Carleton College calls the lavender (Lavandula spp.) one of the most popular herbs for the modern garden. Gardeners prize the plant for its silver-green, fragrant foliage and purple blossoms. Once established, lavender plants need little maintenance other than occasional watering and annual trimming. This yearly pruning helps encourage new growth, which also helps increase blossom production because lavender plants only grow flowers on new green growth and not old woody branches.
Wait for the plant to exit dormancy and begin growing green leaves before pruning.
Grasp the end of a lavender branch with one hand and wield a machete, sickle or pruning shears in the other hand. Cut off 1/3 of the branch's length as measured from the tip, leaving 2 inches of green stem on the edge of the plant's brown, woody stem. Repeat for all branches.
Rake around the lavender plant to collect the cut foliage. Discard it, or chop it into inch-long pieces and add it to a compost bin.