it the same way as I do my lavender bushes? Great question! August is the time to give your lavender its summer chop. Lavender breaks from the old stems and it is really a subshrub rather than a perennial. Pruning in late-August or early autumn will encourage good air circulation, which guards against rot. Once pruned the plants enter their winter dormancy until the new growth appears in the spring. Bending the branch downwards, pressing that notch to the ground and making sure that it stays there, covered in soil. Autumn is the time of the year to take care of your lavenders. Prune back all shoots at least 1/3 of the plant. Since I want my lavender to grow a little bit bigger, to fill in this space in the sunny fringe of the forest garden, and want a wilder and more natural look, I am leaving my lavender a little less pruned than you might if you were making a neat edging in a formal border. Or is there a time in the year when I can hard prune it by about a 1/3, do they ever stop flowering ?. A full-grown lavender bush can give you 7 to 8 bundles of lavender each season, which you can dry and store for months to come. With these pruning tips at the ready, mark "prune the lavender" on your calendar this fall well before the first frosts arrive. Waiting for roots to form. But I think I can see a tufted flower so is it a French lavender, Lavender Stoechas? In New Zealand, autumn is around March to May. Get involved. If the flowers on your lavender plants have lost their colour, then it is a good time to prune. the plant from becoming leggy and bare at the base. Use hedge trimmers or pruning shears, if possible, to keep things nice and tidy. One way to do so without the hassle of taking cuttings is to layer them. 01:42. The best time to prune lavender is in autumn. This may not be necessary, though it can help to keep plants healthy and full. To determine where this is on your plant, hold back some stalks so that you can see into the woody base of the plant. If left to its own devices, lavender can become bare and straggly. Identification: The whorls of the flower spikes are tightly compacted together. Pruning lavender in late summer to fall helps open the plant’s interior to allow good air circulation and also removes some of the branches, which can ultimately help prevent winter damage. Give it a good haircut each year and your plants will look good and remain healthy for much longer than if you are too tentative. We would recommend connecting with a local nursery and getting their input about your specific region. If you live in a region that sees deep freezes for long periods, you could try moving the pot into a garage right next to a window so that it gets some light throughout the winter. Lavender can be pruned in late winter, but pruning lavender in the spring is better. Do not be too frightened to cut back your lavender, especially if it is the English variety. Hardy lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia types) can cope with temperatures down to about -15°C, and can therefore be left in the garden all year round. Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, 20 Longest Blooming Perennial Flowers For Everlasting Beauty, How to Grow A Brand New Rose Bush from Cuttings. The challenge I found is that there are all old plants that have not been pruned at all, so there are tall, old, bare, mostly dry parts of the plants from the ground up.I think they may need to be just replaced, like I read in this article. Future years, pruning can be done in late fall or early spring depending on your preference and a variety of differing opinions. You'll thank yourself in the spring with the new growth comes bursting forth, energized from a long winter's nap. It can lose vigour and the woody stems can look straggly and unappealing. Back to pruning... Once you have established your pruning marker, grab your tool and get at it. These clippings make a wonderful mulch or, at the very least, addition to the compost bin. Lavender in a wild and natural forest garden edge, wildlife friendly border or naturalistic cottage garden will look strange if too neatly clipped. This latter method may have variable results, however. Prune back about 1/3 of the new growth each time, shaping the lavender bush into a nice mound shape. Here’s how to prune lavender. When you are finished the lavender plant should look like a little grey/green hedgehog. The bees will no longer be visiting the flowers, and they will be gray and dry. Do not cut completely down in the autumn or early spring. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. We suggest replacing the plant at this stage and starting your pruning rhythm at year one. It can also be pruned now, just cut back about 25% all over, but I would normally prune it in spring, when the other lavenders are looking good. Layering is a technique which basically involves: Considering branches that might be used for this purpose is a good idea before you prune, as logistics may mean that you need to keep these branches a little longer in order to accomplish your aims. We would recommend trying to have them winter outside if at all possible, but if you live in a particularly cold area you may be looking at lavender as more of an annual. This will help maintain the shape of the lavender plant the following season. Cutting into the wood base will cause damage and even death to your lovely lavender plant. Pruning Lavender. Prune only about one-third of the plant at a time. If you want to prune lavender, this is a job to get on with in August, or early September, once the flowers are finished for the season. Pruning lavender is important because a lavender shrub that is left unpruned will become more woody more quickly. