Fall Pruning - Knowledgebase Question

montgomery, Il
Question by nwalzak2000
October 19, 2009
Should I cut back my munstead lavendar plants and butterfly bushes? I heard that if you cut back lavenar in the fall they may not survive the winter. They say the plants will give up trying to live after they are cut back in the cold fall weather. Any truth to that? I live in zone 5.
Thank you

Answer from NGA
October 19, 2009


What you've read is correct. Your lavender and butterfly bushes should not be trimmed until next spring.

When you prune you signal the plant to put out new growth. This is fine in the spring and summer months, but not in the fall because any new growth that develops now will not have a chance to harden off and will die over the winter months. So rather than store energy for the spring flush of growth, your plants will use up energy developing new growth in the fall, which will weaken it. Hope this clarifies things for you!

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