Pruning Lavender*


I live in Leaside, Toronto and I planted five English Lavender plants in my raised bed in the late spring this year. I cannot take a photo of them to attach to this, but they are rather flat on the ground at this point in the late fall. I neglected to prune them in August (as I read somewhere that I should do). The weather is about to turn tomorrow; we are scheduled to get a dusting of snow and temps will drop significantly. Kind of late, but I am wondering if I should do anything with my lavender. Is it too late to prune? Should I prune in early Spring? How much? Because I didn’t do my research early enough, are these plants doomed? I have tried lavender in the past and think I may have pruned them too hard because they usually do not come back. I would like it if these ones would survive – thriving would be even better!! Thanks for your advice :)



Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

You did perfectly, it’s better to wait the second year to prune your English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).  According to ‘The best timing is after flowering, but lavender is forgiving. All lavenders bloom on the stems that grew this year. This means that pruning can be done anytime from after completion of flowering until mid spring without sacrificing that year’s flowering. Pruning late in summer to fall opens air circulation in time for the threats of winter frost and snowdrop. Pruning in spring can delay flowering but is a good time to take down dead, winter-killed parts and shorten growth to the fat, vigorous buds. If you have the time, pruning twice a year is good. Prune established plants heavily, back at least 1/3.’

Plants may not survive in winter if soils are not well-drained and/or if temperatures dip below zero degrees without protective snow cover. We recommend to add a layer of mulch to protect your lavender.

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