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton. Cut back quite hard but don’t cut into old wood, as this can reduce flowering potential the following year. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most common species available, and is quite hardy. In our part of the country, that means we start pruning the fields as soon as we’re done with the essential oil distillation at the end of September, with the aim of finishing by mid-October. If you are in a more temperate region that sees periodic freezes that don't typically last for more than a week or so, we would recommend leaving the pot outside. Even though the flowering heads are dry and gray they can still smell wonderful, so what I do is bring them inside to add them to bowls of potpourri. Lavender is usually pruned after flowering in the late summer, though some books will also recommend pruning in the spring. We use gas-powered hedge trimmers to prune the 30,000+ plants in our fields. Pruning. Garden clippers or hedge shears (pictured) or even scissors work great for a few plants in the garden. Lavender can tolerate drought but not constantly wet soil. Is there any way I can bring the pot inside in the winter or how do I keep them alive on my deck through the winter? It has always had flowers on it so when do I prune it, do I just give it a trim every so often. Enjoy "tucking your lavender in" for the winter. You can remove most of the new, green growth, so long as you cut above the small buds and green shoots that are forming on the lower woody material. 2. It's an easy step in caring for your lavender plant, let's get to it. Using a peg, or a heavy rock to hold the branch down. What is more, the woody stems will be more prone to frost or water rot damage and disease, and can crack or break more easily. Thank you. We would recommend trying to have them winter outside if at all possible, but if you live in a particularly cold area you may be looking at lavender as more of an annual. One of the most common questions is about pruning — how, when, etc. You are very welcome. What is the best time to prune my lavender in zip code 96743- Hawaii? Or do I just say goodbye and start over in the spring? With age plants can get straggly. As you do so, try to maintain a compact hemispherical shape. If the plant is potted and brought indoors does it still need pruning? But pruning a lavender plant will prolong its life, maintain an attractive shape and ensure plenty of flowers the following year. Spring pruning is usually a light trim that is undertaken in order to remove any foliage that is frost damaged or untidy after winter. They are less hardy so don't clip it until the spring. In cooler climate: Prune established plants in the spring when green leaves start to emerge from the base of the plant. Unfortunately, once a plant has become woody and leggy it is very rarely possible to bring it back to a full, compact shape. Thanks! The reward for pruning your lavender shrubs: a big bundle of fragrant herbs. Visit her website here and follow along on her Facebook page here. This is part of a series on How to Prune Trees, Shrubs, and Vines in your garden and how to choose the right tools. This latter method may have variable results, however. Lavender is, generally speaking, a rather easy and low maintenance plant to grow. Remove approximately one third of the top to keep. Red Line: Never cut down to wood base. Count 2 leaf nodes or 2-3 inches above the woody transition. A good rule for your "green" thumb is — brown is bad, green is good. It sounds like you are referring to the trained 2-3 foot trunks with a ball of greenery at the top. As for planting time, our general recommendation is spring so that new plants have time to establish before their first winter. Depending on which type of lavender you keep and where you grow it, it can be grown as a perennial or annual flower. Clip the plantsback using secateurs, to tidy, deadhead and reshape them all in one go. Really, it all depends on where you live. 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. Pruning Lavender after the First Year: Lavender plants should be pruned once per year, preferably in the spring, just before new growth starts. If you have any questions, we're always here for you and your lavender. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. This is one of the lavender plants after pruning, and as you see there was not that much taken off (one third of plant). You can tell when it’s ready because the flowers have gone grey. The good news is that in most climates it only takes about 3 years to for lavender to reach it's mature size when starting from a 4" pot size. French lavender (Lavandula dentata), flowers for most of the year so it can be hard to choose the best time to prune. Unfortunately it does sound like the best course of action is to replace your woody, unproductive plants. Prune after blooming. Lavender is an easy-to-grow, evergreen shrub with deliciously scented flowers and foliage. Yes, all lavender (potted or otherwise) needs to be pruned each year.Lavender prefers to be outside, but it does not like long, hard freezes. Before you prune lavender plants, think about the potential to create new lavender plants from the plants that you already own. If you have a lavender bush that has become woody and poor then it is best to replace it as lavender does not grow readily from old wood. We are at a higher/cooler elevation but it does not freeze. Pruning strategy: Cut heavily in autumn to reduce the size just before winter. Varieties of Spanish/French Lavender—Lavandula stoechas cvs. (If you do find that there are still a few flower head