The first year of your lavender plant is when it's most fragile. After that, very little care is needed to maintain a beautiful shrub. Here are a a few tips for the first year:
As the lavender plant becomes established in its first year, it will start sending off small shoots of buds and begin flowering. Resist the urge to enjoy these flowers. It will be best in the long run to trim these buds back. This will encourage the plant to spend its energy into good root production. You will be rewarded for your restraint since your lavender plant will double in size the second and third year planted.
Keep weeds away! Lavender does not like to be crowded. We recommend using a limestone mulch around the base of the plant. This will help keep weeds away, protect the plant from soil fungus, and will give an extra boost of alkalinity to the soil.
In late summer, give your plant a good haircut! Trim the top third of the soft green branches back. This will help your plant survive the winter and create a stronger and more full shrub. You want to do this 4-6 weeks before your first expected frost so the plant can "harden-off" in time for winter. Make sure to remove any cuttings or debris away from the base of the plant in order to reduce the risk of disease.
Over the winter and into early spring, the lavender branches and leaves may change color from a bright green to a dull gray color. We call this "winter die-back". However, not all is lost! Lavender plants are surprisingly resilient. As soon as the temperatures start to rise (mid-70's and above), you'll begin to notice tiny new sprouts forming at the base of your plant. This is always a comforting sight! Get ready...purple is on the way!