Propagating Lavender…Part 2

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A month ago I posted on how to propagate lavender but only explained the first steps which include taking cuttings of lavender from an existing bush, dipping the stems in rooting hormone and placing these cuttings into terracotta pots filled with compost and vermiculite. But after four weeks of being kept in a moist and warm place these tiny shoots of lavender have grown silky white roots and we can continue with the project.

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It’s a miracle really and one that will excite you the first time you do it yourself. Who knew that growing plants could be so easy…and cheap? When you consider that purchasing a lavender plant from the garden centre can set you back about Β£5 or more you realise how economical it can be to not only save your own seed but to propagate your own plants from cuttings. It’s in this way that you can create lovely lavender hedges and borders without spending a small fortune.

Once your lavender cuttings are planted you’ll need to keep them moist and warm for several weeks before you can expect them to have taken root. It’s after that time has elapsed that you should check to see if you can spot any tiny white threads reaching through the pot’s drainage hole. Even if you see new green growth on your cuttings you should really wait until you see sign of roots before you pot on, just to make sure they’ve developed nicely before disturbing the baby plants.

Now that your plants have root-sign you’ll want to pot them on into individual modules or small pots. Try not to choose containers that are too large at the moment because its best to allow the roots to be able to quickly find the edges of the container and to fill the module space with healthy growth. If you plant small seedlings and cuttings into large pots it’s possible that the roots will end up spindly and weak. And weak roots equate to sick plant.

Upend the pot over one of your hands with the baby lavender plants either between your fingers or resting along the edge of your palm. Then shake gently to get the compost and cuttings to fall out of the pot – it’s best not to poke any sticks into the drainage hole since you can damage delicate roots.

It’s likely that the soil from the centre of the pot falls out and the plants remain stuck to the sides of the pot. This is because those little roots are hanging on to the pot for support and you’ll just need to gently tease them away before potting them on. Your baby lavender plants can be potted on into ordinary multipurpose compost but it’s best to also incorporate some vermiculite to aid drainage.

After some weeks have passed you’ll begin to see strong growth at the top and a mass of roots coming out of the bottoms. When you see these signs you’ll know that it’s time to pot your plants on again into larger sized pots. Eventually your plants will be ready to be planted out and you can even expect them to put out a few flowers their first year. Lavender loves sunshine and well drained soil so if choose your site well your new plants can live on supplying beauty and fragrance for years.

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28 Discussion to this post

  1. Jo says:

    It's great to be able to increase your stock without having to shell out money to do so. Will you be selling some of these on your stall? I bet they'd do very well.

  2. Deco Cat says:

    Oh I wish I had read this before buying oodles of lavender plug plants. Definitely going to try this method.

  3. Shirley says:

    Came across your blog the other day and love it. We live in Australia coming from Chester over thirty years ago. Will be visiting every day to see what you are doing over there.

    • Thanks so much Shirley and am glad you found me πŸ™‚

      That's quite a move from Chester to Australia! Are there any plants that you used to grow here in the UK but don't have or won't grow in your new home? In any case I'll bet you're able to grow so much more down where you are now – especially more exotic fruits and veggies.

  4. Toward the end of each month I like to stop by and visit a few blogs that aren't on my regular stop.

    I came over from Ronda at down to earth…This will be my first year getting some lavender in my flower bed and hopeful in my new herb bed…If you have time stop on in and have a cup of coffee.

  5. farmer_liz says:

    thanks for this tutorial, I love lavender and I hate paying for it, this is the perfect solution!

  6. This is a very nice tutorial Tanya. It's good to highlight cheaper ways to propagate herb plants and I'll be following your lead in this. I have a 2 year old lavender plant which grew from a seed in the veg patch; it's still quite spindly but is about 9 inches in diameter. This year I'll prune it back and hope for a stronger, bushier plant next year. Amazing to have something so beautiful from one tiny seed!

