Can we ever have too many lavender plants at home? No, I don’t think so!
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have as many lavenders as you wish, but you can propagate them. And guess what: all for free!
You can propagate lavenders very easy. You just need an established lavender plant and some patience. Just one lavender plant can give you dozens more for free. And it works for all types of lavenders.
Whether you want to propagate from stem cutting or from seeds, in this article you can find the instructions on how to do it.
Propagation with Cuttings
You can propagate lavender from hardwood or softwood cuttings.
The hardwood cutting is thick and doesn’t bend. This can snap if you are trying to bend. Hardwood cuttings have a woody stem and these are the older parts of the lavender. These should be collected in spring or fall.
Softwood cuttings are from the soft, bendy tips of the new growth. You can have plenty of softwood cuttings during the spring and you can cut them without destroying or disturbing the plant.
The downside of gathering softwood cuttings is that these are not as reliable as hardwood cuttings. However, softwood cuttings will root quicker.
How to Take Cuttings?
When choosing the stem for cutting, make sure there is no bloom on it. You should always cut a stem that has only leaves because the blooms can take the energy of the plant and it has low chances that it will grow roots. This stem will focus on blooming, rather than growing roots.
You should always choose a healthy, straight and vigorous stem that has good color and no buds. Using a sharp knife and take the hardwood or softwood cutting. These should be 3 to 4 inches.
Always use a very sharp knife, because the scissors or a blunt knife will close the stem in the place where you’re cutting it. This can make rooting difficult.
So, cut the hardwood stem just below a leaf node. That is the node where the leaves grow from. Remove the leaves from the stem. You just need the leaves on the top of the stem, as these will help the rooting.
Then you can stick the lower end of the cutting into the prepared soil. Remember, you need to put them in the soil in the same direction the plant was growing. So, keep track of which side is the bottom.
The soil should be well-draining soil and you can use rooting hormone to enhance the rooting process.
After planting the cuttings, put a plastic bag over the pot, so you can provide a greenhouse effect for them.
How to Care for Lavender Cuttings?
As I mentioned earlier, softwood cutting will root quicker than hardwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings can grow roots in two to three weeks.
When it comes to the hardwood cuttings, you should check them regularly because these take a little longer. Every other day you can pull gentle the cuttings. If you feel resistance, it means there are some roots grown.
When the roots are formed, remove the plastic bag.
Put the pot in a sunny place and water it only when the top inch (3 cm) of the soil is dry.
You can also fertilize it to help the plant to grow new roots, however, if you use commercial soil, the containing nutrients should be enough for the new plants.
Once the cuttings grow roots, you can repot them in separate and larger pots.
Propagating lavender plants from cuttings is the easiest way. Success is more likely to happen than growing plants from seeds. But to have cuttings, you have to have a plant.
If you don’t want to buy one because you have seeds or you just enjoy challenges, then here is how to propagate lavender plants from seeds.
Propagation from Seeds
The lavender seeds can be purchased from shops, or collected from the plants.
If you want to collect them, you should do it after flowering, when the flowers faded and the seeds pods dried out completely.
When you shake the plant, the seeds will fall out of the pods. This is when you should collect them.
You should sow the seeds whenever you like from February to July. Using wet seed compost, put the seeds on the surface and then sprinkle them for covering some vermiculite or finely sieved compost.
Place the pot in a sunny and warm place, so the soil will not be too wet and the seeds will get enough heat.
You must provide the temperature of 65 to 70° F/ 18 to 21° C to ensure germination. It can take one to three months for the seeds to germinate, so be patient.
However, once the lavender seeds have several leaves, you can transplant them already.
Air Layering Propagation
Spring is the best time to propagate by this technique because the lavender plant is in active growth.
Air layering propagation is the best method to choose if you want to put the least effort into propagation, but it can be done only on a healthy established plant.
So, choose a low-growing stem on your healthy plant and bend the middle of the stem downwards to the ground. Remove the foliage from the middle portion of the stem and make a shallow wound on the lower side which will touch the ground.
Then sprinkle the wound with rooting hormone and then bury the wounded part of the stem into the ground (1-2 inches).
To keep it in place, put a stone on it or “staple” it with a piece of bent metal. These stems should root in about 8 weeks.
After rooting, you can cut the stem off and transplant it, wherever you would like, in well-draining soil.
Propagating lavender plants is not difficult. This can be done with cuttings, sowing seeds or air layering.
Propagation from cuttings and air layering will provide quicker results and the new plant will be true to the original plants.
Growing lavender from seeds can be more challenging, but it is not impossible. However, the new plant might differ from the original plant.