How to Prune English Lavender


English lavender is a small shrub that is used for ornamental purposes and potpourri as well as a culinary and medicinal herb. The leaves and flowers both have a delicate scent with calming properties that are popular for aromatherapy and for sachets that can be used in drawers to chase away moths. The plant's flowers have been used in cookies and beverages. The flowers also have an astringent property that may be used in beauty rinses. Because English Lavender is a shrub, it should be pruned to maintain its shape and vigor.

Step 1

Time pruning of English lavender in spring when green leaves emerge from the base of the plant.

Step 2

Sharpen your pruning shears before cutting back English lavender. This will help you avoid injuring the plant.

Step 3

Mix a solution containing 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Dip your pruning shears into the solution in between pruning lavender plants to sterilize the shears and prevent the spread of any diseases.

Step 4

Remove 1/3 of the plant by cutting the growth directly from the top of the plant with a heading cut. Make your cut just ahead of the point where a new branch or bud emerges. Never remove more than 1/3 of a plant's total growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Bleach


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Lavandula angustifolia Lavender, English Lavender
  • University of California: Lavender
  • Colorado State University: Growing Lavender in Colorado

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University Extension: Pruning Ornamental Shrubs
Keywords: pruning English lavender, growing herbs, heading back lavender

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."