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Discover Lavender

When Should You Prune Lavender?

When Should You Prune Lavender

Spring is finally here and if you are like me, you are ready to get outside and start to prepare your flower beds and vegetable gardens. But, what about your lavender? What can you do to ensure that your lavender plants are healthy and full of flowers this summer?

Regular pruning is one of the best ways to ensure your lavender is bursting with flowers and keeping them from getting woody and gangly looking. You can prune in the spring or in early fall, but timing is critical. If you are pruning in the fall, make sure your pruning is done 4-6 weeks before your first frost. This gives your lavender a chance to heal and gain some strength before it goes dormant for the winter. In the Northeast (zone 6b), a good rule of thumb is to prune before Labor Day.

If you are like me and your lavender is still blooming and covered with bees in the fall, you may procrastinate and be tempted to prune later. If this happens, be strong! If you missed Labor Day pruning, it is best to wait until the spring!

But, not too early in the spring! As tempting as it may be, wait until you know you are only 4 weeks away from the last frost and your lavender has started to green up and show new growth. For us, that means wait until April 15.

I know, it is hard to wait, especially during these warm spring days. Use this time to remove all the leaves and other debris from the base of your lavender plants. Remember - lavender hates to be wet and soggy.

Once you are ready to prune follow these steps:

  • Cut back about 1/3 or less of the leaf tips
  • Don’t cut down into the woody part of your plant
  • Remove and dispose of all the clippings

Good luck and remember - regular pruning is essential to keeping your lavender healthy and thriving for many years.

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