The Q&A Archives: Pruning Lavatera Shrubs

Question: We live in Westchester (L.A. 90045) approximately 3 miles from the coast. My two Lavatera shrubs were planted April 2004 and have grown much larger than
I intended despite some occasional light pruning. Also, after several months of
spraying, they are finally pretty much free of wooly aphids! My question is whether I
can prune these shrubs extensively since all the new growth appears to be

Answer: Lavatera responds well to hard pruning. Typically these plants are pruned down to ground level in the spring and they respond by sending up healthy new flowering stems. They can be pruned in the autumn and will develop new stems, but these will be tender and subject to dieback if your garden receives frost. If you'd like to prune them now, you can either take them all the way down, or you can selectively prune out some of the oldest stems and remove the rest in spring. Either way, your plants should produce healthy new growth.

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