“Prune lavender twice a year – in the summer right after blooming and in the spring before its starts to grow again” – I can’t say how many times I’ve heard and read this sentence again and again. Without real explanation and understanding why to do so, I used to follow the rule of early spring pruning only for preventing my precious lavender from becoming too leggy. So equipped with the tools when the snow have melted, I pruned my lavender back really hard.
After studying closely many wonderful pictures from lavender farms I realized that they prune it in different way – the shape of the shrub seems round and flowers appear on all sides of the lavender sphere. Also last spring when I visited Hampton Court gardens I studied closely the beds planted with lavender. Even in mid May, after such hard and long winter Europe suffered this year, almost naked lavender shrubs looked beautiful and well tended – shape made the difference.
The key to success of getting most of lavender shrub is to prune it lightly in the summer actually. After flowers turn brownish and they represent no value to visiting bees, you remove the flowers by clipping the flowering stems close to the hard wood, but then there is usually many other stems that grow – prune them all lightly – just the tips. This will give them a chance to a lot of new growth that will flower. Although some of them will flower again this year, majority will flower next summer. Whilst clipping your lavender try to get the slightly round shape – clip lower the side stems and higher mid stems. This will give more light to the middle stems which will produce more new side shots. With the time also your lavender shrubs will become wonderfully spherical.
This is how I pruned my potted lavender yesterday. It was time to prune it - I have watched a bee bumping fast with dissapointment from one flower to another, so it was a sign there is nothing more interesting there :)