It might grow sullen and leggy but there’s a lot to love about lavender.
If you’ve found yourself googling “How to prevent a lavender plant from going woody”, we understand your frustration. Do not give up yet as there are a few tips that might help!
To keep lavender bright and perky you’ve got to provide it with sandy, well-drained soil. Lavenders like an excess of sunlight, and if you can manage one, a spot out of the rain. Ideally, you should place lavenders at the base of a sunny wall or a window box.
Lavenders need regular trimmings without which they’ll grow wild and sprawl just about everywhere. In late summer, trim back your oldest flower heads and 1 inch (2-3cm) of foliage. This will help you keep everything looking neat and well-tended-to.
You will need to replace woody plants because lavender has a tendency to hold onto old wood. Take a semi-ripe cutting and plant it into a compost tray. You will find that it will settle quite nicely into a sandy compost in a cold frame over winter.
Soil Maintenance And Care
If you’ve got richer soil, it’s recommended to amend it with a bucket of heavy compost and about the same amount of perlite.
Make sure to really get in there for optimal drainage.
The compost acts as a homing beacon for worms that will help break up the soil structure and keep it from compacting, forcing the roots to spread. Just slopping a handful of perlite in the bottom of the planting hole and dropping the lavender on top isn’t going to work, either.
Your soil is going to remain perpetually soggy.
In the coming winter, the perlite will sit in water and so will lavender roots.
Decide When To Let Go…
It is almost impossible to get lavender to revert back into the neat, orderly plant it once was after it has grown big. This is because the woody parts don’t really put out new growth.
Upon hacking misguidedly into this, all you will have left to show for it is a handful of sorry little stubs. In this case, it is better to take cuttings or start again than to try to rehabilitate the plant.