How to Trim Lavender Plants


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.

Step 1

Wait for the plant to exit dormancy and begin growing green leaves before pruning.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Tips and Warnings

  • Exercise caution when handling pruning equipment to avoid injuring yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning equipment
  • Rake


  • "Your Backyard Herb Garden"; Miranda Smith; 1999
  • Colorado State University: Growing Lavender
  • Carleton College: Lavender
Keywords: trim lavender plants, prune lavender plants, grow lavender herbs

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.