The Q&A Archives: Spanish Lavender-

Question: My 4 or 5 year old Spanish Lavender is growing quite well- too well for its space. When and how to prune it, please. Thanks

Answer: Lavender is such a beautiful plant and the scent is heavenly, but it's very particular and doesn't like not getting it's way - a bit like those Victorian ladies they remind us of: fussy, fussy, fussy. Lavender grows best in dry, almost arid conditions. It doesn't need fertile soil, and can get "leggy", looking rather sloppy if fertilized or watered too much. Lavender absolutely demands good air circulation, and humidity will do her in.

In my experience it is best to prune lavender twice. In early spring, trim off any winter-killed branches, then do a bit of a "crew cut" to tidy the shape. Immediately after bloom, cut back quite hard again, perhaps by half. Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule as to how much to take off -- the spring pruning is really dictated by the severity of the winter damage and overall shape of the plant. Good luck with your lavender!

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