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How I Propagate Lavender from Cuttings Easily

Who knew that the secret to an endless supply of lavender lies in a simple cutting? I’ve discovered that while some folks are out there playing the seed game, the real magic happens with a pair of scissors and a bit of patience.

Between June and September, lavender plants are in their prime, bustling with energy and begging to be propagated.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or someone who can barely keep a cactus alive, I’ve got good news: propagating lavender from cuttings is a breeze.

And for those hybrid lavenders that snub the idea of producing seeds, cuttings are your ticket to expanding your purple empire.

My Lavender Propagation Thoughts

I’ve realized it’s not just about sticking a piece of stem into the soil and hoping for the best. There’s an art and science to it, ensuring those fragrant sprouts flourish.

Choosing the right time is key. Although you’ve heard that June to September is prime time, understanding why can make all the difference.

During these months, lavender plants are actively growing, making them ideal candidates for propagation.

Let’s talk about preparing for propagation. I always start with a container filled with well-draining, sandy soil.

This type of soil mimics lavender’s native habitat, fostering a better environment for root development.

After getting a healthy 2-3 inch cutting from a well-established plant – think 2-3 years old – I’m careful to remove leaves from the lower 2 inches. These leaves would sit underground and would not perform photosynthesis, making their removal a necessary step.

Moisture is key throughout this process. Keeping the soil moist, but not waterlogged, ensures the cuttings don’t dry out before they can root.

I don’t always use rooting hormones on my lavender cuttings; it’s a personal choice and varies among gardeners. However, once those roots are pronounced, moving your new plant to its permanent spot becomes the next exciting step.

One important note: Some lavender varieties are patented, meaning propagating them without permission could get you into hot water. Always double-check the variety of your lavender and ensure you’re clear to propagate.

Tools and Materials Needed for Propagation

When it comes to propagating lavender from cuttings, having the right tools and materials at hand can make the process smoother and more successful.

lavender plants

Selecting the Right Lavender Plant

Choosing the right lavender plant is key. I look for plants that are healthy, vigorous, and free of pests or diseases. These plants tend to produce the most successful cuttings.

Specifically, I target softwood cuttings from the plant—these are the newer growths that are lighter in color and more flexible than the hardwood sections.

I avoid any parts with flowers or buds to ensure the cutting focuses all its energy on rooting rather than blooming.

Preparing Your Propagation Station

Getting my propagation station ready entails gathering a few key supplies. Here’s a simple list of what I typically use:

  • Sharp Pruning Shears or a Knife: Cleanliness is next to godliness here, so I make sure my tools are disinfected with soapy water followed by rubbing alcohol to prevent any disease transfer.
  • Small Pots or Containers: I prefer using plastic pots since they’re lightweight and easy to move around. However, any small container with drainage holes at the bottom works.
  • Well-Draining Soil Mix: Lavender loves well-drained soil. I usually mix my own using equal parts of potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand. This ensures good drainage and aeration around the cuttings.
  • Watering Can or Spray Bottle: Right after planting, the cuttings need a gentle watering to help settle the soil around them. A spray bottle is perfect for this, as it prevents over-watering which can lead to root rot.
  • Labels and a Permanent Marker: If I’m propagating more than one lavender variety, labels are a lifesaver for keeping track of which is which.

Setting up this station beforehand keeps me organized and makes the entire propagation process more streamlined.

Step-by-Step Guide to Propagating Lavender from Cuttings

lavender plant in pot

Step 1: Choose Your Cutting Type and Time

When it comes to propagating lavender, timing and selecting the right type of cutting are key.

Opt for softwood cuttings, which are from this year’s growth and haven’t flowered yet.

These cuttings have the best chance of rooting. Early summer is the perfect time for this task, as the plant is in its active growing phase but not yet expending energy on flowers.

Step 2: Harvesting the Cuttings

Grab a sharp, disinfected pair of scissors or pruning shears and head out to your lavender plant. Look for healthy, non-flowered shoots from this year’s growth.

A good cutting measures about 2-3 inches long. Snip just below a leaf node (where leaves join the stem), as this area is rich in growth cells and will encourage root development.

Step 3: Preparing the Cuttings

Once you’ve got your cuttings, it’s time to prep them for planting. Strip off the lower leaves to expose a couple of inches of stem.

This ensures that the part of the stem that’ll be buried in the soil is clean, minimizing the risk of rot.

Step 4: Rooting Hormone Application

While opinions on using rooting hormone mix, I’ve found that a light dusting can significantly improve your cutting’s chances of rooting.

It stimulates root growth and helps protect the cutting from diseases. If you’re going for it, dip the base of your cuttings into the hormone powder, then tap off any excess.

Step 5: Planting the Cuttings

Fill a pot with well-draining sandy soil—lavender loves good drainage. Stick your cuttings about 1 inch deep into the soil, ensuring they’re standing upright.

Space them about 3-4 inches apart so they have room to grow without competing for resources.

Step 6: Creating an Ideal Growing Environment

Lavender cuttings thrive in a warm, moist environment. While you don’t want the soil to get soggy, keeping it consistently moist is vital.

A plastic cover or bag over your pot can help maintain humidity, but remember to remove it occasionally to let the cuttings breathe and prevent mold growth.

Place your cuttings in a bright spot, but out of direct sunlight to avoid scorching them.

Step 7: Monitoring Growth and Root Development

Patience is key here. Root development can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the variety and conditions.

Check for rooting by gently tugging on the cuttings after about a month.

A slight resistance usually means roots are forming. Once the roots are well-developed, usually around 2-3 inches long, you can begin to harden off your plants by gradually introducing them to outdoor conditions before planting them out.