Do you deadhead lavender to keep it blooming?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Deadheading French lavenders throughout the summer is indeed a crucial practice to keep them blooming continuously. French lavenders, also known as Lavandula stoechas or Spanish lavenders, are popular for their vibrant and aromatic flowers. These lavenders have a unique blooming habit, with the main flush of flowers appearing in spring and early summer. However, by deadheading regularly, you can encourage these plants to produce more flowers and extend their blooming period.

When we talk about deadheading, we refer to the removal of spent flowers or flower spikes from the plant. This process prevents the plant from channeling its energy into seed production and instead redirects it towards producing new flowers. By removing the faded blooms, you are essentially telling the plant that it needs to keep flowering in order to reproduce.

To deadhead French lavenders, you can simply pinch or cut off the spent flower spikes just above a set of healthy leaves or buds. It is important to do this regularly throughout the summer, as new flower spikes will continue to emerge. By removing the faded ones, you not only maintain the plant’s appearance but also stimulate further growth and blooming.

I have personally experienced the benefits of deadheading French lavenders in my own garden. In the past, I neglected deadheading and noticed that the plants started to decline in terms of flower production as the summer progressed. The faded flower spikes remained on the plant, and soon they started to wither and turn brown. This not only affected the overall appearance of the lavender but also hindered the formation of new flower buds.

Realizing my mistake, I started deadheading regularly, and the results were remarkable. The lavender plants responded positively, producing more flower spikes and extending their blooming period well into late summer and even early fall. The vibrant purple flowers, buzzing with bees and emitting their delightful fragrance, became a highlight of my garden throughout the season.

Deadheading not only encourages continuous blooming but also helps maintain the overall health and vigor of French lavenders. By removing spent flowers, you reduce the risk of diseases or pests that may target the fading blooms. Additionally, deadheading allows more sunlight and air circulation to reach the plant, preventing issues like powdery mildew or root rot, which can be detrimental to lavender.

To summarize the importance of deadheading French lavenders:

1. Continuous Blooming: Deadheading redirects the plant’s energy towards producing new flowers, resulting in extended blooming periods throughout the summer.

2. Appearance: Regular deadheading keeps the lavender plants looking neat and tidy, enhancing the overall beauty of your garden or landscape.

3. Health and Vigor: Removing spent flowers reduces the risk of diseases and pests, while also allowing better air circulation and sunlight penetration.

4. Personal Experience: I have witnessed firsthand the positive effects of deadheading on French lavenders, with increased flower production and an extended blooming season.

Deadheading French lavenders is a simple yet essential practice to ensure continuous blooming and maintain the health of these beautiful plants. By regularly removing faded flowers, you encourage the growth of new flower spikes, resulting in a vibrant and fragrant display throughout the summer. So grab your pruners or simply pinch off those spent blooms, and enjoy the rewards of a flourishing lavender garden.