In this guide we will learn step by step how to propagate lavender by cuttings and get free seedlings.
These much appreciated small shrubs can be propagated by semi-woody cuttings. This is a great way to increase the number of plants without spending money.
It is also a way of ensuring that you have new plants to replace others that are losing vigor or that may even die during the cold months.
Semi-mature cuttings are usually taken from mid-summer to early fall. Select branches from this season’s growth that are hard and woody at the base but soft at the tip. That’s why they are called semi-mature or semi-hardwood cuttings.
Before harvesting the cuttings, you must prepare the compost and containers for planting them.
The recipe we use is made from generic potting soil and coarse sand. But you can use perlite, pine bark, gravel and other materials that are able to retain moisture, but at the same time drain well.
How to prepare semi-hardwood cuttings
The best time of day to harvest the cuttings is in the morning. In the morning the temperature is lower and the plants are more hydrated.
They should be 7 to 10 cm long and should be cut with a sharp blade just below a knot.
In this case, we collect larger branches with scissors and only then do we cut them to the right size.
Now let’s remove the lower leaves. Hold the cutting in one hand and with the fingers of the other, remove the lower two-thirds of the leaves.
This will expose the tissues of the small branch where the roots will grow.
How to plant lavender cuttings
While not absolutely necessary for propagating lavender or lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) , you can dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormones to increase the success rate.
Insert the stake into the ground (for some stakes you may need a pencil or a stick to open the hole). Pack the compost around the stake, but not too hard.
Make sure the cuttings don’t touch each other, as this will increase possible fungal growth. You can spray them with a fungicide solution for prevention.
Water the pot and label.
Place the pots in a place protected from direct sunlight and especially from strong wind. Inspect the cuttings periodically to remove any dead leaves. Remember to keep the compost slightly damp (never soaking wet).
Try this technique also with other shrubs like santolina or rosemary. We would like to know if this technique worked for you. Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.
Now, we have updated results! Here is part 2 of this step by step guide on how to propagate lavender by semi-hardwood cuttings.
These seedlings have been rooting since the fall of last year, now it’s early July and they are ready to be planted individually.
Notice how they grew. As you can see, some stakes failed, but that’s part of the process. We must always make more stakes than necessary, because some will eventually fail.
The top of the plants shows that they are ready to be planted. And if we look at the bottom of the pot, we see more signs of growth. Watch the roots that are coming out through the drainage holes.
How to plant lavender seedlings
Choose a mild day to plant because a hot day in July can literally burn the new plants. If the weather is too hot and dry and you’re not feeling confident, wait until September to replant the seedlings.
Lift the seedlings out of the pot. If you turn the pot upside down, you can easily remove the root ball and then work on carefully separating the plants. Try to keep the roots as undisturbed as possible.
See how many roots they produced. This is a great sign and these plants will establish themselves quickly.
Here are the new plants separated and ready to plant.
Use a well-draining compost, lavenders do not tolerate having roots with excessive humidity. Plant in individual pots.
Water the pots so that the soil settles in close to the roots. Place the pots out of direct sunlight and wind for two weeks.
These seedlings will grow for another year and, next year, they will be at a good size to be planted in the final location. We still don’t know where we’re going to plant them, but there’s always room for one more lavender. This is a great plant to have in the garden, it is aromatic, an excellent choice for pots and a great food source for pollinators. Take inspiration from the Mediterranean garden style , lavender is a symbol of this style.
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