Blurring the boundary between herb and flower, lavender plants offer an abundance of uses. Beautiful, aromatic, soothing… we all want more of this flower in our gardens.
One TikTok gardener shared his secret for an abundant harvest. And guess what? It’s simpler than you would think.
The Secret? Properly Pruning Lavender. Here’S How
It’s one of those quirks of gardening. Oftentimes, pruning a plant will encourage bigger, more bountiful growth. This is definitely the case with everyone’s favorite Mediterranean herb.
As garden guy @plant.vibrations explained in a recent TikTok video, “If you want to grow the healthiest lavender with the most flowers, you have to prune them twice a year: in the early springtime and then again at the end of summer, or when your plants are in their peak bloom season.”
Heavy pruning in the spring – he prunes his in March – will help prevent your lavender bush from becoming woody.
The key to this early spring pruning is to cut back hard. You essentially want to remove all of the old growth from the previous year.
On each lavender stalk, identify where the foliage and woody bit meet. Cut just below the foliage.
Your plant might look a bit forlorn and barren. But if you’ve given your lavender the right conditions, it will start growing back, producing flowers around June.
The second batch of pruning is slightly less harsh.
On each stalk of lavender, find the set of leaves closest to the flower. Clip the stem about two inches below this point. (Often this coincides with right below the second set of leaves.)
For certain varieties of lavender, this pruning will even encourage a second bloom.
In the comments, @plant.vibrations offered one word of caution. Don’t prune your lavender bush in its first year of growth.
But What About the Bees If You Prune All Your Lavender?
Lavender is a plant famously popular among bees (not so much with mosquitoes, as lavender repels them). So it’s no surprise that many people in the comments were worried about reducing the number of pollinator-friendly flowers.
That’s a valid concern.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help save the bees while also pruning your lavender.
To start, plant native pollinator-friendly plants in addition to lavender. If you’re unsure what plants are native to your area, visit your local garden center and ask the experts.
There’s just one thing to be aware of.
Avoid planting “nativars”. Nativars are cultivars of native plants that have been bred for more desirable traits.
Sometimes, the breeding process strips these cultivars of their pollinator appeal. The plants might produce less nectar or produce petals in such a way that it’s difficult for pollinators to access the nectar.
Second, create a garden that will flower throughout spring, summer, and fall. You probably won’t get endless blooms from just one plant.
Instead, plant strategically.
But don’t forget: bloom times will vary depending on where you live. Again, when in doubt, ask your local garden center to point out various plants that will bloom in the early, mid, and late seasons.
Finally, avoid pesticides. Beetles, slugs, and other creepy crawly bugs can be a pain. But the chemicals that kill those critters will also harm vulnerable bee populations.
Even natural pesticides such as vinegar and soap can kill bees. When in doubt, plant more lavender.
@plant.vibrations Pruning and harvesting bouquets of Lavender . . #lavender #lavandula #pruning #plantcare #planthack #garden #gardening #flowerpower #plantlove ♬ Les rues de Paris – Nicolas Godin
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.