Perennials forum: Lavender care

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Oct 20, 2014 2:49 PM CST
This is one of my love-hate plants. I like to have some in my garden but find it difficult to care for. I don't know how or when to properly prune them and usually end up with stocky and woody plants that I eventually yard out and replace with a fresh start. What do you do in the fall? I've deadheaded all the flower stalks, but am unclear if I should also trim back (or not) the remaining foliage.
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Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Oct 20, 2014 9:20 PM CST
I deadhead in the fall & trim them into a nice mound. I've found that it's important not to prune down into the woody part of the lavender bush. I have heard of lavender coming back from the woodier base, but in my experience that hasn't happened. I think I've read that one shouldn't cut more than a third of the bush back. I've always heard that lavender are short-lived plants. I have several that are five years old & going strong. I don't have a good track record when I transplant them after they've grown for a few years. I live in a mediterranean (very dry) climate, which they seem to enjoy. Years ago, I definitely killed some by overwatering, so I think that good draining soil would be important, but you're so successful with succulents that I know you can provide that! Good Luck - I can't imagine having a garden without lavender...
Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
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Oct 22, 2014 10:43 PM CST
Yes I've had pretty good luck with lavender too. I've grown a couple from seed and kept in pots on the deck, after a couple years the first one got root bound and looked unhealthy but it sprung back when I replanted in the driest part of garden close to the dry zone under the eaves. It likes that little desert area where not much will grow.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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Oct 23, 2014 2:58 AM CST
My Lavender care is the same as Liz. I have had the Munsteads last years and they do get leggy and woody but about then they succumb to a winter freeze.
I have also grown the dwarf Silver. It was 4 years old until last winter ,then ka-put.
Trimming to the wood is the way to go. I believe if you trim too hard it leaves the plant open to winter moisture and rot.

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