Cutting Back Lavender Plants


Lavender is a hardy and resilient herb well adapted to sunny, dry climates. Other than occasional watering, maintaining healthy lavender only requires a yearly trim. Pruning lavender bushes at least once per year encourages new growth and new flowering every year. Start pruning while your lavender plants are still young in the spring or fall to promote branching and flowering during the growing season.

Step 1

Pinch out new growth on your lavender bushes during their first growing season. This will encourage your plant to grow laterally. Cut off flower buds as they appear for a extra flowering during the second growing season.

Step 2

Cut new branches back to just above the foliage and woody growth in the fall before the first freeze or in spring after the first flowering. Remove up to a third of each plant once per year. Leave new green leaves on the plant and do not cut into woody branches.

Step 3

Cut older, woodier lavender bushes back by a third in the spring. Thin out any new growth by half after a month. This process should help revive older lavender bushes.

Step 4

Remove any dead woody branches each time you prune.

Tips and Warnings

  • While it is possible to encourage new growth in older lavender plants, it may be easier to start fresh with a new plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Lavender Enchantment: Pruning
  • Garden Action: How to Care for Lavender
Keywords: pruning lavender, trimming lavender, lavender care

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.