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pruning lavender

rosa rugosarosa rugosa Posts: 28

my lavender bushes have grown a bit straggly.  i know the advice is to trim them all over in autumn, but only the new season's growth.  i did that last autumn, to the older bushes, but over the winter there has been some dieback of the new growth even on the untrimmed bushes, and there is lots of dead material in the middle of the bushes, and there old dead branches that died the previous winder.  this gets all soggy when it's wet, and i can't imagine that the lavender is happy, although they seem perky when the sun shines.  so today, in the rain, i cut back most of the dead wood, even quite thick branches, and trimmed out the new growth that had died back, and gave them all a haircut all over.  i hope they survive!  did i do the wrong thing?  does anyone else do this?  


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  • curlyonecurlyone Posts: 31

    I've done this a couple of times and I have really cut in to the old wood (I didn't like doing it but it was a case of make or break).  Both times the lavender recovered with no problems image

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,591

    After a few years lavender does tend to get stragly and leggy. I usually replace mine from cuttings every 4 or 5 years.

    How can you lie there and think of England
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  • Lavender needs to be chopped back very hard after flowering every year. Once it has got woody, it is usually too late, I have found, though Curlyone's experience shows that this is not always the case. I failed when I tried it. Puncdoc is right, it is good to replace it every few years, IMO.

  • I'd dig one up, cut all the totally useless bits out, then bury it in a free-draining pot with just the active bits above soil level. They should then root, after which you can lift it, snip off the rooted bits just below the roots and bingo! New plant cuttings to replace your old ones

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I have a bunch of Lavender stoechas which I grew from cuttings that are now two years old.

    I left them with flowers through the winter because I enjoy the seed-heads, and cut them back quite hard about 10 days ago when I was pretty sure we were out of the snow drenching season.

    I know stoechas are slightly less hardy than the English versions and all the leaves have wilted silver through the winter, but I've scratched the bark and its perfectly green underneath so patience shall hopefully reward me.image

  • The digging up and burying sounds like a very good idea.  I also am trying somethiing heard on Gardener's Question Time: if you have some space around your bush try layering it - pin some branches down in/onto the ground and cover them with compost, cover with something to keep it in position & moist. Leave for probably at least a season, maybe longer, and carefully check after two or three months.  I've tried this but too soon to report any results yet, and mine's in a very difficult situation so I've taken lots of cuttings too.

  • Flower birdFlower bird Posts: 284

    I look after lavender........have removed dead of the shrub don't seem happy even though I feel I pruned them  correctly last year......some of the lavender bushes are doing ok and the others are struggling.......will see how they go over the summer.....sometimes they do need replacing........I replaced one last year.

  • rosa rugosarosa rugosa Posts: 28

    i will try burying a lavender to get some new plants!  but i'm pleased to say that the lavenders i cut back so hard are now sprouting from near the base, and do not seem to be dying.  i'll try to be a bit more brutal with my prune after the flowering so that they don't get so leggy again.  thanks for all the advice! 

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