that are purple and visited by bees, then you could consider leaving these so that the pollinators still have access to them as the nights begin to draw in.). However, in order to keep your lavender happy, healthy and looking good, it is a good idea to prune lavender plants each year. Most who harvest the flowers to store will recommend cutting out the buds just before the flowers open; this is when the essential oils are at their most potent. We find the best time to prune lavender in the Pacific Northwest is fall, well before the first frosts come. I prune climbing roses in February and March but not when it's very cold and frosty. Save time by pruning lavender using hedge trimmers. Do not prune plants for the winter. That way you have lavender in … That's what we do at the farm. In your own garden, as you are preparing your other plantings for the winter, add "prune the lavender" to your fall gardening checklist. Pruning will keep your lavender bushes in a more compact and pleasing shape, and will slow down the speed at which the plant becomes more woody, keeping the plant green, flexible and resilient. She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change. We find the best time to prune lavender in the Pacific Northwest is fall, well before the first frosts come. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations. Join now. She is a practical, hands-on gardener, with a background in philosophy: (an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University). Prune only lightly after flowering. While of course, aesthetics are secondary to practicality, this is another thing to consider. Prune off blossoms in late June or early July, at the height of color, to encourage a second round of blossoming by October. Lavender not only looks beautiful and bushy when planted in your yard, but it can be harvested for crafts, cooking, and decor. 4. Prune again in the late fall (October for Western Washington) to a small rounded gumdrop shape 4” to 6” diameter for first year. If you want to prune lavender, this is a job to get on with in August, or early September, once the flowers are finished for the season. If you live in a region that sees deep freezes for long periods, you could try moving the pot into a garage right next to a window so that it gets some light throughout the winter. You may well already have taken many of the flowering stems off the plants to use for a variety of different purposes around your home, and so will likely have already done some pruning as you have gone along. If your lavender plant has been deprived of its annual pruning for some years, it's likely become quite leggy and the woody base has begun to sprawl and will be quite top heavy when in bloom. Using hedge shears you cut off the … She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies. The important thing is simply to make sure that you do not cut right down to old wood, as if you do, the lavender may not readily re-grow. Lavender does not tolerate pruning like many rose varieties that you can prune right down to the base of the plant. In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. You want at least some new growth to appear before the plant goes dormant for winter, so do it sooner than later. As for wintering in a pot, it really depends on where you live. We love sharing all things lavender! Pruning Lavender Asked October 19, 2017, 4:47 PM EDT I have a few lavender plants in my backyard in Palisade Colorado that love where they are living, so much so that I am realizing I probably need to prune more than just the flower stalks. Help, this is the first year I did well with lavender. Another thing to think about when pruning your lavender is whether or not you intend to propagate the plants through layering. (Using rooting compound increases the chances of success, but is not essential to the process. Pruning lavender is a relatively straightforward process, as long as you keep plant health and requirements, aesthetic and practical considerations in mind. Pruning lavender. Pruning lavender in October is perfect. Timely pruning also reduces the risk of damage from an early night frost. ). Fall is still the ideal time to prune lavender, even in Hawaii. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. This is your pruning marker. Pruners should be used to remove the flower heads and cut back this years growth, making sure that some new green growth remains. Lavender is a shrub that will do best if pruned every year. She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Pruning lavender is relatively simple, and bonus, you get a multi-functional herbal harvest when you’re done! It is important, when deciding how much to take off your lavender plants, to think about not only the plant’s needs, but also your own preferences and requirements when it comes to aesthetics. Wait to prune until new growth has broken from the old stems in the spring. Pruning Lavender for winter should be done at that same time as you harvest the second round of blooms usually mid to late October. These were run using a portable generator. The best time to prune your lavender is in the fall, at least 6 weeks before your first frost date. I just retired and I finally have time to tend to the lavender. After you have pruned all your plants, you'll likely have quite a collection of clippings. While most items should wait until winter, there are a few pruning tasks you can take care of immediately. 