Pruning Lavender in Spring – The Complete Guide

Pruning lavender in spring
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Lavender is a beautiful plant that can wonderfully decorate your garden. Wondering how to prune lavender?

Lavender should be pruned to half the length of the shoots in early spring. We repeat the cutting at least once a year. From the age of 4, make a rejuvenating cut up to 1/3 of the length of the shoots.

Pruning and pruning lavender in spring

Pruning lavender is a very important care treatment. Lavender cut well in spring will have the proper density and should bloom nicely in summer.

Lavender is often grown in gardens and on terraces and balconies. This perennial shrub is very popular for its pretty flowers and pleasant fragrance.

To enjoy these benefits, you need to cut them regularly. So let’s find out what pruning gives.

Why cut the lavender?

Pruning lavender is a standard skincare treatment. It must be done at least once a year. Due to its shape, lavender needs the right conditions to grow.

The lavender spring cut should be done for several important reasons:

  • to keep the plant in shape
  • to ensure access to light and air
  • to remove old shoots
  • summer pruning prevents the lavender from trapping moisture
  • in autumn, trapped water can cause early freezing

The first reason is purely aesthetic and decorative. A nicely formed lavender is a wonderful decoration. Regular cutting of shoots that stand out from the rest will allow you to maintain the shape of the plant.

The other two reasons will keep your lavender healthy.

Lavender that is not pruned will begin to overgrow heavily. The number of new shoots can be so large that they block the access of light and air to others. This can lead to the development of diseases such as grey mould.

Besides, lavender that is not cut will only bloom at the tips of the shrubs. In this way, the inside of the bush will be bald and the number of flowers will decrease over time.

Another threat to lavender that is not pruned is rot. Too many shrubs will prevent the sun from reaching the bottom of the plant. As a result, there will be permanent moisture on the surface of the earth, which can lead to rotting.

Lavender is a sub-shrub with older stems becoming woody. This process is very important as it will help you understand what to prune your lavender for. When cutting lavender, we try to delay the process of wood stalks for the following reasons:

  • Residual snow, ice and rot can easily damage the woody stems, which are prone to cracking
  • Lavender has very shallow roots that are more prone to rot from too much water. Too much humidity can even kill the plant.
  • In winter, lavender stores energy in the roots, and regular pruning promotes their growth
  • An extensive and sufficiently strong root system is essential for the proper growth of lavender
  • Lavender grows differently than other shrubs. Over time, woody shoots will stop producing new shoots.

As you can see, cutting lavender regularly is a very important treatment. So let me explain to you how to do it properly, but before that, it is worth preparing the right tools.

What to prepare for spring lavender pruning?

Lavender pruning tools
Lavender pruning tools

Before you start pruning, it’s a good idea to prepare the right tools.


Gloves will help protect your hands during spring lavender pruning if you have sensitive skin. After winter, the bush is quite dry and a large number of twigs are woody. People with sensitive skin can even hurt your hands, so it is worth preparing gloves. They don’t have to be any special – ordinary garden gloves will do.

Garden shears

The size of the lavender shears in spring should be chosen according to the number of shrubs. If your lavender grows on your balcony and you have two or three bushes, a small secateurs will suffice.

Use large garden scissors for more lavender. They will prove useful when you have a dozen or so shrubs. With their help, you will quickly prune the lavender.

Electric scissors

Electric garden shears are definitely a tool for me. Large scissors are very bulky. By using an electric hedge trimmer, you can cut all lavender quickly and easily. It is enough to grab the lavender with one hand and cut it with the other. This way you have more control over which shoots you cut.

This is very important during spring pruning as lavender may already be blooming. It would be a pity to accidentally cut off the flowering shoot, so it is much more convenient to do it with electric scissors.

How to cut lavender in spring, step by step?

Lavender is best pruned in the first year. You need to find young shoots that are not yet lignified and cut them in half. This treatment will stimulate lavender to grow. It should spread out and thicken nicely in August of the same year.

When choosing shoots for pruning, try to avoid those that are woody.

Pruning is best done in such a way as to give the plant the shape of a ball. Such a cut will ensure that all shrubs will have the optimal amount of air and sunlight.

If you want to rejuvenate a perennial lavender, then a rejuvenating cut should be performed. Such a cut is made up to 1/3 of the length of the bush. This type of lavender pruning in spring promotes growth. However, you have to take into account that lavender may not bloom as profusely as in previous years.

It is also worth remembering that woody twigs branch more slowly.

