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From experience I always just cut my Lavender Back after its flowered and then again if it has a 2nd flush. It tends to stay in good shape that way.
I had a bad experience of cutting to the ground, My plants DIED :P
I have done as described in GQT and got a small leggy lavender to resprout from low down.
It's so easy to produce or buy new plants that I can't imagine going to all that trouble.
I agree, I remember reading in a Victorian novel about a commercial lavender grower who replaced all his plants every 6/8 years; I expect they have improved the plants since then but I bet they still replace them frequently.
I just did it as an experiment to see if it worked. Like others, I would normally replace in easier ways.
I think it was lilac they were talking about no?
I have 2 Rosemary, one bushy and the other is (supposed to be ) columnar. But I have to keep pruning it and wiring it to stakes to encourage this. The other one I hack around as I please as it wants to be a small tree.
I have quite a large lavender bush that I cut back to the old wood for 3 successive years and it has flowered well each summer - but it is now seemingly active from about half way up the plant with a lot of bare stems beneath and looks quite messy.
What's the best thing to do to bring it back to the bushy creature it used to be?
I find a hard cut back for Lavander causes it to come back renewed
I'm quite sure it was lavender and rosemary they talked about. Mine is a bit bare at the bottom and only three years old. Did try to strike cuttings last year but failed. Will try again. I thought the same was true for cotton lavender (not cutting into old woor) but saw that they cutt them back within an inch of its life at Kew and they sprouted back vigously.
Interesting idea swedboy - I'll take a look.
I always had so much trouble with a cotton lavender that I dug it up in the end, if only I had known... I have an Artemisia that I would like to reduce a bit but I don't think that would grow back, or would it?
My apologies Swedeboy I was only half paying attention as I was doing something at the time. I always thought you could'nt cut into old wood with Lavender and am delighted to have learned now that you can if you bury it.
I decided to bury two scraggy lavenders a few years ago and now they are lovely bushes again