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Is it too late to prune my lavender?

I moved into my house in late august and we have three lavender bushes that are about 24 inch wide. I read that they need heavy pruning in late august but it is now late September. First frost could come in two weeks here or later. Is it too late to prune them? 


  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,395
    A light pruning now should be fine, just removing the flower stalks and up to two cm of this year’s soft growth.  Lavenders don’t respond well to heavy pruning and removing woody stems should be avoided.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 420
    "The best time to prune is when you are in the mood".

    The trouble with lavender (like rosemary and many conifers) is that they won't re-sprout from old wood.  So only cut back to a growing point.

    Perhaps root some cuttings as insurance against winter loss.
  • Ok this was very helpful. Thank you. I didn’t realize what heavy pruning vs light pricing is in lavender. 
  • Simone_in_WiltshireSimone_in_Wiltshire WiltshirePosts: 348
    @mjessica53 I used to live in Maidenhead and the gardener of a care home that I passed daily on the way to work always cut the lavender on 15 September. Not one day later or sooner.
    I kept that in mind when I had my first garden. But I noticed that cutting at that time can be tricky in case the winters are harsh and start early. For the last 2 years, I left the  lavender in Autumn as it was and cut it in Spring around mid/end March slightly back. This also gave bees and butterflies nectar in September and October.

    I recently learned that lavender lasts only 3 to 4 years and needs replacing. I'm not sure if that applies to all lavender plants, but my French lavender looks a bit tired either because of the heat or drought or because it is now indeed in its third year.

    In other words, depending on where you live, March/beginning of April is fine, too.

    I ♥ my garden.

  • MikeOxgreenMikeOxgreen PenninesPosts: 318
    I don't want to prune mine, they're having a go at flowering again! A spring prune it is then, they get a tough time up here.
  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 420
    "Flowering again" can be a false bonus.  

    If you leave pruning to the spring, might more wood have become hardened and unlikely to bud?  Worth experimenting a little.
  • We've grown a lavender in a pot for well over a decade now.( don't know it's name). It gets repotted now and again, pruned in August and it's still doing well. I did take a cutting a couple of years ago and popped it into the ground this year when we had some spare space. It's doing wonders there and is presently flowering like mad. 
  • MikeOxgreenMikeOxgreen PenninesPosts: 318
    bédé said:
    "Flowering again" can be a false bonus.  

    If you leave pruning to the spring, might more wood have become hardened and unlikely to bud?  Worth experimenting a little.
    Yes, maybe i'll go up there and trim a couple, see what happens. It's a bit late now though perhaps, I've heard cold weather is on the way next week.
    Probably better off getting more organised next year and doing a prune on time. I don't know, i'm more of a vegetable, fruit and tree grower than other stuff.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 660
    They'll be fine if you leave them till spring, I always do because they keep their flowers until November here, and I can't bring myself to cut them off! 
  • Hmm thank you all for your input. It sounds like it might be worth experimenting a bit and saving some pruning for insurance. 
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