Spring pruning of specific lavender species

Different types o f lavender pruned
Various species of lavender pruned in spring and placed in a wicker basket

Different types of lavender need to be pruned differently. It’s important to identify the correct species and prune your lavender properly in spring. Here are the most popular types of lavender that are available in stores:

  1. Lavandula angustifolia . English lavender comes in a variety of varieties. This variety has single, leafless stems and compact spikes. It generally grows low, mound-shaped. English lavender blooms from late spring to early summer. You can cut it lightly right after its first flowering, and then there is a chance it will bloom again in late summer. After the second flowering, it should be cut in half. This is usually done in late August or early September. Fall pruning should prepare the lavender for winter and make it bloom more the next year.
  2. Lavandin x intermedia . This variety of English lavender is a typical hybrid. It has several smaller varieties like ‘Grosso’, ‘Provence’ and ‘Giant Hidcote’. Its stems are longer than English Lavender and characteristically branched. Long stems diverge to the center. The shrub is mound-shaped, typical of lavender. Lavandin x intermedia is generally larger than English lavender. It blooms from mid to late summer, delighting with its wonderful flowers. Due to the long stems, this variety should be pruned to at least half the length.
  3. Lavandula stoechas : This variety of lavender is sometimes called French or Spanish. It is inherently less hardy than English lavender. Its advantage is that it blooms at the earliest in spring. Due to this, spring pruning must be carried out in good time. The variety has a short inflorescence with open petals in the upper part. The inflorescence is quite fragile, so it should be carefully cut. After the first flowering, it should not be cut too low. The next spring pruning, along with modeling, should be carried out as for the other varieties. It is definitely also suitable for autumn pruning. This allows you to prepare the variety for the winter and strengthens the root system.

What to look for when pruning lavender in spring?

Cropped spring lavender in jar
Cropped spring lavender in a jar

When pruning lavender in the spring, you need to pay attention to:

  • Pruning Length. We cut the young lavender to half in the first year. We make a rejuvenating cut up to 1/3 of the bush’s length
  • Shoots . It is possible that the lavender will start to bloom and it would be a shame to cut off the new shoots.


When pruning lavender in the spring, be careful not to damage the flower buds. At the turn of March and April, lavender may already be sprouting the first shoots that are just starting to form. If you prune them, it is possible that the plant will bloom less in summer. Instead of pruning lavender in spring, you can do it in the fall, for example in late September. However, you need to think carefully about the date. If there is frost after autumn pruning, the young shoots will freeze. It is important that they get lignified before the frost. Lavender can also be pruned in summer to make the plant bloom again. Just remember that in summer we only cut the faded inflorescences.

When is the best time to prune?

Spring pruning of lavender is best done in March / April. It is worth choosing a sunny and warm day.

Cutting lavender on cloudy and rainy days can cause disease. High humidity can then lead to various fungal diseases. After pruning, the shoots will be more susceptible to diseases due to the exposed ends of the bushes.

What to do with lavender after spring cutting?

Lavender in a vase after cutting
Lavender in a vase after cutting

After cutting the lavender, you can collect it and dry it. Then you can use it as a moth repellent. Just put it in used repellent bags to enjoy the wonderful scent of lavender at home.

Dried lavender is also suitable as a spice. It is used to season meat, fish and even as an addition to herbal butter. This type of butter is a great addition to grilling in the garden in the spring.

Finally, I have one more great idea to use cut lavender. You can add it to aromatic baths ?

Imagine coming home after a long and hard day. You pour warm water into the tub and add dried lavender. After a while, the whole bathroom is filled with a wonderful scent and you relax in a pleasant bath ?

Nice, right? ?


Pruning lavender in spring is a procedure that should be repeated every year. Only in this way will the plant have the right shape and will enjoy wonderful flowers.

The blooming lavender in the garden is one of my favourite plants. There is no substitute for seeing insects bustle collecting pollen from beautiful purple flowers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Cut Lavender In Spring?

Lavender spring pruning should be done every year, up to half of the length of the bush. We make the rejuvenating cut to 1/3 of the length and repeat it every four or five years.

Is lavender pruned in spring?

Definitely yes! Spring pruning is essential if you want to enjoy a gorgeous and lush plant. They should be repeated up to one year until the fourth or fifth year. Then we make a rejuvenating cut and repeat the annual pruning cycle.

When to prune lavender in spring?

Lavender should be pruned in spring on sunny and dry days. Pruning on cloudy and rainy days can lead to fungal diseases.

By Marzena R.

I love all my baby plants. I'm a mother of two and a happy wife. I enjoy my free time by taking good care of my beloved family, plants and my bichon "Indiana" :)