Gardening Tips 1 – Restoring Old Lavender Plants

Restoring Old Lavender Plants

 

Restoring An Old Lavender Plant

Lavender Plant before Pruning

How I love the smell of freshly picked lavender and the beautiful fragrance that hits your nose when you walk into a room with fresh lavender drying out from picking.  Thirteen years ago I moved these plants in the photos as small cutting grown plants from Nelson to Ashburton where they sat in their polyplanter bags for 2 years, until I finally planted them in the ground for the first time inChristchurch.  By this stage my beautiful young plants had become rather scraggly, so I replanted them into a so called hedge along my driveway.  After two further years or maybe three of finally realizing that everyone was ruining my plants with standing on them and breaking the branches off them, plus they were being smothered with weeds frequently, I moved them to their current resting place along my front fence.  

When is a Lavender Plant too Old?
I guess you would have to ask this question “When is a Lavender plant too old?”  Well, when I moved these plants out to the road frontage, they were quite a mess and needed some serious pruning back to help them to re-grow and form new branches.  They are very woody, but with careful care and pruning, some watering in the dry, a little fertilizer and they have certainly rewarded me well. Not too bad for thirteen years old, when everyone recommends that you pull them out at about five years!!

Lavender Before Pruning

Full Flower Bloom Lavender Plants in a hedge

How to restore an Old Woody Lavender Plant
So how did I manage to restore these species into gorgeous prolific flowering plants?  I slowly trimmed back any dead wood, and then I worked in quarters at a time over the bush, trimming back hard, but not into the brown wood. I repeated this with each quarter, once the new growth had come away well, until I had reshaped and restored each plant.  If you trim back into the brown wood, and all over the plant at the same time too hard, you can kill it very easily.  I only did this process in the spring when the plant was growing and I made sure that all our frosts were over, as they can also kill your young plant growth.

Pruning and Feeding an Old Faithful Lavender
Every autumn, I enjoy spending several hours of a day carefully pruning and storing all my lavender from this hedge, which I then place on a table in the dark to dry.  Once this has dried I rub the lavender to remove the flowerheads and store these in containers. When I require a lavender bag for our pamper gift boxes, baskets and gift hampers, this very fragrant lavender goes on and on and is most suitable.  My supply goes a long way and it has a very long lasting fragrance.

The hardest job for me is to trim off the new young fresh lavender shoots, because I just want to turn them into yet another lovely lavender plant. Enough of this, and I will share this with you in a further posting, of how you can create

Lovingly Restored old lavenders with Roses

Roses, old lavender plants and buxus hedges

beautiful plants for free.After pruning my lavenders and trimming back any misshaping, I ensure that my plants are well weeded, and then I apply a small handful of slow release fertilizer to get them growing happily before the weather turns too cold.  A good watering will help as well.  I’ve never over watered them, and I think that this may be the secret to their long life as they seem very happy. 

If you enjoyed this article then please leave your comments below.  If you love gardening and the outdoors, or just enjoy a small fragrant garden, then I do hope that you found these tips of help.  Do make sure to come back and read mynext post on Gardening Tips 2 – Getting the Best out of Young Lavender Plants.

 

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