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can I prune lavender, dusty miller plants?

Posted by vieja z7NM (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 6, 11 at 20:21

we had an unusual minus 9 degree night this winter (zone 7/5200 ft.) & the lavender & rosemary look like they died back. Can I prune back the lavender & rosemary (upright & prostrate varieties)?

Some 50 yr. old roses survived just fine but some younger (+7 yr.)ones have a lot of dead wood. Would like to cut them back to maybe a foot off the ground (above the graft)?

Also the dusty miller plant is as big as a bushel basket with long branches... can/should it be pruned back? It survived the minus 9 just fine but it is SO big & wonder if it would do even better (bushier, more flowers)if pruned a bit. We lost a lot of things to the freeze but hope some may come up again from the roots.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: can I prune lavender, dusty miller plants?

Cut all DEAD branches out of anything you grow now.
As for maintaining bushes, (lavender is a bush),
use the one third rule.
Cut down one third of the plant after it blooms.
Don't cut the plant now, unless it already bloomed.
Roses, use the one third rule for them too in very early spring.

RE: can I prune lavender, dusty miller plants?

Yes, I agree with butterfly. Definitely prune lavender to keep them looking nice. And the 1/3 rule is a great rule to follow.

It helps keep your lavenders looking great if you use your first 1/3 cut to create a "donut". Ie, make your first cut of 1/3 in the center of the plant, make the "donut hole". That will let light into the inside of the plant, and you will get a shapelier plant and stroner growth that won't flop over sideways.

When the plant has good regrowth in the center, then cut another third off the sides.

This method of pruning will keep your lavenders strong and beautiful. Would also work with Dusty Miller, artemesias-- any plant that gets woody and flops.

RE: can I prune lavender, dusty miller plants?

Gee, thanks so much Butterfly, Mehitabel!! I never would have thought of making the 'donut hole' to let the sun into the middle of the lavender.. In the Roswell, NM area & here in Albuquerque area there are a big lavender farms & even here in Albuquerque some commercial growers. I sew sachet bags & put the lavender,perilla, catnip, rosemary,western desert sage & sweet annie cuttings x my yard in them & 'stash' them descretly around the house & the aroma lasts a long time. The local nurseries can't believe my huge dusty miller survived this winter here outdoors! I will have to prune back the long branches though the whole huge plant is nice & full. The figs & pomegranates probably died back so will be a couple years of new growth x the bottom before we get any fruit again from them. Yes, Mehitabel, my two different (one smells like camphor!) artemesias are sprouting out fine. Sadly, I believe my old 6 ft. rosemary 'tree' was frozen all the way to the ground... no hope!

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