Shear lavender after bloom to encourage a bushy habit. Lavender can be a short-lived shrub in the garden, because it has a tendency to become woody on the inside and break. Because lavender doesn't come back from hard regenerative pruning, the best way to keep your lavender plants looking full and bushy is to shear them immediately after bloom.While you never want to cut into bare wood, by shearing off the spent flowers and about a half-inch of foliage, you encourage the plant to sprout new, more compact shoots. Shearing also keeps the plant evenly shaped.To shear, use handheld hedging shears and gently clip off all the spent blooms back to the fluffy mound of foliage beneath. Again, don't prune more than ½ to 1 inch of foliage off, as the lavender won't come back from shearing to bare wood.