How and when to prune lavender for the best flowers next year
Here's a quick tutorial on how to cut your lavender plants to make sure that you get lovely flowers again next year.
Once your lavender is pretty much over i.e. most of the little purple flowers have dropped off its time to cut it back. The best time to do this is in August (it has not escaped my attention that we are into September now, but only by a few days, so your plants will still be beautiful next year if you cut them now).
By cutting the plant back before the temperatures drop it can put on some good growth whilst its still mild, and this means it will have a better chance of surviving if we have a particularly harsh winter. Now I know we've probably all seen that really overgrown, brown half dead looking lavender, and that's what we're trying to avoid. Cutting it back now will ensure you don't end up with that problem!
You are going to follow each stalk of lavender down until you reach the point at which the stalk turns brown. Go a couple of centimetres back up the stalk and cut the stem off above the green growth. You don't want to cut into the brown because if you do it won't grow back and you'll be left with dead lavender plants that will need replacing in the spring.
Do this to each stalk on every lavender plant that you have. If you don't do this your lavender will get really leggy and out of control. It will end up growing across your paths looking really overgrown and sad.
You can hang the pieces you cut off upside down to dry somewhere that you can go and sit and breathe in their scent when you are feeling overwhelmed.
I hope this is useful and it's given you the confidence to revive your lavender plants rather than just letting them die over the winter and then replanting them next year! Generally, lavender plants don't last forever, but you can get a good few seasons out of them by trimming them in August every year and giving them a new lease of life. If you have any questions at all, please put them in the comments below or send me an email.
p.s. if you would like to learn how you can use your lavender trimmings to adorn a dried flower wreath then come along to my Dried flower autumnal wreath workshop.