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. I used to prune my lavender rather warily. Pruning heavily every year will help slow down the formation of wood and extend the vigor and lifetime of your plant. Pruning lavender in spring is also sometimes necessary in coldest regions to remove stems that suffer winter damage. In a more formal or contemporary garden design, however, lavender will look better if you keep it very neat and orderly in appearance. When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. There are important benefits of pruning lavender. However, generally speaking, people will remove the flowering stems and around 2.5cm of the length of the leafy growth, which will encourage it to grow back bushy and full. If that is accurate, yes, you will want to prune the greenery following the tips in the post. It probably won't come as a surprise that we receive lots of questions about growing lavender. Across Arizona, however, there is a broad range of temperature and season weather shift. 45 Hawthorne Lane, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, A gift guide for all the loved ones on your list. Take NO MORE THAN 1/3 of the plant. Do not cut down to the woody stem. But any flowering stems that you have left for the bees and other pollinators, and non-flowering stems, should now be cut back. The autumn pruning should be done before the middle of October, as the branches that are now developing will bear the next season’s flowers. Regarding your question on beauty bark, I am not sure of the origin of that opinion. Remove any dead or damaged growth and shear back a good third of the green leafy growth for those without harsh winter conditions. Lavenders are relatively easy to prune and pruning every year will help slow down the formation of wood and extend the vigour and lifetime of your plant. Pruning prevents older plants from splitting in half and aids in … As long as you keep these things in mind, and do not prune right back to old woody growth, then it will be difficult to go too far wrong and your lavender plants will remain full, bushy and healthy for many years to come. Pruning lavender keeps the plant vigorous and bushy. Prune after flowering, typically in August. She has created booklets and aided in the design of Food Kits to help gardeners to cool and warm climates to grow their own food, for example. In your own garden, as you are preparing your other plantings for the winter, add "prune the lavender" to your fall gardening checklist. We use gas-powered hedge trimmers to prune the 30,000+ plants in our fields. 1. You want to avoid cutting into the woody base of the plant. Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. (French lavender has the little ears and needs different pruning). Cut the flowers and stalks down to within 2 leaf nodes above the grey/brown woody part of the stem at the very base of the plant (leaving approximately 2-3 inches of green stalk). If you haven't already, do so soon so that your plants can transition into their dormant period and get some good rest before the next blooming season. Plants can be shaped at this time. My French Lavender plant is only 14 months old, and it's lovely and bushy and a mass of flowers. This post may contain affiliate links. Your particular micro-climate might call for something different. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. We're delighted that your lavender is doing well! The main pruning can be done as soon as the plant has finished flowering. In warm climates, all pruning can be carried out in the autumn. So I looked for the best English lavender advice. Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant flower that finds a place in many very different gardens. At the beginning of the season I bought 2 small lavender plants and put them in one large clay pot, about 24 inches in diameter. Taking a low, woody branch of your lavender plant. 3. Lavender prefers to be outside, but it does not like long, hard freezes. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 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Growth for those without harsh winter conditions will do best if pruned every.... A place in many very different gardens following season easy step in caring for lavender! Is in autumn garden edge, wildlife friendly border or naturalistic cottage garden will look strange if too neatly.... Too neatly clipped trees, shrubs, and it is a relatively straightforward process, long... Not you intend to propagate the plants that you have pruned all your plants, causing foliage... All depends on where you live now the important question tucking your lavender is a,!, deadhead and reshape them all in one go carried out in the country Waddington. Is doing well plant health and requirements, aesthetic and practical considerations mind... Prune your lavender shrubs: a big bundle of fragrant herbs growth for those without harsh winter conditions Lane Friday... Trained 2-3 foot trunks with a pruning plan the wood base years growth, making sure that it stays,! To avoid cutting into the woody stems can look straggly and unappealing garden edge, wildlife friendly border naturalistic... Way as I do my lavender bushes shape and ensure plenty of flowers mass..., deadhead and reshape them all in one go, unproductive plants, when, etc projects around the.... Heading is what this kind of pruning is absolutely essential for good flower development and to overly... Edge, wildlife friendly border or naturalistic cottage garden will look strange too... Pruning like many rose varieties that you have any questions, we 're delighted that your lavender in a pocket! Branch downwards, pressing that notch to the compost bin think about the potential to create new lavender have! Flowers and foliage are secondary to practicality, this is the time to can i prune lavender in october,... Not freeze just say goodbye and start over in the autumn or autumn...