London (change)
14 messages
16/08/2014 at 14:29

I have an enormous lavender bush which flowers profusely each year - it is in excess of 10 years and is very woody at the base.  Each year I cut it back to the bottom of the flower stems.  If I were to cut it right back to the roots after flowering this year, would it re-grow?  The bush is in a very confined area but it attracts so many bees that I would hate to kill it off.  I also love the lavender flowers.  Your advice please!

16/08/2014 at 15:43

Lavender does not take well cutting back into the old wood. You are doing the right thing by just cutting back the new soft growth. You could take it back an inch or so below the flower stems but not much more.

16/08/2014 at 16:29

Many thanks hogweed

16/08/2014 at 18:26

Joanne, there is a method of getting this bush back to a smaller size.

If you use a mix of 50/50 sharp sand and compost, pile it over the base of the bush to a depth of about 6 inches now. By next summer you should have new growth appearing from the bottom, you can then cut the top growth away and resize it if you wish. It does work, you just need to be patient and not cut back till the new growth appears.

17/08/2014 at 07:31

Or you could start again with a new plant.

17/08/2014 at 08:52

Dave's method is a simple way of rejuvenating if you don't want to start afresh. It also works well with Dianthus. I  peg bits down with wire to fill gaps and  I expect you could also do that with lavender. 

17/08/2014 at 09:58

Dave - once the new growth appears do you then remove the sand/compost, or do you leave the new plant growing out of a mound??

17/08/2014 at 10:14

Think you leave it chicky because it becomes the new plant. I've left the grit/compost mix on the dianthus, although it's not as deep as Dave's description, but I think the theory's the same. The only problem is that the new plant will be higher - I've seen it done where the entire  plant is lifted first and a deeper hole created to put it in before doing what Dave describes. Then the new plant's at the original level, if that makes sense.  My dianthus are in pots so it was a bit easier to manage them. 

17/08/2014 at 10:58
ohhh, thanks people, im off to do that now...
17/08/2014 at 15:28

Yes chicky, leave it as the new roots will be below the soil level you have created.

17/08/2014 at 16:56

after 10 years they do get very woody and don't look so good.i had the same,and made the hard decision to take them out and put new ones in.they don't take long to grow,a good excuse to go to the garden centre!

18/08/2014 at 10:05

found good video about lavender care and pruning on youtube, posted by Downderry Lavender. 10 yrs sounds quite a long time, maybe time to buy some new plants, there are so many lovely ones, visited Cotswold Lavender at Snowshill recently.

18/08/2014 at 10:41

at 10 years old its coming to the end of its life. id take cuttings from non flowering new growth now and by next year they'll be big enough to flower and you can remove your old one and replace with your cuttings.

02/10/2014 at 18:15

To my non-gardener's eye I thought my lavenders were looking pretty good earlier this year...

Believing that lavender can flower a second time if pruned after flowering I thought I was doing so well when I cut them back on 23rd August....

I've been wondering now why there has been no sign of a second flowering.

Today I checked a few UTube videos and it seems my method and (I think) my timing were both correct but that I have not cut back deep enough.

These are my plants today - the couple of flowers visible are ones I didn't cut back in August because I wanted to see how long they lasted without pruning!!

Closer view showing bare stems...

The shoots I left too long apparently and they've gone woody and remain bare.

My question is "Is it too late to cut back again? If so, would a hedgetrimmer do any harm as there is not enough bulk left to get a good handful like when I first pruned?

if I can cut back again should I expect a new flowering this year or not until next year?



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