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Hannah Holman 7th September 2017

Propagating Your Lavender

Propagating Your Lavender

Brightly coloured, versatile and pleasantly fragranced, lavender is a firm British favourite in both contemporary and cottage gardens. It’s easy to grow, looks good all year round and the cut plants are delightful when used as scented sachets or in vase displays.

Lavandula Angustifolia 'Rosea'‘Hidcote’ and ‘Melissa Lilac’ are some popular varieties which offer contrasting colours of the dominating purple, which look great mixed and matched.

Propagation is a great way to ensure you have an abundance of your favourite lavender plants year after year. If you’re wondering how, follow these useful steps.

When should lavender cuttings be taken?

June, July, August, September.

How long will it take?

It shouldn't take more than 45 minutes, but this will vary slightly depending on how many cuttings you wish to take. It will take several weeks for the cuttings to grow.

What tools are needed?

  • Sharp knife

  • 10cm pots

  • Multipurpose compost

  • Rooting hormone powder (Optional)

  • Water

  • Polythene bag

How is it done?

You can start lavender from hardwood or softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings are taken from the soft, pliable tips of new growth so gathering them won’t damage the parent plant. Opposing to this, hardwood is thicker and more reliable but is resistant to bending so may snap if forced to bend. While softwood cuttings are plentiful through spring, hardwood cuttings can be taken in spring and autumn.

You should always cut healthy, straight, vigorous stems with good colour and no buds. Blossom-free stems are preferable as blossoms will drain the plant's energy, making it less likely to form good strong roots.

  • Use your knife to take a cutting around 3 or 4 inches long just below a bump that indicates a leaf node.

  • Strip away the leaves from the lower 2 inches of the stem. This is so it can be cleanly inserted into the compost.

  • Gently scrape the skin off the bottom part of one side of the stem using your knife.

  • Dip the end of each cutting into your rooting hormone (this step can be skipped).

  • Fill your pots with compost and insert several cuttings around the edge roughly 2 inches deep into the soil. Firm the soil to make sure the cuttings stand up straight.

  • Water the compost well.

  • Cover the whole pot with a polythene bag to maintain a humid, greenhouse-like environment for the cuttings.

  • Place your pots in a warm but shaded place.

  • Once rooting has started (approx 6 weeks), cut the corner of your polythene bag to increase ventilation.

  • After a few more weeks, give your stems a gentle tug. If you feel resistance, the roots are holding the stem in place. When you are confident the roots are nice and strong, remove the polythene bag completely.

  • Remember to water whenever the soil appears to be dry.

  • Once the cuttings are well rooted, they can be distributed to individual pots.

And there you have it, your lavender has multiplied!

Remember, you’re unlikely to have a 100% success rate, so make sure you discard any stems which don’t make the cut!

 

Source: Gardeners World

 

 

 

 

 

 

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