Lavenders, which make up a whole genus with more than 50 species, are present in a large number of homes and gardens thanks not only to their beautiful flowers in purple tones, but also to that fresh, soft and pleasant smell, which is their trait. more characteristic.
If you have a plant of this type in your home, surely, you want to learn everything about its care and, therefore, in this article we bring you a practical guide on how to prune lavender and when to do it .
Types of lavender
As we have already said, there are a large number of lavender species , but most of those that can be found usually belong to one of these types.
- Lavandula angustifolia : this species, also called Lavandula officinalis , lavender or vera, is typical of Italy and France, and has woody stems and long, thin leaves. It is commonly used to extract essential oil from it, with medicinal and relaxing properties.
- Lavandula stoechas : the stoechas comes from the Mediterranean area, and stands out for its peculiar flowers in a quadrangular spike, topped by three bracts of very bright color. It is highly appreciated both for its decorative value and for its medicinal properties.
- Lavandula dentata : the dentata variety is typical of the western Mediterranean, where it thrives in areas of limestone soil. It produces mauve flowers in spikes of up to 5 cm, and is used for ornamental purposes, for making perfumes or for its digestive properties.
- Lavandula multifida : also called alhucemilla, this species is recognized by the fragmentary distribution of its leaves and by the fine visible hair that covers the entire plant. It is smaller than most species, reaching heights of up to 50 cm.
When to prune lavender
Lavender is a rustic shrub, which means that it is a plant of great resistance and strength, so its care is not too demanding, and not even in the hottest months does it require constant watering. However, there is one thing that is important with lavender, and that is to prune it at least once a year to stimulate its growth .
Lavender pruning can be done up to twice a year . The first pruning is recommended at the beginning of spring, and its function is to stimulate the growth of the plant, while delaying its aging. The second pruning is recommended after the summer flowering, in order to remove dead branches and dry spikes.
How to prune a lavender plant step by step
As a woody shrub, lavender tends to lignify, so proper pruning is necessary to prevent premature aging of the plant. Follow these steps to prune a lavender plant properly :
- Sanitize your pruning tool. For pruning lavender, both razors and pruning shears are helpful.
- Make a small bundle with some of the stems that you are going to prune, so that they are together when you cut them.
- Make the cut towards the middle of the stem or, at least, about two inches from the woody base. This is the lignified area (which becomes firewood over time) of the stem, and if you cut it through this area of the base, the plant will not grow back in this part when damaged.
- Carry out the pruning giving the lavender the desired shape. As the plant ages, its base and interior areas will become depopulated, so taking special care of the lower part of the exterior will help to keep it beautiful for longer.
How to sow lavender seeds
The sowing the seeds of lavender is always advised in spring . Planting them is very simple, and whether you want to sow your lavender in a pot , in a seedbed or a germinator or directly in the ground, you simply have to moisten the area where you are going to place the seeds, previously prepared with universal substrate, and sow them with some separation between them to avoid excessive competition. Once planted, cover them with a thin layer of substrate and moisten them again with a sprayer.
If you have a lot of seeds and want to make sure you only plant the ones that are in good condition, you can soak all of them in a glass of water 24 hours before planting. Those that are sunk will all germinate. In any case, you should see the first seeds germinate in about a week.
Properties of lavender as a medicinal plant
Lavender is widely known for its medicinal properties. Specifically, the medicinal properties of lavender are:
- Insect repellent
Uses of lavender as a medicinal plant
After knowing the properties of this plant, we mention some of the most common medicinal uses of lavender :
- In infusion, it is used to relieve nervous headaches and insomnia thanks to its relaxing and soothing properties, as well as being taken after meals for its digestive effect, being able to mix with more relaxing or digestive medicinal herbs, depending on what it is used for.
- However, most of its properties are used with its essential oil, with which you can make massages that relieve muscle aches or use soap, and it is also a good treatment against insect bites or sunburns.
- In addition, its essential oil diluted in a little water is a good hair rinse against lice, as it repels them easily.