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Trimming lavender and herbs

My partner and I have had the wonderful opportunity to house sit a cottage for a year, but I am struggling with the garden. I know that you are supposed to cut lavender back once it stops flowering. What I am wondering is do the same rules apply for standard lavenders? Also, there is a wonderful herb garden here, and once again should I be cutting these back as well?


Lucky you, managing to house sit a cottage and a garden! You are quite right about pruning lavender once it has finished flowering, and the rules also apply to standard lavenders. However, you cannot be too hard when cutting the plants back as lavenders only rarely grow new shoots from old wood. I recommend cutting back into the green growth by between a third and a half. This should encourage new growth and new flowers. You should also remove any straggly or sick foliage and dead twigs. With the standard lavenders, you should also make sure you maintain a good shape to the plant. Lavenders do not last forever, and when they get woody it is often a good idea to replant with new plants.

As for the rest of the herb garden, it really does depend on what herbs there are. Annuals like basil and fennel can be removed; they will not last the winter. Perennials like rosemary, marjoram and thyme can be given a light trim to keep their shape and encourage new growth. Sage can be treated in a similar manner to lavendar. Good luck!

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

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