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Lavendar Plants

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How to Prune or Trim Lavender Plants

Sweet-smelling lavender adds interest to the home landscape. These small shrubs produce an abundance of small purple flowers on long stems that are covered in silver-green leaves. The flower stems are harvested for use in teas, as an herb, or to add the sweet smell to potpourri and other fragrance products. Lavender is resistant to most pests and requires little care other than a yearly pruning. The flowers are only produced on new growth, so trimming keeps the lavender attractive and productive, according to Colorado State University Extension.

  • Sweet-smelling lavender adds interest to the home landscape.
  • The flower stems are harvested for use in teas, as an herb, or to add the sweet smell to potpourri and other fragrance products.

Inspect lavender in early spring for new growth. Prune as soon the first green leaves begin emerging from the base of the shrub. Alternately, prune the lavender in fall after the first frost.

Cut off the top one-third of all the lavender stems. Use a pair of clean, sharp shears and remove each stem in one cut. Jagged cuts are unattractive and more likely to leave open wounds that lead to disease. Shape the plant as you prune, cutting it into an even mound.

Trim out sprigs of lavender flowers as desired once the shrub begins blooming. Cut as low on each stem as possible when about half the blooms have opened.

How to Transplant Lavender Plants

Water the lavender plant thoroughly before digging it up.

Dig carefully around the lavender plant, at least 6 inches away from the trunk to avoid breaking the roots.

Lift the plant from the ground keeping the root ball intact.

Cut off flowering parts and trim old, dead roots. Leave green stems on the old wood of mature plants. Removing flowering parts when transplanting helps concentrate the lavender plant's energy on root growth

Dig a hole at least 2 times the diameter of the root ball or find a container that is large enough to allow for growth.

Add bone meal and organic compost to the soil. For containers, use a sandy organic potting soil (see tips below).

Water the hole to be sure there is adequate drainage. Water the soil in a container before planting.

Place the plant in the hole and cover the roots with the soil you prepared in Step 6. Water the lavender plant.


Transplant in early fall or spring. Mix sand with organic compost for container planting. Lavender prefers 8 hours of full sun, but it will grow in partial shade. Once established, lavender is a drought resistant plant that needs little water.

How to Prune a Lavender Twist Redbud Tree

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Step 1

Prune the lavender twist redbud while the tree is in full dormancy, which typically ranges from November to February.

Step 2

Remove all dead and broken branches. Cut the branches back to the next living intersection of limbs.

Step 3

Trim all branches that are dragging or touching the ground. Make the cuts to the next intersection of limbs.

Step 4

Cut all vertical branches near the top of the tree’s crown. This will keep the drooping shape to the branches.

Step 5

Prune all interior and exterior branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. Take out the smaller crossing branches first, then work into any larger limbs. Space all limbs approximately 2 inches apart.

Cutting Back Lavender Plants

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.

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.

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.

Remove any dead woody branches each time you prune.


Tie your lavender cuttings with a string and hang upside down in a dry place for use in teas or herbal heat pads.


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

How to Plant Lavender

Purchase a 4-inch tall lavender plant in the fall. Alternatively, take a cutting from a bud-less lavender stem after the plant blooms. Plant it in a pot with well-drained potting soil and keep the cutting moist, but not soaked, until it starts to grow a vigorous root system.

Choose an area to plant your lavender with full sun and well-drained, alkaline soil. Lavender prefers light soils such as sand and well-drained loam.

Dig the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches with a spade, breaking up clumps and removing any rocks and weeds. Lavender does not do well with competition. Mix 1 inch of small bark mulch 6 to 8 inches deep to increase drainage in heavier soils.

Plant the lavender so that the top of its root ball is even with soil level. Space multiple plants 2 to 3 feet apart in rows 3 to 6 feet apart.

Keep the lavender moist, but not soaked, to help establish it. Watering once or twice a week should be enough. Once established, it is a drought-tolerant plant.


You can grow lavender from seed, but it is a long and unpredictable process. Check that the lavender variety you chose is hardy in your region before planting.

Diseases of a Lavender Plant

Root Rot Disease

Avoid over-zealous watering of lavender plants. The roots are shallow and are prone to root rot. Well-drained soils are imperative to this disease. Many gardeners use porous clay pots to provide container lavender plants with additional air to the root system. Mixing pumice into flowerbeds or containers helps with soil drainage to prevent root rot disease.

  • Avoid over-zealous watering of lavender plants.
  • Many gardeners use porous clay pots to provide container lavender plants with additional air to the root system.

