Monday 22 January 2018

Ask Marie: Is it too late to prune back my lavender?

Marie Staunton

Usually it is done in late summer or early spring before they start into growth again.

You can tidy them up now if they are looking a bit on the raggy side, but it could be at the expense of the flowers.

Nearly all lavender prefer to be grown in well-drained soil in full sun. If your soil is very heavy and wet, add in as much organic matter as you can and extra grit to make sure the base of the plants don't rot.

We have Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote' growing here and, although it isn't recommended to prune them back into the old wood, we did to see if we could revive the plants before we went to the bother of replacing them all.

They looked very sad for a while, but they have come back and look really healthy again.

Usually you need to replace lavender plants that have been neglected for a number of years, but, if you want, you can prune them back hard to where there is evidence of green shoots, like we did, and see how they do.

Should I cut back my heathers now that they have finished flowering?

The winter-flowering heathers can be pruned back after flowering – generally, it's best done before June.

The summer-flowering varieties should be given a tidy-up in early spring so that they are in good shape to show off their flowers when the summer finally turns up.

If you don't tidy- up heather, it tends to get very woody and can split in the middle.

Irish Independent

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