How to Prune Lavender

Overview

Fragrant, attractive lavender provides a focal point in beds and borders around the home. The silver-green stems and leaves often stay green year-round and bloom stalks of small purple flowers throughout summer. Lavender is a small shrub that usually reaches 2 to 3 feet in height. The plant isn't just attractive as an ornamental; lavender is also used to flavor tea, in potpourri, and in soaps and candles. Keeping lavender pruned allows it to stay attractive and continue to bloom at its peak.

Step 1

Fill a bucket with one part bleach and nine parts water. Dip the pruning shears in this solution before pruning each new lavender plant so any disease organisms aren't spread to the other plants.

Step 2

Cut off one-third of each lavender shrub from the top of the plants with the shears. Make each cut just above a leaf bud. Prune the lavender in spring when the plant first starts showing new leaf growth.

Step 3

Cut off any broken or damaged stems. Remove these stems 1 inch below the damaged area, or cut them off completely at the base of the plant if the damage is severe.

Step 4

Gather all the trimmed-off plant material from the garden bed and compost or dispose of it. Leaving the material in the bed creates a haven for insects and disease organisms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never cut off more than one-third of the plant during pruning. Lavender does not survive severe cutting back.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Bleach
  • Shears

References

  • Colorado State Extension: Growing Lavender in Colorado
Keywords: pruning lavender plants, lavender shrub care, trimming perennials

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.