‘Right amount’ to prune lavender for plant to ‘bounce back’ without ‘killing it’

Gardening tips: Expert on how to grow lavender at home

Annual pruning is an important step gardeners need to take for most long-lasting lavender plants. 

The basics of pruning are the same for all types of lavender, both in the garden and in pots.

Without it they grow a large, lanky, woody base that can split open – it looks bad and shortens the plant’s lifespan.

However, if gardeners cut too far back, i.e. into the woody growth, they are at risk of killing this popular shrub. 

Taking to the Gardening UK Facebook page, one woman had yet to prune her plant as she was unsure of how far back to cut it down. 

READ MORE: Grow more ‘beautiful’ roses ‘successfully’ by following easy rose cutting tips

Hannah Edson wrote: “I have this lovely lavender bush.  It was already this woody when we moved in, but much smaller and unkept.  

“With regular pruning, it has really filled out and become a wonderful ball. It does take up quite a lot of room though.

“How far can I prune it back? It would be nice to get it to grow closer to the wall, to remove that big gap, but I don’t want to kill it off either.”

Along with the post, Hannah shared three photos of her lavender plant outgrowing the space of her front garden.

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Group members took to the comments section to give their opinions. Most claimed that pruning the plant is “easy”, just “don’t cut into the woody bits”.

John Searle said: “Cutting back as far as you can leaving green leaves is the right amount for the plant to bounce back beautifully.

“Personally I’d read up on how to take cuttings from it, and use some of your trimmings to try and propagate a few new plants, then you can dig out the old one and start again (as that plant is always going to be big and woody now).”

Chantel Gibson commented: “I cut my lavender right back to get it to be a smaller shape because it was getting really leggy and they’ve grown back with so much green growth right at the bottom.”

Aparna Kompella said: “This is exactly what I did. However, I suggest giving it a light prune taking 12 to 15 cm off. After two to three weeks you’ll see new growth at the base and that would be your guide for where to prune.”

Jayne Dawson wrote: “I had three lavenders in pots all were struggling. I cut them right down, almost to the ground, and moved them to my border. The following year they grew back beautifully.”

Peter Finch said: “As others have said don’t cut into the old wood, or you’ll probably kill it! Just about any plant grown against a wall will arch out simply looking for light.

“I’ve got a wall down one side of my garden and everything grows away from it. A real pain at times, as I have to stake and tie in a lot of the plants, to try and avoid a complete jungle effect.”

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