  7. It's great to see someone growing on their own plants. I am going to be doing some lavender this year too so I am glad for the pointers especially the one about using the smaller pots….I didn't know about that.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i have a quick question you may be able to help with :), my lavender plant is looking a bit stringy and is going grey at the bottom of the stem, any ideas why? was looking lovely last year. this is my 3rd lavender plant to do this so im thinking im doing something wrong. Any advice would be much appreciated. thanks

    • Your plant is going 'Leggy' and since it's happened before to other plants I'd hazard a guess and say that your soil is too acidic. You can sweeten the soil by adding handfuls of garden lime each year but if the plant is small enough I'd recommend digging it up and replanting into an area that's more alkaline. Again, you can change your soil PH by adding garden lime in the new spot and/or filling it with soil that has the proper PH.

  9. Lin says:

    Hi and thanks for a really good and detailed tutorial. I took cuttings in August and they have taken well. I have potted them on and all is well. But they only have one tall stem, I want them to grow bushy. Can I cut off the the tops? They currently live in my potting shed in 12 deg Celsius with plant light.
    The growth seem to have stagnated a bit. Can I feed them? Warmer temp maybe?
    Would love some tips!
    Thanx again for all the tips!!

    • I've just seen this comment Lin so apologies for the late response! New plants take time to fill out but by trimming the tops you can curate a better shape from the get go. I'd also try to make sure that the soil they're planted in is as well drained as possible.

  10. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I am new to propagation but have already acquired a small addiction. Every plant I see I size it up for possible cutting options! My question is this: I bought two lavender plants this spring. They are doing well and I've had to harvest two batches of flowers already. However, my plants don't have the woody stems that you show in your photo, they are soft and green from top to bottom. Is it still possible to take the cuttings and have success or are they too young and maybe I need to wait until next year when they are more mature? Please advise, thanks!

    • If you take cuttings from your new plants it could stress them out. I'd recommend going scouting for lavender plants in your friend's gardens and even along the pavement in some neighbourhoods. A sneaky cutting or three never did anyone harm πŸ˜‰

  11. Jennifer pasto says:

    Can you propagate lavender in August and plan on having them in the ground by November……and be successful? I live in NY
    Thank you

  12. Hlary says:

    I’ve just picked up your tutorial and wonder whether the seasons might be topsy-turvy since I’m in England! I’ve just garnered a dish full of seed from my white lavender, and I wonder if I sow it now whether anything will come of it. Otherwise I have a dish full of very nice pot-pourri in the making….

    • Hlary says:

      As an addendum to the above, reading some of the comments I thought you were in Australia…..

    • lovelygreens says:

      Lavender plants grown from self-collected seed don’t always grow true but you can still try! Wait until spring to sow them though. If you want to grow plants that will be true, grow from cuttings as shown in this post.

  13. Bea says:

    Great reading and will try this to fill in my lavender hedge I’ve started a couple years ago. Although I do have to point out to pour some of your rooting hormone into another container to dip your plants into… otherwise your could possibly put something bad into your container of rooting hormone… I usually use an old pill bottle… just the right size as to not waste but you can get a stem into it.

  14. Dorise White says:

    Hi Tanya, I love the small of lavender and I enjoy tea I am wanting to make lavender tea. I bought two Bonnie Bell plants of lavender about a month and a half ago, they both have died 😭 However the roots look healthy Will it grow again from the roots or should I trash the plant? IREALLY NEED HELP ABOUT THIS. THAN YOU AHEAD OF TIME [email protected]

    • lovelygreens says:

      You mean the upper parts of the bush have died? I had a plant that suffered similarly and only one part of the plant continued to grow. A year later and I laid the plant to rest in the compost pile since it was clear that it wasn’t going to recover. Best thing for you to do now is get some cuttings and grow new plants from them!

  15. Dorise White says:

    Thank you for the reply. Well-actually the whole plant is gone. I just can’t grow lavender I gues😭 Oh well,happy it works for you. 😊 I don’t think I’ll ever try it again though. I’ m just not wanted.LOL. Again thanks for reply.

    • lovelygreens says:

      Don’t give up Dorise! Having a green thumb is a LEARNED skill and it takes practice just as much as any other hobby. Do try again but maybe begin with a new lavender plant from the garden center and read up on what the plant needs. It likes a certain type of soil, watering, and a very sunny spot.

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