English, Spanish, French, Spike: there are many different types of lavender and most of them will benefit from a periodic pruning. The best time to start pruning is when the plants are young. This will encourage the plants to grow fuller and lusher. Lavender should be pruned at least once a year (2-3 times is better) to keep them from dying out in the center, and to encourage new growth on the plants.
Things You Will Need
A weed eater, hedger, or pruning shears, and a container to gather clippings.
If using a weed eater or hedge trimmer, turn the unit on and carefully start to trim back the flower stems, including 1/3 of the gray-leaved stems.
Continue until the plant is shaped nicely. Be sure to leave some of the green leaves, and the old gray-brown wood. If the plant is trimmed back too severely, it may not survive.
Collect the flowers and stems that are trimmed off. The can be dried and used for sachets, or seeds can be collected for planting.
Keeping your lavender plants trimmed will not only make them more pleasing to the eye, they will also be healthier and last longer. It is also a very aromatic and therapeutic gardening activity.
Tips & Warnings
Be careful to not to cut too far into the old wood, or the plant may die.
When pruning lavender in the fall, be sure to do it well before the first killing frost.