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What To Do With Lavender After It Blooms – Get Your Lavender To Bloom Again!

Wondering what to do with your lavender plant after it blooms? Believe it or not, with just the most basic of care, not only can you help to keep perennial lavender healthy and thriving after it flowers – but you can also get it to bloom again!

Lavender is well loved for its many uses and makes a popular addition to any garden. Known for its vivid blooms and calming fragrance, it can be the perfect addition to garden and flower beds for a whole slew of great reasons beyond its amazing beauty.

Lavender just happens to be one of the best plants to grow to keep mosquitoes far away. Whether planting in flowerbeds around a patio or deck, or in pots around outdoor tables and sitting areas, the strong scent deters not only mosquitoes but mice, ticks, spiders, gnats and more. Even better, its also deer and drought resistant too!

Lavender plant
Lavender is great to grow in flowerbeds and gardens for more than just its gorgeous blooms. And with just a little extra, you can easily get them to bloom more than once.

That deer resistance is huge for us here at the farm. They seem to be all around us these days, and it’s nice to know they won’t bother all the lavender we have growing around our flowerbeds and garden. And the fact that we never need to water it is just icing on the cake!

Keeping Lavender Looking Great

One thing is for sure, lavender is a tough and hardy perennial. But let’s face it, lavender is at its best when it is well-shaped, healthy and in full bloom. And that is exactly why it’s important to know how to care for this hardy perennial once its blooms begin to show the first signs of fading – or if the plant has become overgrown and woody.

We know first hand that with just a little simple deadheading and care, it’s more than possible to get two to three bloom cycles every year out of our plants. And with that flowering success in mind, here is a look at what to do with your lavender this summer when it stops flowering – and how to get it to bloom again!

What To Do With Lavender After It Blooms

Encouraging A 2nd Bloom – What To Do With Lavender After It Blooms

If your lavender plant is fairly young and/or in good shape, there are a couple of quick and easy ways to encourage it to have a second round of flowering before the season comes to an end. But the key is to act fast!

Once you notice the first round of blooms beginning to lose color, remove the faded flowers. This is known as deadheading and is by far the best way to encourage more blooms. 

By deadheading old blooms off as they fade, you prevent the plant from wasting energy on old blooms. And without old blooms to try to heal, the plant can then focus on generating new flower buds. To deadhead, simply snip off the old bloom by cutting just above the first set of healthy leaves.

Pruning shears
Typically late summer to early fall is the prime time to prune lavender more deeply.

By not taking too much off of the plant, it can quickly begin to work on producing a new bloom set. Sometimes, as you will see later in the article, if your lavender plant has grown too big and woody, more severe pruning may be necessary after it blooms.

Maintenance – What To Do With Lavender After It Blooms

One thing you won’t need to do to your lavender to help it bloom again in the summer is fertilize it with heavy nutrients. In fact, lavender does not respond well at all to soil with too much power. But what will help to encourage more blooming is to mulch the plant’s base with a bit of compost after deadheading.

Compost is all natural and organic. It will not overpower the lavender but instead give it a small dose of energy to keep it growing healthy and strong. After applying the compost, water your plants as well to help the low and slow energy get to their roots. See: How To Make Great Compost – Fast!

After that, go easy on the watering. A bit of watering during dry periods can help it produce new blooms – but be careful to not overdo it. Too much water will slow lavender’s growth and bloom set and even cause it to rot out at the base.

What To Do With Lavender After It Blooms
With basic deadheading, there is little worry in being overly precise. Just take off any dull flowers and overgrowth from the top that you want to remove from the lavender after it blooms.

Finally, if growing lavender in pots, be sure to keep your pots in an area where they will receive full sunlight. At least 6 six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily is a must for plants to bloom again. Often, potted lavender is placed in too much shade, which will prevent a second bloom.

Dealing With Older / Overgrown Lavender Plants – What To Do With Lavender After It Blooms

Taking care of your lavender plants as they grow larger over time will play a crucial part in not just their overall health but also in how often and how vivid they will bloom. Without occasional deeper pruning and trimming back, lavender plants will become woody and overgrown.

When perennial lavender becomes too big, the stems start to become lengthy and split. Eventually, they become longer and heavier as they grow and the plant loses it luster. So much so that it can make it seem completely unrecognizable as lavender.

When a plant becomes woody, it will severely impact its blooming ability and it’s time for major pruning. So when is the best time for more severe pruning? Typically, late summer or early fall is the prime time to prune.

This is the ideal time to cut back because it allows for better blooming next year. By pruning in late summer and fall, the plant has time to recover. Come spring, it is ready to grow and bloom in full!

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How To Prune Lavender In Late Summer After It Blooms

Once your lavender has reached full bloom in the summer, check the plant’s interior structure. If you see any lengthening of gray woody stems towards the base, or any loss of vivid color at the top of the flowers, it’s time to grab the shears for a bigger pruning effort.

Before you begin, it’s important to know what not to do. Avoid cutting all the way down to the wood stems.  This will damage the plant and prevent any potential for a fuller bloom. Specifically, it’s best to cut 2-3 inches above the wood stem.

Leaving some leafy green stems helps keep the plant healthy and ready to flourish. If the plant is severely overgrown, you can cut back more. But realize when you do, it will take a bit more time to recover for blooming. Sometimes, with overly large plants, it’s unfortunately a must to get them back in shape.

Shaping Lavender

As you start shaping the lavender, you can cut it a couple of ways that will complement its growth. For potted plants and for smaller flower beds, you can go for a more compact rounded shape. This allows for blooms to be more controlled to compliment other perennials growing nearby.

Close up - lavender
The faster you remove old blooms, the quicker new ones can form.

In larger areas where the lavender has space to fill in, keep the pruning more centered on topping the plants back to keep them vibrant. This will allow for larger bloom stems to fill big areas with color.

The biggest key of all with lavender is no matter where it grows always be sure to deadhead those old blooms quickly and prune and shape lightly each time. It will keep plants in great shape – all while keeping the possibility alive for more rounds of blooms to form all summer long.

Happy Gardening! – Jim and Mary

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