When and How To Prune Lavender – Beautiful Blooms Every Year

When it comes to maintaining a healthy, vibrant lavender plant, proper pruning can make all the difference. Pruning not only helps to promote growth but also encourages better blooming and a more attractive shape. As you embark on the journey of caring for your lavender, it’s essential to learn some of the most effective tips and tricks for pruning and upkeep.

Taking the time to properly prune your lavender will provide you with a flourishing plant that is the envy of your neighbors and a delightful addition to your garden. Knowing when to prune, how to do it, and which tools to use are all necessary aspects of lavender care.

By following some simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying beautiful, fragrant lavender all season long.

Why Prune Lavender

Pruning lavender is essential for several reasons. In this section, we will explore the benefits of pruning and the impact it has on your lavender plants.

Promote Growth

Pruning helps to promote new growth in your lavender plants. By removing dead or damaged branches, you’re encouraging the plant to focus its energy on producing healthier growth. When you prune your lavender, aim to remove about a third of the plant’s total height, focusing on the older, woodier stems. This will help to stimulate a new flush of growth, ensuring that your lavender continues to thrive and grow.

Maintain Shape

Regular pruning also helps to maintain the shape and overall appearance of your lavender plants. As lavender grows, it can become quite woody and develop an irregular form if left to its own devices. Pruning helps to keep the plant tidy and compact, allowing you to guide its growth in a more visually appealing direction. Additionally, a well-shaped lavender plant has better air circulation, which helps to keep it healthy and free from problems like fungal diseases.

Encourage Blooming

One of the primary reasons for growing lavender is to enjoy its beautiful and fragrant blooms. Pruning encourages the plant to produce more flowers by promoting the growth of new shoots, which in turn lead to more blooms. It’s best to prune lavender immediately after it has finished flowering, as this gives the plant ample time to produce new growth and buds for the next blooming season. By following these pruning tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your lavender’s beautiful blooms for many years to come.

When to Prune Lavender


Seasonal Timing

Pruning lavender is essential for the health and appearance of your plant. The best time to prune your lavender is in the late summer or early fall, just after the plants have finished blooming. This gives the plant time to produce new growth and prepare for the colder months ahead. You can also give your lavender a light trim in the spring to remove any dead or damaged parts, but avoid cutting back too much at this time.

Plant Stage

When it comes to determining when to prune your lavender, it’s essential to consider the stage of growth that your plant is in. If your lavender is a young plant, focus on shaping it during the first couple of years. As your plant matures, the pruning process will evolve. In the second and following years, you’ll want to focus on removing the old, woody growth and promoting new, healthy growth. This will encourage your lavender to have a more compact and attractive shape. Remember, no matter the age of your plant, it’s essential to be gentle and precise when pruning to keep your lavender healthy and thriving.

In summary, pruning your lavender should be done both seasonally and according to its stage of growth. Be sure to prune it in the late summer or early fall and cater your pruning technique to the specific needs of your plant as it develops. By doing this, you’ll help ensure that your lavender remains healthy, well-shaped, and a beautiful addition to your garden.

Techniques for Pruning Lavender

When it comes to pruning lavender, there are several techniques you might want to consider. In this section, we will discuss hard pruning, soft pruning, and deadheading.

Hard Pruning

Hard pruning is typically done when you want to rejuvenate an old or overgrown lavender plant. To perform a hard prune, follow these steps:

  1. Wait until early spring, after the last frost but before new growth appears.
  2. With a sharp pair of pruning shears, cut back the entire plant, leaving about 1-3 inches of the woody base.
  3. Make sure not to prune below the lowest set of buds, as it may take a considerable time for the plant to recover.

This type of pruning may seem extreme, but it can greatly benefit the health and appearance of your lavender plant over time.

Soft Pruning

Soft pruning is the process of shaping and maintaining a lavender plant while encouraging new growth. To perform a soft prune, use these guidelines:

  1. Prune lavender in late summer, after the plant has finished blooming.
  2. Remove about one-third of the plant’s height, trimming just above the leaf nodes.
  3. Shape the plant by cutting back any uneven or overgrown branches.

Soft pruning will encourage fresh growth and help maintain your lavender’s compact, bushy appearance.


Deadheading is the removal of spent or faded lavender flowers. This can be done throughout the blooming season to encourage continuous flowering and prevent seeds from forming. Here’s how to deadhead your lavender plant:

  1. Locate the spent flower stems, which will have faded flowers and may begin to turn brown.
  2. Using a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, snip off the flower stem just below the wilted blossom.
  3. Continue this process for all the spent blooms on the plant.

By incorporating these pruning techniques into your lavender maintenance routine, you’ll help your plants thrive and enjoy their fragrant blooms for years to come.

Common Mistakes to Avoid


When it comes to pruning lavender, less is more. Avoid cutting too much of the plant at once, as this can lead to stress and slow its growth. Instead, aim to remove only about a third of the plant during each pruning session. This allows the lavender to maintain its healthy shape while encouraging new growth.

Incorrect Timing

Pruning too early or too late in the season can have negative effects on your lavender plants. The best time to prune is in late spring or early summer, just after the first bloom. This gives the plant plenty of time to recover and produce new growth before the colder months set in. If you prune during the winter or early spring, the plant may not have enough energy to bounce back, which can lead to weaker, less-hardy growth.

Using Dull Tools

Using dull or unsanitary pruning tools can lead to damage and disease in your lavender plants. Make sure to sharpen your tools regularly and clean them with rubbing alcohol before and after each use. This not only ensures clean cuts, but also helps prevent the spread of infections among plants. With sharp tools at your disposal, you’ll be better equipped to prune with precision, avoiding damage to the plant and boosting its overall health.

By keeping these common mistakes in mind, you can confidently prune your lavender plants for a lush, vibrant, and beautifully scented garden.