How to Prune Lavender: Why, When & to Get Best Results, Types

Pruning lavender is essential for best results. Knowing why, when, and the types of lavender you have can help you achieve optimal pruning outcomes.

Lavender pruning is important for maintaining the health and shape of the plant, encouraging new growth, and preventing woody stems. Different types of lavender may require specific pruning techniques, so understanding the variety you have is crucial. We will explore the reasons behind lavender pruning, the best time to prune, and the various types of lavender and their specific pruning needs.

By following these tips, you can ensure your lavender plants thrive and continue to bring beauty and fragrance to your garden.

Understanding Lavender Pruning Basics

Lavender is a fragrant and versatile plant that can add beauty and charm to any garden or landscape. But in order to keep your lavender thriving and looking its best, it is important to understand the basics of pruning. In this section, we will explore why pruning lavender is important, the benefits it offers, and when to prune for optimal results.

Why Pruning Lavender Is Important

Pruning lavender is not just about maintaining its shape and size, but it is also vital for the overall health and longevity of the plant. Here are some key reasons why pruning lavender is important:

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  • Encourages growth: Regular pruning stimulates new growth in lavender plants, leading to a fuller and more vibrant appearance.
  • Enhances air circulation: Pruning helps to improve air circulation around the lavender plant, reducing the risk of diseases such as root rot and mildew.
  • Prevents woody growth: Without regular pruning, lavender can become woody and overgrown. Pruning helps to limit this woody growth and keeps the plant compact and manageable.

The Benefits Of Pruning Lavender

Pruning lavender offers several benefits, both for the plant and the gardener. Here are the main advantages of pruning lavender:

  • Promotes flowering: Pruning encourages lavender plants to produce more flowers, resulting in a more visually appealing display.
  • Extends flowering season: By removing spent flowers and lightly pruning the lavender after each bloom cycle, you can extend the flowering season and enjoy the vibrant colors and lovely scent for a longer period.
  • Aids in harvesting: Pruning lavender helps to facilitate the harvesting process, making it easier to gather the fragrant blooms for culinary or decorative purposes.

When To Prune Lavender For Optimal Results

Timing is crucial when it comes to pruning lavender. To ensure optimal results, follow these guidelines for when to prune your lavender:

  • Spring pruning: In early spring, once the danger of frost has passed, lightly prune the lavender plant to remove any dead or damaged growth from the previous season. Be careful not to cut into the woody stems.
  • Summer pruning: After the lavender has finished its first bloom in early summer, lightly prune it to remove spent flowers and shape the plant. This will encourage a second bloom, prolonging the flowering season.
  • Fall pruning: In late fall, after the final bloom cycle has finished, prune the lavender again, this time more heavily. Cut back about one-third of the plant’s overall size. This helps to prevent the lavender from becoming too woody and prepares it for winter dormancy.

By understanding the basics of lavender pruning, you can keep your plants healthy, beautiful, and in optimal condition for years to come. Remember to prune at the right times, enjoy the benefits it offers, and savor the delightful fragrance and stunning blooms that lavender brings to your garden.

Step-By-Step Guide To Pruning Lavender

Pruning lavender is an essential task to keep your plants healthy, promote growth, and ensure they bloom beautifully. Whether you have english lavender, french lavender, or spanish lavender, each type requires specific techniques to get the best results. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of pruning lavender, providing tips and instructions for each type.

Preparing For Pruning: Tools And Supplies

Before you begin pruning your lavender plants, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sharp pruning shears or scissors: Ensure your tools are clean and sharp to make clean cuts and prevent any damage to the plant.
  • Gloves: Protect your hands from the plant’s foliage, which can be prickly and irritate the skin.
  • A container or bag: Use this to collect the pruned stems and minimize mess.
  • Disinfectant: It is advisable to disinfect your pruning tools between plants to prevent the spread of diseases.

Pruning Techniques For Different Types Of Lavender

Pruning techniques can vary depending on the type of lavender you have. Here are the specific pruning instructions for english lavender, french lavender, and spanish lavender:

Pruning English Lavender

English lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is a popular variety known for its aromatic fragrance and beautiful flowers. Follow these steps to prune english lavender:

  • Wait until late summer or early fall to prune, once the plant has finished blooming.
  • Remove spent flower stems by cutting them back to the first set of leaves or just above the foliage.
  • Avoid cutting into woody stems as they may not regrow.
  • Take care not to remove more than one-third of the plant’s total growth.

Pruning French Lavender

French lavender (lavandula stoechas) boasts vibrant, showy flowers and a strong scent. When pruning french lavender, follow these guidelines:

  • Prune in late spring or after the first flush of blooms.
  • Cut back the flower stems to just above the foliage, leaving a few inches of stem to encourage new growth.
  • Remove any dead or damaged stems.
  • Avoid cutting into the woody stems at the base of the plant.

