Lavender is a hardy small shrub that is perfect for dry spots, it is also one of the longest blooming shrubs in the garden. Long prized for its oil and beautifully scented flowers, it makes a fantastic addition to any garden, pot or as low hedging. In New Zealand, the three main varieties are; English, Italian (also known as Spanish) and French lavender.
It is perfect for mass planting, it can be topiarised and lends a beautiful ambience to your garden. Lavender is a bee friendly plant that provides food for them.Annual pruning is important to keep it in shape and prevent it from growing woody and leggy which can shorten the plant's lifespan.
How to prune new lavender plants
It is best to start pruning your lavender when it is a small, to encourage root growth and branching stems. Trim it back between a third and a half, to encourage a nice rounded form before planting it. Cut outside stems slightly shorter than the centre stems to give it a rounded shape from the beginning. You may get a light re-bloom,you can remove those too.
How to prune established lavender
Lavender is a fast growing plant and by its second year it should be twice the original size. Once the flower blooming has finished, follow this simple pruning plan to keep your lavender looking great for years to come.
- Look for the woody base of your plant, this is the area where the softer green growth meets the woody stem.
- Prune back the soft new growth about 5cm above the woody base. To keep it in a tidy rounded habit, shape it so that it is even all over with the outside stems shorter than the centre stems.
- Avoid cutting into the woody part of your lavender as it will not regrow from the wood very well. Do not remove more foliage than is recommended. This stresses the plant,leaving not enough foliage to grow on from
- The best time to trim lavender is in late summer after flowering has finished.This allows time for new growth to harden off before winter.