Propagating Lavender

Lavender by kathyv
Lavender by kathyv

TheGardenLady received this question from Sheila.

In order to be thrifty I would like to take some lavender cuttings to make a border in a sunny area by my mailbox. I have an established plant and some rooting compound. What next? Any advice.

Lavender Field by B*_J
Lavender Field by B*_J

There are two ways to propagate lavender. One is by seed and the other is by cuttings. Seeds are very tiny and therefore can be tricky to sow. Seeds from some lavender species don’t always run true. And seeds can be slow to germinate.

Cuttings are therefore an excellent way to propagate lavender. See here. Some people have success putting the lavender cuttings just in water without rooting compound. Experiment and try to root a few this way. Lavender officinallis may be the hardiest and most easily started lavender.

To propagate lavender from cuttings, take 2 inch shoots off the main stems and branches in late fall or early spring. Each shoot should include a “heel” which is a portion of older wood attached to its base. Cut the “heel” clean. Remove the lower leaves for about 1 inch from the base. Insert in well-packed sand in a cool greenhouse and keep the sand moist. Slight bottom heat will help rooting. While roots are not more than 1/2 inch long, put up in small pots in a mixture of 1/2 sand, 1/2 soil. Keep in cool greenhouse for winter if fall made cuttings or in a cold frame if spring made.

Read also what Master Gardeners learned about how to root lavender at
a lavender conference
.

When planting the baby plants outdoors, lavender will have much more
prolific blooms, with better fragrance, if grown in a light well-drained soil high in lime content. Rich or heavy soils encourage foliage growth rather than bloom. Lavender will do all right with six hours of sun a day, but it really needs full sun to achieve its true potential. Plant it in as open an area as possible for full air circulation to combat summer humidity. Also,  lavender wants good drainage. If you have poor drainage, try planting it on a raised (7-10 inches) mound. Finally, lavender needs a pH in the 7.0-7.3 range. You should have your soil tested.

Though lavender is a Mediterranean plant, Sequim in Washington State boasts that it is the capital of Lavender growing in the US. Every year they have a lavender festival. There are also lavender conferences that you might want to attend.

And if you like to raise lavender, you might consider joining the Herb
Society of America
.

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4 Replies to “Propagating Lavender”

  1. Thanks for the advice on propagating lavender, they’ve worked well for me. I now have a few new lavender plants for the front yard.

    I love having lavender in the house with it’s fresh smell and keeping the bathroom fresh.

    All the best,
    Belinda

  2. Since your site was one of the first to pop up on google, thought I would another another easy method of propagation that give you many shoots. Called mound layering (works for many woody shrubs), you :

    (1) prune the bush so it’s 3 inches or so off the ground. You are looking for it to make new shoots.
    (2)When the shoot are of good size 4-5 inches, mound it with sand/AGED compost/peat mix. More 75% sand and enough of the other to mound it.
    (3)lightly keep the mound moist and shade it. I move the lavender mother plant to the shade to keep it moist in my too hot sun.
    (4) Add more soil as the shoot grow
    (5) test the shoots for roots by gently washing away just a bit the mound .
    (6) Cut, not rip the new shoots once the roots are extablished (I leave it all winter here in Iowa and clip in the spring)
    (7) plant the babies!

  3. Thanks for the advice. we live in Mackay North Qld and have been trying for years to grow from small plants. We will try some cuttings from Brisbane plants and see how we go. my fingers are NOT green

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