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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:55 am
Posts: 7
Location: SE PA
I confess that I have been neglecting to prune my lavender
plants.
One looks "shrubby,"- very woody and floppy.
1. When is the best time to prune them?
2. Where on the plant shall I prune?
3. Is there a difference in pruning the younger vs. older plants.

I wasn't paying attention to how Dear Dad pruned
the lavender plants of my youth.
Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:52 am
Posts: 1782
Location: UK
Prune after flowering, at the end of the season. Do not prune into old wood, Lavender is very poor at regrowing from old wood and you'll probably just be left with a stump. Because of this Lavender inevitably becomes woody with age. Take cuttings and plan to replace your existing plants with fresh new ones.

Or you can prune in early spring if you are worried about winter hardiness. I prefer to prune in autumn because the plant sets off earlier in spring. Give it a healthy shearing of maybe half the length on all the green stems.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:55 am
Posts: 7
Location: SE PA
Thanks for the pruning tips! It's helpful to know that
Lavender eventually becomes "woody."
BTW, what is your favorite Lavender?
I came across some Lavender information is at http://www.chamomiletimes.com/herbs/lavender.htm


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 793
Location: zone 7a-OKC
For me, it's not always what is my favorite lavendar, but rather what lavendar will grow and be perennial for me in my zone. I have tried several including the species lavendar augustifolia, Hidcote, Munstead, and one of the spike lavendars which was an annual. Well, actually all of those proved to be annuals for me. The only one that I have been able to maintain for the last 3 years is 'Provence'. And, it has become very woody this year, so I will probably pull it out at the end of the year or early spring. It just just grew so fast and became woody so quickly that it is now all twisted and unshapely and it is in the front of my border, and I'll have to pull it. One thing about it is that the bees and butterflies just love it. It stayed a very nice shape the first two years. I planted a very small plant in a 4" pot and it quickly grew to about 3' tall and wide that same year. The next year, it came back nicely and held its shape with little pruning except for the old flowers. This year, I had to prune out tons of old growth, back to where the old wood began was just too big and thick.

I don't know what lavendar I will try next. Maybe Stoechas.

Susan


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:52 am
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Location: UK
I've been reading about how to grow Lavender, including your link, because I'm certainly not an expert. Interesting that some people recommend pruning after flowering and some recommend pruning before flowering. I find that English Lavender certainly responds well to pruning after flowering and stays much more compact. Seems to work for L. stoechas too.

English Lavender is probably my favourite. Great scent and not so huge as the hybrids. I just don't have space in the sun for a four foot wide plant.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:10 am
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Location: zone 7a-OKC
S&B - what is the species you refer to as "English Lavendar" - lavendula augustifolia? or lavendula vera?

What zone are you in?

Just curious so as to compare your zone and mine as to growing types, species/cultivars. Provence does get huge IMHO. Never expected it to get that big actually.

I know that lavendar likes very, very sharp drainage, and a very alkaline soil. Mine is planted at the top of a kind of berm, so that it drains very well. The soil here is very alkaline as well. Right where the top of the berm starts is a wooden walkway across the front of my garden. Underneath the walkway, the soil slopes down to the sidewalk in front (about 3 feet downwards).

I've tried lavendar in other locations, but this seems to be the favored one.

Susan


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:52 am
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Location: UK
Hmmm, tricky questions. L. angustifolia is English Lavender. L. vera is an odd name, not really valid, for the same thing, or sometimes just a particular cultivar although it isn't entirely clear which one!

Here's a good link that I think covers the main species very well. I also like what they say about how to grow it ;)

http://mountainvalleygrowers.com/lavendercareandtips.htm

I'm at the border of zone 8 and zone 9, but more like British Columbia than Texas! My entire garden has well-drained alkaline soil but very few spots have enough sun.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:54 am 
While I had lots of success with different lavendars in NY, I find them rather difficult to keep alive here in VA due to the extreme humidity.

Being of a fairly Mediterranean origin, they can take the heat, but the humidity & almost daily brief thunderstorms here just seem to be too much for them - even in containers. I seem to end up with lots of fungal & rot problems, regardless of how wonderful/well-draining or sharp the soil is.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:10 am
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Location: zone 7a-OKC
Remember that they also need a very, very alkaline soil, and mixing in some lime is beneficial as well. The eastern seaboard is known for it's acid soil. Don't know if that extends to Virginia or not.

I had a bit of a problem with finding a lavendar to fit my soil and conditions too. We get a lot of heat and humidity here as well. 'Provence' is the only one I've found that worked for me.

Susan


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:52 am
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Location: UK
Yes, Virginia is mostly acid soils too. Pile it on, it isn't possible to over-lime a Lavender ... unless you use the stuff for making plaster by mistake ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:33 pm 
Actually, I've always gotten good growth, it's just that once the spring/summer humidity hits, even with excellent air circulation around the plants, I always seem to get rot/fungal problems with many of the Mediterranean-type herbs.


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