How to trim my lavender?

  rickf 17:16 28 Jul 2012

My lavender has become very leggy. Can I trim it way down this Autumn so that it's not so unsightly next Summer or will I kill it?

  lotvic 17:49 28 Jul 2012

Wait till Spring and the new growth has started. Never trim back to the old wood - it won't sprout from there and will die.

  rickf 17:58 28 Jul 2012

Lotvic thanks. Problem is the old wood that is leggy so trimming back to green shoots does not sort out the problem

  QuizMan 18:05 28 Jul 2012

I usually run the shears over mine in the autumn. It tends to induce new growth and side shoots lower down on the plant in spring.

Very old ones will eventually run out of steam and have to be replaced so maybe yours have got to that stage. It may be possible to take cuttings for some free new plants.

  Forum Editor 18:09 28 Jul 2012

QuizMan is right. Once lavender gets to the leggy, woody stage there's no point in trying to bring it back - you're better advised to dig it out and start again, either with cuttings or with new rooted plants.

I'm something of a lavender fanatic, I love it, and have big swathes of it in the garden. Each autumn I give it a going over with shears, cutting it back quite short. It looks forlorn, but come the spring off it goes again.

  Quickbeam 19:02 28 Jul 2012

Rosemary is the same, once it goes woody, it's done.

  Condom 19:35 28 Jul 2012

I do a mixture of both in that I use normal garden shears but I do it in the spring when it is so much easier to take cutting as I do not have a greenhouse to over winter them properly.

  Aitchbee 19:37 28 Jul 2012

Some of my potted heathers/ericae got a bit leggy and woody-stemmed...I repootted them in deeper pots (with ericaceous compost), now they don't look leggy and are thriving.

  morddwyd 19:46 28 Jul 2012

Normally just give it a short back and sides with the hedge trimmer when I remember, usually with the last or first hedge cut, while I've got the trimmer out and connected (sometime between October and April)!

  Quickbeam 20:31 28 Jul 2012

Do you offer them something for the weekend as well morddwyd?

  Forum Editor 23:22 28 Jul 2012


"Normally just give it a short back and sides with the hedge trimmer"

Exactly the way to do it. I have some plants that are ten years old, and they've had that treatment each year. They never fail to put up hundreds of fresh stems each summer.

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