These small bushes are very easy to care for. There are two
main considerations, water and pruning. To some degree feeding will
also affect the quality of the plant.
In temperate climates such as the UK there is almost no situation
where lavender in a plant bed will require watering. It is very well
adapted to prolonged drought, the long, thin, thick leaves are it's
mechanism for preserving water. So unless there is a prolonged drought
and the plant is wilting then do not water it.
Lavender in pots and tubs will require watering a little more
frequently but be very sparing. Only water when the compost has dried
out for a couple of days.
Do not feed lavender when planting it. Each spring after that apply a
general purpose liquid feed, no further feeding is required.
HOW TO PRUNE LAVENDER
This is simplicity itself. Firstly, do nothing for a complete
year's growth. Then each year after flowering has finished in autumn, cut off the top six inches of
growth. It's that simple, no special techniques required at all.
After about six years or so your lavender bush will start to get
woody at the base and foliage will progressively only appear at the
top of the plant.
Because lavender are so easy to propagate the best
solution is to to take some cuttings (click "propagate cuttings" in
the top left hand menu) and grow them on for the next year. Dig up the
old plant and replace it with a new one.
If you are one of those who simply cannot destroy a long serving
plant then try to encourage new growth at the base by pruning in three
Cut the foliage back by about one third in spring. This will cause the
lavender to put on new bushy growth.
When the new growth appears leave if for a month or so and then cut
back that growth by half. This may well cause foliage to appear at the
base. If it doesn't work, and often this the case, then all hope is
If stage 2 did work then the final step is to prune out the old
growth so that it is about 5cm (2in) above the new growth.
Never prune into old wood which has no new growth from it. If you
do this the old wood will never be productive again.