‘Best’ times of year to prune lavender to ‘encourage growth’

Gardening tips: Expert on how to grow lavender at home

Lavender plants are popular but many people don’t realise they need to be pruned regularly to stop them looking unattractive. If they grow out of control they can look straggly and woody and won’t be able to hold their own weight.

However, lavender doesn’t need pruning too hard as it can damage the plant. The shoots need to be removed to within 2cm of the previous year’s growth

With this in mind, Paul Hicks, marketing and product manager at STIHL GB, has shared the “best” time of year to prune lavender to “encourage growth”.

Paul explained: “Lavender is a very stunning flower, that is most commonly known for its scent and being a very bee-friendly plant too.

“Thankfully it is quite easy to maintain and prune, to keep it looking fresh all year round.

“It is best to trim lavender twice a year to encourage growth both at the end of summer and in spring.

“This will tighten up the shape of the shrubs and will encourage re-growth.

“English lavender especially tends to open its shape, becoming leggy, woody and splayed as the years go by.”

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Paul said when pruning at this time of year, gardeners only need to prune down to new growth.

In summer, gardeners can also take cuttings of the new growth to create more lavender plants for free.

Some experts also claim lavender can be pruned in autumn after the plant has finished flowering.

Once the plant has stopped flowering, don’t prune it too hard as it may not survive the cooler weather.

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Rather than pruning back hard, cut off any dried flowers to gently scent clothes and pillows.

If gardeners forget to prune French, Spanish and less hardy lavender varieties in the summer, they should wait until spring.

Lavender should only be pruned in spring if tire’s new growth on the plant.

The popular plant should never be pruned during the winter months due to frosts.

Lavender plants are popular with pollinators and are often teeming with bees, butterflies and other nectar-loving insects.

English lavenders are the most common varieties in the UK and flower from midsummer until the end of July.

The most common is Lavandula angustifolia which has grey-green leaves and deep purple flowers, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

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