English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) can become woody and tired in just a few seasons if not pruned back correctly. With the right pruning technique you can successfully grow your lavender plants for over twenty years.
The time to prune English lavender is just after flowering, when the plant is naturally dormant. This will be the hottest month of the year, usually August. Pruning at this time of year allows the plant to put on new growth and harden up before the winter comes.
I normally use shears to cut back the flowering stalks and then cut back the plant by two thirds of its height. This will encourage new shoots to form along the stems, even if you cut back into bare wood.
Other less hardy varieties of lavender can be gently shaped in August, but do not cut into the bare wood. Lavender stocechas (French or Spanish Lavenders) flower earlier in May but are less hardy than English lavender. Cut back gently after flowering in June but do not hard prune as this may kill the plant.
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