The Q&A Archives: Pruning Lavender

Question: I would like to know the right time of year to prune my lavender plants -- some have advised early spring, others in the fall. Last year I pruned late fall and the growth was extremely slow and the plants never did very well. Do I prune all the way to within an inch of the trunk? Do I need to prune at all?

Answer: 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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