How to Trim French Lavender

Written by dannah swift
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How to Trim French Lavender
Trim lavender in the spring. (Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images)

French lavender likes the dry heat of the Mediterranean, but don't let that discourage you from giving it a try. It's pretty adaptable, provided it has well-draining soil. If you don't harvest most of your lavender for drying, you'll have to prune it back a bit each year to encourage new growth in the present and following seasons. This is best done in the spring -- just because lavender is slightly woody, it shouldn't be treated like a shrub; winter pruning will harm the plant. Lavender is a low-maintenance plant that gives a lot in return and pruning it doesn't take much.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pruning shears

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  1. 1

    Prune French lavender in the spring once there's a flush of green on the plants and again after flowering.

  2. 2

    Grab handfuls of stems and give them a good trim. Andy Van Havelingen of "Fine Gardening" magazine recommends removing about a third of the new growth early in the season. Once that third has regenerated, he then removes another third to encourage new growth at the base of the plant.

  3. 3

    Deadhead the spent flowers. If you trim the plants for drying, you aren't likely to do much deadheading.

  4. 4

    Prune out old wood only if it is completely dead.

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