Leaf Wilt Disease

Lavender thrives in sunny locations. Lavenders that are grown in partial shade experience leaf wilt. Artificial grow lights indoors help container lavender plants from leaf wilt disease. Lavender plants are excellent for sunny flower beds for home and residential landscaping.

  • Lavender thrives in sunny locations.
  • Lavender plants are excellent for sunny flower beds for home and residential landscaping.

Brown Leaf Disease

Plants use photosynthesis to convert nutrients into energy and new growth. Without photosynthesis, plants die. Chlorophyll is a product of photosynthesis needed to keep plants green and to bloom. According to Cornell University Agriculture Extension, lavender plants are very susceptible to four-lined plant bugs. These bugs extract chlorophyll from lavender plants, resulting in brown leaf.

Large enough numbers of four-lined plant nymphs can completely kill a lavender plant. Treatment with insecticides or washing the lavender plants with liquid dish soap are recommended to keep four-lined plant nymphs away and prevent further damage to the lavender plants.

  • Plants use photosynthesis to convert nutrients into energy and new growth.
  • According to Cornell University Agriculture Extension, lavender plants are very susceptible to four-lined plant bugs.

How to Prune French Lavender

Pinch off dead blooms throughout the growing season of the French lavender. This will encourage new growth.

Examine the French lavender weekly and prune any dead limbs. Hold your pruning shears at a 45-degree angle. Cut the dead branch off at the base, flush to the plant.

Prune approximately 1/4 of the lower branches at the base of the lavender plant the first time you prune. The following year, prune approximately 1/3 of the lower branches at the base.

Prune 1 to 2 inches from the tips of the branches beginning in the third year of the plant’s growth.


Replace French lavender that is older than 10 years or has become woody in texture.

Trim and prune French lavender before the first frost.


Don’t prune French lavender until it is at least a year old.

Never overprune French Lavender or you can kill it.

What Is the Most Fragrant Lavender Plant?

Botanists consider English lavender the most fragrant of the many varieties of lavender. While other varieties, including Spanish and French, share the signature scent, English or true lavender features high concentrations of aromatic oil.

Pruning Lavender

Why Is My Lavender Plant Wilting?

The most common lavender problem is wilt. This can be from an unclean environment, improper watering, too much mulch or improper irrigation. The best treatment is to remove and discard the plant.

How to Make Lavender Perfume With Lavender Buds

lavender soap image by joanna wnuk from

Stuff the lavender blossoms into one of the plastic bottles. Force them in with the handle of a wooden spoon or similar object if you need to.

heap of the vitamin capsules. image by wrangler from

Introduce the lavender absolute, rubbing alcohol and vitamin E oil to the bottle.

Cap the bottle tightly and shake it vigorously for approximately three minutes, or until the contents of the bottle are mixed and foamy. Continue shaking the bottle after the foam bubbles disappear, and repeat again two more times.

Allow the bottle to sit in a dark, cool place for approximately one week. The week gives the liquid solution time to extract maximum amounts of the lavender essential oils from the petals of the flowers. Shake the bottle vigorously once a day.

Transfer the liquid from the bottle to the other plastic bottle and discard the bottle containing the soggy lavender blossoms.

Add an additional 3 tbsp of lavender absolute to the bottle of perfume to thicken up the scent, if you so desire. Lavender absolute is a water made from the lavender plant and can be obtained from a reliable online retailer.

When to Plant Lavender

You can plant lavender in the spring or fall in an area that gets plenty of sun. Plant these flowers in mounds if your soil does not drain well.

Lavender Insects

Meaning of Lavender Roses

Lavender Means Adoration

Lavender roses can mean “I adore you” or “I am falling in love with you.”

Fairy Tale Flowers

Lavender roses also represent a fairy tale kind of love, like the prince had for Cinderella.

Love at First Sight

Lavender roses can symbolize love at first sight, and they tell someone that the sender finds her enchanting.

Lavender Is Unique

Giving lavender roses can tell someone that she is as unique and special as an unusual flower.

A Royal Color

Since the color purple has long been associated with royalty, a lavender or light purple rose also can stand for majesty.

Lavender Plant Information


The Lavender is perennial herb ranging in height from 1 to 3 feet, depending on the variety. Leaves are blue-green to blue-gray in color, with narrow, fragrant 1- to 2-inch long blossoms, which sit on slender stems.


