Ideally your pruning should happen no later than the beginning of September for our area but if you haven’t done it yet it’s better to attack it now than risk letting your plant get leggy. One of the easiest ways for your plant to struggle in the winter is to just allow it to grow and die off without maintenance. This leads to extraordinary length that may then be easily weighted down by our snow, splitting your plant in the center causing a portion or all of the plant to die. In general, an unmaintained lavender may see half of the life of a maintained plant. Any of the spikes that remain will end up causing the hardwood to move up and out leading to a thinner dispersed plant. It is possible to obtain well over 12 years of good looking life with a lavender plant.
To maintain the dense rounded shape, prune the plants so that 2-3 inches of green growth remain, and strive for a semi round shape taking care not to cut into the more dense woody portions. For the first and second year pruning it may only take gathering all of the plant to the center and snipping everything at once in one clip, this will naturally start forming the plant into a semi round shape. Smaller plants may be trimmed with scissors, larger plants or groupings may require a hand sickle or hedge trimmer for efficiency.
Don’t like where you put your lavender plant? Put it on your to do list this winter yard work, we have had nearly perfect success with transplants in the winter just wait until the plant is completely dormant, dig completely around the plant avoiding root contact, and move to a similar size hole elsewhere. The root balls of the plants in our area never seem to be bigger than the trimmed size of the plant, we see so much rain that the roots do not tend to explore much. There is no need to water it in and when the plant wakes back up in spring, it won’t even know you moved it. Remember to avoid moving plants to areas that are frequently irrigated or drain poorly.
-Cowlitz Falls Lavender Co.