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I have several lavender bushes in my front yard. They are quite woody and overgrown and I want to cut them back to hopefully provide more flowers, but also to get them back from the pathway some. When is the best time to do this - or should I think about removing them and putting in new plants?
Several years ago there were lots of flowers, this past year - not so many.
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You are lucky to have had such good luck with your lavender plants. They must like where they are growing. If left unpruned, lavender plants eventually become floppy and sparse. Annual pruning keeps them neater and more compact. This can be accomplished by shearing or by pruning individual stems. In areas with colder winters like we have, do this pruning in the early spring; in areas with milder winters, they can be pruned right after they finish flowering. Prune to remove the old flower stems, removing at least one inch of the leafy growth below the spent flowers. Old, neglected, overgrown lavender plants cannot usually be rejuvenated by more severe pruning; they should be replaced with young vigorous plants. This may be the best course of action if they have been in the ground for many years. You can try pruning them this spring and see how they respond. If they don't flush out with nice new growth, consider replacing them.