How and when to prune lavender varies depending on the type of lavender you’re growing. Here are tips for the three most common ones.
ENGLISH LAVENDER (Lavandula angustifolia)
This is the classic English lavender is beloved not only for it’s memorable fragrance, but also for the silvery foliage and stems that add texture to a border. It’s one of the hardier and most commonly grown lavenders with blooms that come on strong in early summer. (And, it makes a great short hedge!)
- Prune right after the first flowering and again in late August after the last flush has faded.
- Cut off about 2/3 of the plant’s height or to just above the bottom two sets of leaves on each stem.
- Take care not to cut into the woody part of the plant which can cause damage.
- Twice a year pruning will keep your plant healthy and compact.
<———— Munstead Lavender, zone 5 – 9
ENGLISH HYBRIDS (Lavandula x intermedia)
The glam, later flowering lavendins (Lavandula x intermedia) have long flowering stems topped by slender tapering flowerheads with stems that splay outwards from a rounded mound of foliage. Use them make as the centerpiece of a border or to highlight corners and edges of beds or where you can enjoy the movement with every breeze.
- Prune in late August after they’ve finished blooming.
- Less hardy than their English cousins take extra care not to cut back into the woody part of the plant.
- Cut back by about 1/2 of the height of the plant leaving plenty of green leaves intact.
- Aim for a tidy, rounded mound of foliage (that looks good in winter, too).
<———– Riverina Thomas French Lavender, zone 5 – 9
NON-ENGLISH (French, Spanish, Wooly, etc.)
These ‘tufted lavenders’ have full, thick flower spikes and flower much earlier, in late spring in warmer zones and early summer in colder ones and often bloom right into fall. Such a diverse collection of lavenders with plenty of variation in fragrance, size, color, texture, and flower heads makes them fun to play with in the garden.
- The least hardy of the garden lavenders which means they need a bit more of a gentle touch.
- Give them a trim after the first flush of flowers has faded.
- Do not cut them back hard as with other kinds of lavenders (it can kill them).
- Deadhead for the rest of the season.
- In late summer shape foliage into a mounded form.
<———— Hazel™ Spanish Lavender, zone 7 – 9