Cutting Lavender: Tips And Tricks From The Experts
Lavender can be found in almost every garden, but it doesn’t bloom splendidly everywhere. One way to flower splendor lies in the right pruning.
The real lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ) is an absolute classic in the garden. But it does not always want to bloom as lusciously and magnificently as its owner would like it to be. This is often due to a bad cut or not performed at all, because many mistakes can be made when cutting. The pruning of the lavender is supposed to prevent the plant from becoming too lignified in the lower part and from developing only a few long shots with few leaves and flowers.
Regular pruning keeps the lavender in shape and promotes plant health. In addition, a rich branching counteracts the balding of older lavender bushes. We list for you what you should consider when shortening the popular purple mint family (Lamiaceae).
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When to cut lavender
Ideally, lavender is cut twice a year: once in spring and once in summer. When cutting lavender in the spring, timing is critical. If it is cut too early and the lavender is still experiencing severe frosts, serious damage to the plant can occur. Therefore, the first cut is best done before budding at the end of March to the beginning of April. You should make the second cut in the summer just before it fades, i.e. in July or August. This enables a second flowering phase in autumn.
Should you cut lavender in autumn too?
An autumn pruning, which is common for most shrubs, is not recommended for lavender. Because if it is cut too late, the lavender no longer has enough power to sprout and winter, so that the interfaces could quickly lead to serious frost damage. In this case, there is no flowering and, in the worst case, the winter hardiness is significantly reduced. The lavender could wake up clearly drawn from its hibernation next year.
How to properly cut lavender
When cutting the lavender, you should never cut too deeply. Depending on the growth and growth phase, the cut should also vary in strength. In spring it is best to cut back about one to two-thirds of the lavender just before budding. After it has faded in summer, you can cut it back halfway. In principle, young lavender plants should be cut back more than older ones. You can cut the shoots up to a maximum of the half to promote compact growth.
With older lavender bushes, however, special caution is required. First, remove any withered inflorescences. Then cut rather cautiously and not too deep (about 10 cm) in a bushy shape. The lavender can only sprout with great effort or not at all from the branches that are too woody and close to the ground.
In contrast, a cut that is too high does not harm the plant but also does not contribute to high-quality care. Without a regular cut, the lavender can become very lignified under optimal growing conditions. If it has not been pruned for a few years, it is, therefore, advisable to rejuvenate the lavender in small steps over several years so that the plant is not damaged.
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How is lavender properly cut?
- Cut twice a year
- Spring pruning in March to April: one third to two thirds
- Summer cut in July or August: a third to a half
- Young plants can be pruned harder than older ones
- Do not cut into too lignified parts of the plant
You can also find out more about the correct care of lavender here in our special article.
Cut lavender to dry
The fragrant lavender flowers can be harvested and used to make various products. Tea, sachets, and lavender oil are just a few well-known examples. The flowering branch tips are used for this. For the harvest, the whole lavender bush is cut back at the right time (mid-July). It is best to cut the stems about 10 cm below the base of the flower. Then you can tie small bouquets and hang them upside down in a dry, airy place.