Pruning Spanish Lavender

Spanish lavender (lavandula stoechas) is distinct with its pinecone-like flowers and gray-green foliage. Here’s how to properly prune spanish lavender:

  • Prune in early spring or late winter before new growth starts.
  • Trim the plant back to around two-thirds of its original size, leaving some foliage to protect the plant.
  • Remove any dead or damaged stems, cutting them back to the base of the plant.
  • Lightly shape the plant to maintain a neat appearance.

Tips For Proper Pruning: Dos And Don’Ts

To ensure you achieve the best results when pruning lavender, here are some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Do prune lavender annually to maintain its shape and promote new growth.
  • Do prune after the first bloom to encourage a possible second bloom.
  • Do trim back any dead or damaged stems to prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Do harvest and dry the pruned stems for various uses, such as potpourri or herbal remedies.


  • Don’t prune lavender in winter when the plant is dormant.
  • Don’t prune lavender too harshly, especially into woody stems, as it may not recover.
  • Don’t overwater lavender immediately after pruning, as it can lead to root rot.

Pruning lavender may seem daunting at first, but by following these step-by-step instructions and considering the specific needs of each lavender variety, you will be well on your way to maintaining healthy and thriving plants. Happy pruning!

Best Practices For Pruning Lavender

Lavender is a beautiful and versatile plant that can add a touch of elegance to any garden. But to ensure your lavender thrives and remains healthy, proper pruning is essential. In this section, we will explore the best practices for pruning lavender, including when and how to prune for shape and size control, maximizing blooming and fragrance, and pruning lavender in different seasons and cold climates.

Timing Is Everything: When To Prune Lavender

  • Pruning lavender should be done at the right time to promote healthy growth and abundant flowering.
  • The ideal time to prune lavender is in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge.
  • Avoid pruning too late in the spring or summer, as this can lead to a reduction in blooms.
  • Pruning lavender in the fall is not recommended, as it may interfere with the plant’s ability to survive the winter.

How To Prune Lavender For Shape And Size Control

  • Start by removing any dead or damaged branches, cutting them back to the base of the plant.
  • To maintain a compact shape, prune lavender by cutting back approximately one-third of the plant’s height.
  • Use sharp pruning shears or secateurs to make clean cuts, ensuring minimal damage to the plant.
  • Avoid cutting back into old wood, as lavender has limited ability to produce new growth from older stems.

Maximizing Blooming And Fragrance Through Pruning

  • Pruning lavender helps to stimulate new growth, resulting in increased blooming and fragrance.
  • After the initial spring pruning, it is beneficial to deadhead spent flowers throughout the blooming season.
  • Deadheading involves removing faded flowers by cutting them back to a healthy set of leaves or buds.
  • Regular deadheading not only encourages more blooms but also helps to maintain the plant’s overall appearance.

Pruning Lavender In Different Seasons: Spring, Summer, And Fall

  • In spring, prune lavender to shape the plant and remove any winter damage.
  • During the summer, focus on deadheading to promote continuous bloom and maintain a tidy appearance.
  • In the fall, avoid major pruning and allow the plant to prepare for winter dormancy.
  • However, if your lavender has become overly woody or leggy, you can lightly trim it back in the fall.

Pruning Lavender In Cold Climates: Winter Care Tips

  • Cold climates present unique challenges when it comes to pruning lavender.
  • Before winter sets in, prune lavender lightly to reduce the risk of damage from snow and ice.
  • Avoid cutting back too severely, as this can expose the plant to cold temperatures and frost damage.
  • Applying a layer of mulch around the base of the plant can help protect lavender during the winter months.

Remember, proper pruning is crucial to the health and vitality of your lavender plants. By following these best practices, you’ll be able to maintain beautiful, fragrant lavender for years to come.

Troubleshooting And Common Mistakes

Pruning lavender is an essential task to maintain the health and beauty of this aromatic plant. However, it’s important to approach pruning with care, as improper techniques can harm the plant and lead to unsightly results. In this section, we will focus on troubleshooting and common mistakes associated with pruning lavender, so you can avoid these pitfalls and achieve the best possible results.

Keep reading to learn more!

Signs Of Overpruning Lavender

Overpruning lavender can weaken the plant and hinder its ability to thrive. Here are some signs that indicate you may have gone overboard with your pruning efforts:

  • Stunted growth: If you notice that your lavender plants are not growing as vigorously as they should, it may be a result of overpruning.
  • Fewer blooms: Lavender typically produces an abundance of beautiful blooms, but if you’re seeing fewer flowers than usual, it could be a sign of excessive pruning.
  • Yellowing leaves: Overpruning can cause stress to the plant, leading to yellowing leaves. If you see this happening, it’s time to reassess your pruning techniques.

