July 23, 2010

Pruning lavender for more flowers

“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 :)

14 comments:

Darla said...

Great helpful info here.

Ewa said...

Darla, I am happy you find it helpful - I love lavender and also want more lavender flowers! do you grow lavender?

Bangchik said...

A good approach to get all round flowers. They do look good even naked. ~bangchik

Nicole said...

I love lavender-its one of the flowers I regret I cannot grow in my climate.

PatioPatch said...

glad you posted this as had a recent discussion with fellow gardener about this. Rightly you say in Spring prune close to the hardwood....but not into it or it will die. Mine still lacks that lovely ball shape though

Laura

Ewa said...

Laura - I've pruned many times on the hard wood - lavender seems to not be disturbed buy that, 1 month later there were new shots from branches' lowest parts. However these were 3-4 years old shrubs. When the plant is older it's better to do it partially - not one spring everything.

Ewa said...

Nicole - in your Carnnean garden you have so many wonderful plants we can't grow :)

Elizabeth Barrow said...

Thank you for the good information. We struggle to grow lavender here and any helpful hint is truly appreciated. I saw from your earlier posts that you grow santolina too. That one seems to take the humidity here better than lavender.
Thanks again!
Elizabeth

Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com said...

Hi, Ewa, Thank you for this. I know you were coaching me recently on pruning lavender, so this is a topic of special interest to you. (Did you see those hard wood pics I posted for you at the end of that post??) I will try to take this into account. I do prune twice a year, mostly after, as you say, the bees have no interest in visiting. Right now I'm enjoying TONS of honeybees, bumblebees and butterflies in my lavender (the one you saw). FULL! I love so much finding them busy from early in the morning, though they do require that I get out there and water early or I risk wetting them. :)

C De-sign said...

Thank you for your helpful information! I have very old lavenderplants, and I have to try to make them feel better...... if you look at my blog you can see what i do with them, don´t know the english word for it! Hugs from C

Lisas torp said...

Thank´s for the adwise about lavender!
I have a few plants, and I´m going to follow your adwise!
Lisa

EVA said...

Thanks for your advice..I will try it out.

Mary Pavlides said...

Excuse my ignorance here, you talk about months of the year and those months representing certain seasons, however I'm not sure what part of the globe you are referring to.
Please keep this in mind when referencing seasons.
thanks for all the tips, mary

Ewa said...

Hello Mary,
Welcome here :) Good point you made - I will keep it in mind.
Thank you,
Ewa

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