Gardening Tips | How to Prune Lavender Plant

Step-by-step guide on how to prune lavender plants for healthy growth and abundant blooms. Learn the best time and technique for pruning your lavender garden, with our expert tips and advice.


Why Pruning is Essential for Lavender?

Pruning lavender during autumn is crucial for several key reasons:

1. Promotes Growth: Autumn pruning encourages new growth, vital for maintaining lavender plant health. Removing spent flowers and dead stems redirects the plant's energy into producing fresh shoots and foliage.

2. Prevents Disease: Trimming in autumn removes diseased or damaged parts, reducing the risk of fungal infections. Improved air circulation helps prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to disease.

3. Shapes the Plant: Regular autumn pruning maintains desired plant shape and size, particularly for gardeners preferring a tidy appearance. It allows the plant to develop a robust structure before winter.

4. Prepares for Winter: Trimming before winter prevents the accumulation of dead foliage, which can harbor pests and diseases. It also prevents snow or ice damage by reducing weight on branches.

Annual pruning plays a crucial role in lavender care, especially during autumn. By trimming the plant at this time, you can effectively slow down the formation of wood and extend the lifespan of your lavender. This proactive measure not only maintains the plant's vitality but also ensures its longevity in your garden.

This is our lavender plant after pruning in our field in autumn. We normally use a machine to give them a hair cut. There is no need for it to be perfect but it is an essential process for their health of growing.

Garden Tip: How to prune lavender from NZ Lavender Farm

When to Prune Lavender?

The best time to prune lavender is in the late summer or early autumn, just after it has finished flowering. Pruning during this time will help to promote bushier growth and prevent the plant from becoming too woody. It's also important to avoid pruning lavender in the winter or early spring, as this can damage the new growth and reduce the number of flowers the plant produces.

Home Garden How to Prune Lavender

How to Prune your Lavender Plant?

How to prune lavender from Lavender Backyard Garden NZ
Lavender illustration by M. Jeng
Blue Line: We prune our lavender in early April (New Zealand autumn). Prune back all shoots at least 1/3 of the plant.
Red Line: Never cut down to wood base. 

It is easy, simple and only have few key points:

  • Prune 1/3 of the entire plant, reshaping into a nice mound shape.
  • For those "leggy" verities, you might need to pay more attention to keep them in a nice shape.
  • Go heavier on an old plant but never cut down to the wood base.

Step-by-Step Guide to Pruning Lavender for a Healthy and Beautiful Plant

Summing it up, pruning lavender is an important part of maintaining a healthy and attractive plant. Follow these simple steps to learn how to prune your lavender:

  1. Timing is key. The best time to prune lavender is in the late summer, just after the plant has finished blooming. This will give the plant enough time to grow new growth before the cold weather arrives.
  2. Remove dead flowers. Use a pair of pruning shears to remove the spent flower stalks. Cut them off just above the first set of leaves. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers and prevent the plant from wasting energy on dead blooms.
  3. Cut back the stems. Use a sharp pair of shears to trim back the stems by about one-third to one-half of their length. Make sure to cut just above a set of leaves. This will help the plant to maintain its shape and promote new growth.
  4. Don't cut into the woody stems. Avoid cutting into the woody stems of the plant, as this can cause damage and reduce the plant's lifespan. Instead, focus on cutting back the green stems.
  5. Remove any dead or damaged stems. If you notice any dead or damaged stems, remove them by cutting them off at the base. This will help to prevent disease from spreading and promote healthy growth.
  6. Avoid over-pruning. While it's important to prune lavender regularly, over-pruning can be harmful to the plant. Aim to prune the plant once a year in late summer, and avoid pruning more than one-third of the plant at a time.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your lavender plants healthy and beautiful year after year.


Q: Can I cut lavender back to the ground? 

A: Ensure you don't cut lavender back to the ground. Lavender won't bloom again or develop new growth on leafless wood, so be mindful of where you make pruning cuts.

Q: Does lavender regrow after pruning?

A: Yes, lavender regrows in spring, but proper pruning is crucial for healthy regrowth and blooms. Avoid cutting it to the ground, as it won't bloom again on leafless wood. Instead, selectively prune, leaving some green foliage to encourage new growth.

Q: Does lavender bloom all year round?

A: No, lavender typically blooms in spring and summer, although certain varieties may bloom intermittently throughout the year.

Q: How long do lavender plants last?

A:Lavender plants typically last about 10 years with proper care. Regular pruning, especially in autumn, supports their health and encourages abundant blooms year after year.

Healthy lavender plants produce high quality lavender essential oil. Try our lavender essential oil, the strong, sweet, smelling scent will make you fall in love with them.

As a lavender farm in New Zealand, we grow mostly Lavandula x Intermedia for lavender essential oil distillation. If you would like to learn more about our farm click here to discover our farm.

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