Addressing Common Pruning Problems

Pruning lavender can be a tricky process, but with the right knowledge, you can avoid common problems. Here are a few issues that arise during lavender pruning and how to address them:

  • Leggy growth: If your lavender is growing leggy with elongated stems and sparse foliage, it may be due to inadequate pruning. To address this, make sure you prune more vigorously, cutting back stems to promote bushier growth.
  • Woody and unruly plants: If your lavender has become woody and unruly, it’s likely a result of neglecting regular pruning. The solution is to rejuvenate the plant by giving it a hard prune in early spring. Cut back about one-third of the plant, removing any dead or damaged wood.
  • Uneven growth: Sometimes, lavender can exhibit uneven growth with certain parts of the plant growing more vigorously than others. To correct this, prune the overgrown areas lightly while leaving the weaker sections untouched. This will help balance growth and ensure a more uniform appearance.

Correcting Mistakes: How To Revive Overpruned Lavender

If you accidentally overprune your lavender and it appears weak or damaged, don’t despair. It is possible to revive the plant with a few corrective measures:

  • Stop pruning: First and foremost, stop pruning the lavender entirely to allow the plant to recover.
  • Water properly: Ensure the plant receives adequate water without overwatering it. Lavender prefers well-drained soil, so be mindful of this when watering.
  • Feed the plant: Apply a balanced organic fertilizer to provide the lavender with essential nutrients for recovery. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.
  • Patience and care: Give your lavender time to rebound. With proper care, including regular watering, feeding, and monitoring, the plant should gradually regain its strength and vitality.

Remember, pruning lavender requires a delicate balance of cutting back enough to promote healthy growth while avoiding overpruning. By understanding the signs of overpruning, addressing common pruning problems, and knowing how to revive the plant if mistakes occur, you’ll be better equipped to maintain your lavender’s health and achieve stunning results.

Happy pruning!

Choosing The Right Lavender Pruning Method

Selecting The Ideal Pruning Method For Your Lavender Variety

Pruning lavender is an essential task for maintaining the health and appearance of your beloved plants. Choosing the right pruning method is crucial to ensure your lavender thrives and produces an abundance of fragrant blooms. Here are some key points to consider when selecting the ideal pruning method for your lavender variety:

  • Factors to consider when choosing a pruning method:
  • Growth habit: Different lavender varieties have varying growth habits, such as compact or bushy. Understanding your lavender’s growth habit will help determine the most suitable pruning technique.
  • Desired shape: Consider the shape you want your lavender to take. Some gardeners prefer a round, ball-like form, while others prefer a more natural, cascading appearance.
  • Time of year: The timing of your pruning can influence the plant’s growth and flowering. Different varieties of lavender require specific pruning schedules, so timing is crucial for optimal results.

Different Pruning Techniques: Shearing Vs Hand Pruning

When it comes to pruning lavender, you have two primary techniques to choose from: shearing and hand pruning. Each method has its advantages and is suitable for different lavender varieties. Here’s a breakdown of the two techniques:


  • Key points about shearing:
  • Involves trimming the entire lavender plant with hedge clippers or electric shears.
  • Ideal for compact or bushy lavender varieties.
  • Promotes a neat, rounded shape and encourages bushier growth.
  • Recommended for maintaining formal hedges or geometric shapes.
  • Advantages of shearing:
  • Allows for quick and efficient pruning, especially for large lavender plantings.
  • Provides a clean and uniform appearance.
  • Reduces the risk of uneven growth and bare patches.
  • Suitable for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance approach.

**hand pruning**

  • Key points about hand pruning:
  • Involves selectively pruning lavender stems using sharp gardening shears or handheld pruners.
  • Suitable for all lavender varieties, especially those with a more natural growth habit.
  • Allows for shaping the lavender with precision, making it ideal for intricate designs.
  • Recommended for gardeners who prefer a more customized and artistic approach.
  • Advantages of hand pruning:
  • Enables you to remove specific stems that are damaged, diseased, or unproductive.
  • Promotes airflow and sunlight penetration, reducing the risk of disease.
  • Preserves the natural form and character of the lavender plant.
  • Provides an opportunity to prune on an individual basis, based on the plant’s specific needs.

Considering Factors For Pruning Success: Climate, Soil, And Growth Habit

When pruning lavender, it’s important to take into account several factors that can impact pruning success. Understanding how these factors affect your lavender variety will help you achieve the best results. Consider the following points:

  • Climate:
  • Lavender varieties have different hardiness levels. Determine if your lavender is suitable for your specific climate.
  • Adjust your pruning techniques based on the ability of your lavender to tolerate frost or extreme heat.
  • Soil:
  • Lavender thrives in well-draining soil. Ensure your soil provides adequate drainage to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
  • Consider the ph level of your soil and provide any necessary amendments to maintain optimal growing conditions for lavender.
  • Growth habit:
  • Different lavender varieties have distinct growth habits. Some are more compact, while others are more sprawling.
  • Tailor your pruning techniques to accommodate the specific growth habit of your lavender for the best results.

