Pruning Lavender

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Pruning Lavender - Provided by eHow
Pruning a lavender plant promotes the growth of the root system down below. Prune a lavender plant with tips from a lavender farmer in this free video on growing herbs. View Video Transcript

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Sarah Bader

Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Sarah Bader and my farm is Lavender at Stonegate here in West Linn, Oregon. The question that I get asked most often, is how do you prune lavender? So, today that's what we're going to talk about. Lavender takes three years to get full grown. So, I'm going to show you what a first year lavender plant looks like and how to prune it. When you look at your lavender plant after it's get planted, notice that this part right here is what's called the hardwood and this part here is what's called the softwood. If you cut too far into the hardwood or the softwood, there's a possibility you might loose your plant. So, what I always tell people in the first year is when you prune it prune it about two inches above the softwood. I know it seems extreme, but if you cut it like this what that does is it promotes the growth from down below. It allows for a better root system and the lavender tends to get more compact and it has more of a mound-like appearance. So, in the first year this is how you want your lavender plant to look in the spring. So, by year two this is what your lavender plant is going to look like. It's going to have a few blossoms, maybe twenty or thirty blossoms. So, when you cut your blossoms off in the second year usually June or July what you're going to want to do when you harvest is again cut it about two inches above the wood. By now, your plant's stating to get a mound-like appearance. Which, is what you want. And, then cut around the sides like this. Even these little scragglies down here. There you go. Now, that's a second year plant. So, as you can tell what I've done is I've taken off some of the extra growth that you get here. But, you can still see your pretty blossoms there and that's about as big of a bunch as you're going to get in year two. As you can tell, by year three your plant has gotten full size. And, what you want to do when they start blooming like this. See, you can tell that these little flower blossoms are just starting to come on. So, that'll make a really pretty bouquet or you can hang it upside down in a cool dry place. And, what that does is makes a really pretty bunch for you. So, what you want to do is get a knife something like this. This is what's called a harvesting knife. And, see how it's serrated there and curved? So, these make really good harvesters for lavender. So, what I do is I grab a handful like this and then pull it towards me. See? So, you've got probably a good six or seven bunches per plant once they get to year three. So, this just gives you an example of how you're going to want to harvest your lavender by year three. Now, keep in mind that in year one from year one to year two they double in size. And, by year two to year three they get two-thirds bigger than that. So, that's why by year three your lavender plant is going to look like this. If you harvest your, I'm sorry if you prune your lavender like this in the beginning then you're going to have a nice tight mound. And, your lavender plant will last you a good twenty years. So, make sure you prune it correctly in the beginning and you'll have a big full beautiful lavender plant.