When & How to Prune Lavender?

Pruning lavender can be very crucial to how it will turn out and whether or not it will eventually thrive like a plant.

There are different ways to prune both the French and the English lavender, each has its ups and downs, but we will discover both of them.

Lavender as a plant can be used as an insecticide. This plant can straggle if not properly pruned at the right time.

For example, if you prune your lavender during the first year of planting it, it will grow leaves instead of roots, which will later make it a weaker plant that is more prone to dying, and falling in the long term.

When & How to Prune Lavender? 1

If you think that lavender comes in a standard purple color only then you are wrong.

Lavender is a very diverse plant and comes in different shapes and colors. This is why before you prune it, you need to first know which type of lavender you have in front of you.

Lavender or Lavandula is a genus that comes in more than 70 different species of flowering plants, we will discuss the 3 most common ones you’ll find out there.

Types of Lavender

English Lavender (Betty’s Blue)

This type of lavender is characterized by having bigger flowers on it and colored in a deep violet-blue color.

The plants are compact and dome-shaped. It only blooms once in the summer and has a memorable, sweet fragrance to it.

French Lavender (Lavandula Dentata)

When & How to Prune Lavender? 2

This type of lavender is the most delicate type when it comes to fragrance and color.

When it blooms it lasts longer than any other type of lavender out there; throughout the whole summer and sometimes fall too.

This type of lavender does not tolerate extreme temperatures and it grows out to be 2 or 3 feet tall.

Spanish Lavender (Kew Red)

This one got its famous name from the crimson-violet flower heads that have pale pink petals on top.

It flowers for very long, exactly since late spring until fall. In mild climates, you can even see flowers all year round.

When to Prune Lavender

When & How to Prune Lavender? 3

The time in which you prune your lavender plants is very crucial and tricky. Because there are different types of lavender out there, each type requires a unique way and timing of pruning.

So, make sure you know the type you have before you start following this guide.

English Lavender should be pruned right after it its first flowering and again in late August, right after the last flush has faded away.

If you want to keep your plant healthy then you should prune it twice a year, every year. This will make sure it stays compact and strong.

French Lavender or any other non-English Lavender have one way of pruning that works best for them.

When & How to Prune Lavender? 4

These Lavenders are usually very gentle and fragile that they require extra care and should be pruned very carefully.
What you should do is give them a trim once the first flush of flowers of the season has faded away.

Keep in mind that this timing can be applied to the Spanish, Portuguese, and Egyptian Lavender as well.
English Hybrids are known for being a little weaker than their English cousins and thus require extra care and gentleness. They should be pruned in late August right after they finish blooming.

How to Prune Lavender?

When & How to Prune Lavender? 5

Same as when pruning lavender, the methods to follow can too be tricky and require a lot of precision, as well as they, differ from one type to the other.

But before we get to that, let’s first talk about the tools you will need for pruning your lavender plants.

  • Bypass Pruners: Bypass Pruners or (Secateurs) are scissor-like tools where the big blade passes by the lower blade. The way it is made makes cutting lavender leaves a lot easier than using regular scissors.
  • Pruning Shears: Also known as Hand Pruners, they are a type of scissors that are mainly used on plants and nothing else. This tool is strong enough to prune hard branches of shrubs and even trees.
When & How to Prune Lavender? 6

English Lavender pruning requires you to cut off about 2 thirds of the plant’s height or just above the bottom two sets of leaves on each stem. It is important you keep in mind not to cut into the woody part which may result in a lot of damage to the plant’s health and survivability.

Non-English Lavender has a different way of pruning. Since it is very fragile you should take extra steps of precaution when dealing with this kind not to damage or kill it. When time comes, you should give it a trim, but do not cut them back as hard as you did the previous kind, it can actually kill them.

When & How to Prune Lavender? 7

English Hybrids are strong but aren’t as strong as the normal English kind. You should cut them about ½ of the height of the plant while leaving plenty of green leaves intact. To make sure your plant stays healthy and thrives, aim for a tidy, rounded mound of foliage.


We hope you have learned from this article the ways and the time when to prune your lavender. It is also very fun and you end up with a great smell either in your pot or in your garden :D.