By selecting the ideal pruning method for your lavender variety and considering factors such as climate, soil, and growth habit, you can ensure your lavender thrives and graces your garden with its enchanting beauty and captivating aroma. Remember to always prune with care, providing your lavender with the attention and maintenance it deserves.

Maintaining Lavender After Pruning

Caring For Lavender Plants Post-Pruning

After pruning your lavender, it’s important to continue caring for your plants to ensure they thrive and stay healthy. Here are some key points to keep in mind when maintaining lavender after pruning:

  • Fertilizing and mulching lavender:

Lavender plants benefit from regular fertilization and mulching. Consider using organic fertilizers, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to provide essential nutrients to the soil. Apply the fertilizer around the base of the plant, taking care not to let it touch the stems to avoid burn.

  • Fertilize lavender plants once every spring with a balanced slow-release fertilizer.
  • Mulch around the base of the plant with a layer of organic material, such as straw or wood chips, to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
  • Watering lavender: Dos and don’ts:

Proper watering is crucial for the success of your lavender plants, especially after pruning. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow when watering lavender:

  • Do water newly planted lavender regularly, ensuring the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged. Gradually reduce watering as the plant establishes.
  • Do water mature lavender plants deeply but infrequently. Lavender prefers slightly dry conditions, so avoid overwatering to prevent root rot and fungal diseases.
  • Don’t water overhead as this can lead to moisture on the foliage, increasing the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Don’t water lavender in the evening. Water in the morning to allow the foliage to dry before nighttime.
  • Preventive measures for pest and disease control:

It’s essential to take preventive measures to protect your lavender plants from pests and diseases. By implementing the following precautions, you can maintain healthy lavender plants:

  • Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilization, as it can make plants susceptible to pests and diseases.
  • Regularly inspect lavender plants for signs of pests, such as aphids or mites. If detected, consider using natural insecticidal soaps or neem oil to control infestations.
  • Promote good air circulation by pruning back neighboring plants and avoiding overcrowding. This reduces the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Monitor your lavender plants regularly for any signs of disease, such as root rot or powdery mildew. If necessary, use appropriate fungicides or consult with a plant specialist for assistance.

Remember, maintaining lavender after pruning requires regular care and attention. By following these guidelines for fertilizing, watering, and preventative measures, your lavender plants will continue to thrive, providing you with beautiful blooms and a delightful fragrance.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Prune Lavender: Why, When & To Get Best Results, Types

How Do I Prune Lavender?

Prune lavender by cutting back woody stems in late summer or early spring to maintain its shape and encourage new growth. Start by removing one-third of the plant’s height and shape it into a rounded form. Regular pruning will help promote healthy flowers and prevent the plant from becoming woody.

When Is The Best Time To Prune Lavender?

The best time to prune lavender is typically after the plant has finished flowering but before new growth appears. This is usually in late summer or early spring. Pruning at the right time ensures that you don’t remove developing flower buds and encourages the plant to produce more blooms.

What Are The Different Types Of Lavender For Pruning?

There are several types of lavender, including english lavender (lavandula angustifolia), french lavender (lavandula stoechas), and spanish lavender (lavandula dentata). Each type has its own pruning requirements, so it’s essential to know which type of lavender you have before pruning.

English lavender is the most common and requires regular pruning to maintain its shape.

How Does Pruning Lavender Benefit The Plant?

Pruning lavender benefits the plant in several ways. It helps maintain its shape and prevents it from becoming woody, promoting healthier growth and more flowers. Pruning also helps improve air circulation, reducing the risk of disease and pest infestations. Additionally, regular pruning can extend the lifespan of the lavender plant and rejuvenate older plants.


Lavender pruning is an essential task for maintaining the health and beauty of your plants. By understanding why, when, and how to prune lavender, you can achieve the best results and ensure the longevity of your plants. Pruning helps promote new growth, increases flower production, and prevents the plant from becoming woody and leggy.

It is recommended to prune lavender in early spring before new growth emerges or in early fall after the flowering season. When pruning, it is important to cut back one-third of the plant’s height and remove any dead or damaged parts.

There are various types of lavender, each with their own unique growth habits and pruning requirements. By selecting the right pruning techniques for your specific lavender type, you can enhance its overall health and appearance. Remember to avoid over-pruning as it may suppress the plant’s growth.

Pruning lavender requires patience and caution, but the rewards are well worth the effort. So grab your shears and get ready to give your lavender plants the tlc they deserve!

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark[1], a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube,

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