LAVENDER HILL FARM

OF NILES, MICHIGAN LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI

 269-684-0123

 

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Fall Lavender Care/Fall Shop Hours

Posted 8/31/2015 4:08pm by Martha O. Wilczynski.

Lavender Hill Farm of Niles, Michigan  LLC

1219 Morris Dr., Niles, MI  49120,  269-684-0123

  www.thelavenderhill.com  www.facebook.com/thelavenderhill


 Dear Lavender Lovers,

It's that bittersweet time of year when we start to realize that summer is almost over. It's also time for us to think about shortening the Lavender Hill Shop hours. We are still open this week Mon.-Sat. 10 am to 4 pm, but we will be closed on Labor Day.  After Labor Day the shop will be open Thursday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm until Christmas. 

Lavender Maintenance Pruning:

Many folks have asked when they should cut back their lavender plants. Right now is a good time to prune back the flowers stems on your lavender if you haven't done it already in this area (USDA zone 5b or 6).  By that I mean cut down just far enough that you don't see any "stem stubble". It will require pruning off some leaves, but not too many.

If you haven't given your lavender plants a heavy pruning in a few years this might be a good time to do that as well.  By "heavy pruning' I mean removing more than two inches of leafy growth.  A heavy pruning in late summer or very early fall will produce more flowers in the coming Spring. If you do this periodically, Spring pruning will only be necessary when we have had a hard winter that kills some branches.  

How do you know when your lavender plants need a heavy pruning?  One sign is when you start to see little "tufts" of green growth at the end of several inches of bare stems. Your plants may look green on top but when you part the branches and look down into the center of the plant, there is not much green on the stems. If the plant's stems are pencil thickness or less, you can safely cut off those tufts of green at the top of the stems now (do this no later than the first week of September for best results.  That will stimulate more shoots to sprout during the mild fall temperatures, and pave the way for more plentiful blooms next year.    Pruning too late in the fall in our cold climate, is a common mistake and may not give your plant enough time to prepare for winter, making it more likely that the plant will not survive frigid temperatures later. 

Regular Maintenance Keeps the Plants Blooming Vigorously. 

People often ask if they should prune their plants back once they have gotten very woody and have started "opening up in the middle", meaning they have few or no leaves on those very thick stems in the middle of the plant.  If the plants have stems 0.5 inch or more in diameter, the likelihood of that plant surviving a heavy pruning is much lower than if the stem diameter you are pruning is smaller.  If you are going to attempt a heavy pruning of an older, woodier plant, doing it in the spring gives it the best chance of success.

"Plants opening up in the middle" is a sign that the plants have not been maintained properly.  Proper maintenance on both English lavenders and the "hybrid lavandins"  includes at least a light annual pruning to remove all flower stems (preferably before the end of summer), and a heavier pruning as necessary every 2 to 4 years after the plant is mature size, (generally 3-5 years old).  This hard pruning should include removing the ends of any branches that have started rooting around the perimeter of the plant. These rooted stem tips may be cut from the main plant and replanted elsewhere if desired. 

Enjoy these last days of summer and lets hope for a sunny, warm Fall!

Best Regards,

Martha

 

 





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