Lavender was used both medicinally and therapeutically in both Greek and Roman medicine. The Greeks utilized lavender for laxative and stimulant effects, and the Romans used lavender as a pleasing scent for bathwater.

Growing Lavender

Grow lavender in soil that is fast-draining, preferably sandy and slightly alkaline. Lavender needs full sun, moderate amounts of water and very little fertilizer.


English lavender is very fragrant, achieves heights of 3 to 4 feet, and blooms in July and August. French lavender can bloom throughout the year in milder regions and has flowers slightly darker than English lavender. Spanish lavender is a short, stocky plant, 1 to 3 feet tall, with small dark purple flowers that are approximately 1/4 inch long.

Fun Fact

Lavender is a bee and butterfly attractor. The essential oil of lavender is considered one of the most intricate of essential oils. Lavender also has its place in culinary practices as a flavorful addition to desserts and breads.

Woody Lavender

Lavender Stoechas

Planting Lavender From Cuttings

Lavender as a Houseplant

Starting a Lavender Farm

How to Shape an Ornamental Lavender Plant

Use pruning shears to clip all of the spent flowers immediately after the lavender plant finishes blooming. Remove the flowers and the top inch or two of stems. This pruning will encourage the lavender plants to put forth fresh shoots during the remainder of the growing season.

Watch for additional blooms before the growing season ends. After these blooms die, clip them off just under the blossoms. Do not clip off any additional stems at this time.

Prune the ornamental lavender lightly in the beginning of spring prior to any growth. Shape the plant according to your desires for its appearance. Clip off any straggly or overgrown stems so that the plant has a tight circle or oval shape. This pruning should be minimal.

Repeat steps 1 through 3 after the lavender plants bloom again in mid-summer.


Choose one variety or several different varieties of lavender for a beautiful display of ornamental lavender. Suggestions include Lavandula angustifolia varieties, Lavandula stoechas varieties and Lavandula x intermedia varieties. Lavandula angustifolia varieties often flower for an extended period during the summer. Lavandula stoechas grow into a thick shrub with thick flowers. Lavandula x intermedia varieties typically have large, showy blossoms. All three varieties would make suitable ornamental lavender choices.


Do not clip off any woody stems when pruning the lavender plants. Clip off only new green shoots.

How to Harvest Lavender Seeds

Cut flower stems as soon as the flowers are fully opened, but wait until the weather is dry and the morning dew has evaporated.

Tie bundles of flowers together by the stems.

Put a brown paper bag over each bunch of flowers and secure it below the flowers with gardening twine.

Hang the flower bunches upside down in a dry place where they won't be disturbed; wait a week or two.

Take the bundles down and shake gently, then, keeping the flowers inside the bag, rub gently on all sides to remove the flower seeds completely from the stalks.

Untie the bags, keeping them right-side-up, and remove and discard the stems.

Store the harvested lavender seeds in an airtight container and use within a year; lavender seeds have a short shelf life, according to Mountain Valley Growers.

How to Plant Lavender Bergamot

Prepare a sunny planting area after frost danger has passed. Work the soil with the spade to break up clumps of dirt. Remove any rocks and debris and discard. Add compost to the soil if it is especially heavy. Otherwise, bergamot grows well in most soils.

Create holes in the dirt with your finger. Make the holes 1/8-inch deep and between 18 and 24 inches apart in a row.

Place one seed in each hole and cover the seeds with a light layer of soil. Spray a light mist of water over the newly planted seeds.

How to Plant Lavender Bushes

Chose a location for your lavender in an area of your garden that receives full sunshine. Make an 18 to 24 inch mound of soil for each lavender plant, spacing the mounds according to the heights of each plant. For 3 to 4 foot lavender varieties, space your mounds 3 to 4 feet apart.

Water your lavender plant in its nursery pot and set aside for an hour. Dig a hole in each mound just big enough for the root bundle.

Place a cup of small stones in each hole to help with drainage. Mix equal parts bone meal, lime and manure and add 1/2 cup of the mixture to each hole.

Remove your lavender plant from its container and clear away any excess planting material. Position the root bundle just over the stones, lime, bone meal and manure and fill in soil around the base of the plant.

Water newly planted lavender regularly until the roots are established (several months). Once established, water during dry spells or whenever the soil completely dries out.


Talk to your local nursery about what lavender varieties grow best in your growing zone.

Harvest your lavender when the bottom flowers on your plants begin to open. Cut the plant back to the foliage.


Plant lavender away from any sprinkler system that may cause over watering.

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