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Lavatera Help - Hi, need some advice. I've got a lovely lavatera. It gets really big in the Summer time and actually blocks the pavement! I think I actually forgot to prune it last Autumn (assuming that I was supposed to?) so that's why it's presently quite big.

Anway, my question is, is it too late to cut it back a bit so that when it does grow in the coming months it won't be quite so big? There's no buds on it yet. I'm a bit concerned about cutting it back too much as I read somewhere that lavateras are short-lived shrubs and I don't want to reduce its life expectancy any further!

Thanks in advance.

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Good thing you didn't cut it back last autumn, that's the worst time of year to cut these. You can prune it back as hard as you like right now, the perfect time to do it. Take off as much as you need to ensure its not blocking the pavement by the end of the growing season.

3 Apr, 2014


Great, thanks. I'll get the pruners out first thing on Sunday morning!

5 Apr, 2014


P.S. The pruners are at the ready!
Last check - is it ok to cut the woody parts as well as the fleshy parts? Thanks

7 Apr, 2014


Yes, I've cut these down to 8 inches from the ground, woody stem and all - but bear in mind they're not long lived shrubs anyway. Funny thing is, in each of the three gardens I used to do where this grew, the plant produced seedlings in the border the year before it died...

7 Apr, 2014


Brilliant thanks. I wonder how long they can live for. I've been here 3 years now and it was well established before I got here. There's no sign of it dying anytime soon (famous last words), it's getting wilder and harder to control by the year if anything.

8 Apr, 2014


Average 5-8 years, but that's an average, not a definite.

9 Apr, 2014


Hi, I just thought I'd update this post with a 2nd photo of the Lavatera in its current condition. I did cut it back twice (but obviously not enough!) but it does has a tendency to take over a bit. I do love it though.

22 Jun, 2014


Yes, they are very attractive in flower. Try cutting it back hard in April instead, back to woody parts - they can put on 8 feet of growth in a single season.

23 Jun, 2014


Thanks. A bit more advice required please! This has now more or less finished flowering, I can only count maybe 4 or 5 flowers on it. But it is still blocking the pavement somewhat. Would it be okay to cut about 12 inches off the shoots that stick out furthest from the centre of the plant before autumn/winter do you think?

17 Sep, 2014


You have no choice but to do so if its blocking the pavement!

17 Sep, 2014


Many thanks. It has been blocking the pavement all summer though but it looked so nice I left it at as it was ;) So perhaps I should cut the bare minimum off at the moment to unblock the pavement and then a big prune back next Spring?

19 Sep, 2014


Yes, that's the option I'd go for.

19 Sep, 2014


Many thanks, that's what I'll do then. I have a lavender 'hedge' alongside it that needs cutting back too so I can kill two birds with one stone.

20 Sep, 2014

How do I say thanks?

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