Can you ever have too many lavender plants? This article explains how to propagate lavender from cuttings. The project doesn’t require any special equipment, and it’s easy enough for a beginner. Read on to learn more.
Propagating Lavender Plants
You can start lavender from hardwood or softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings are taken from the soft, pliable tips of new growth. Hardwood is thicker than softwood and resists bending. It may snap if you force it to bend.
The best type of cutting to use depends on the type of lavender and the time of year. Softwood cuttings are plentiful in spring, and you can gather more of them without destroying the parent plant. They root quickly but aren’t as reliable as hardwood cuttings. While softwood cuttings are only available in spring, you can take hardwood cuttings in spring or fall.
Some types of lavender bloom freely, making it hard to get a blossom-free stem when the wood is soft. Blossoms drain the plant of energy, and it’s unlikely that a stem will have the resources to form good roots if it is trying to bloom. These free-blooming plants are best rooted from hardwood cuttings.
Taking Cuttings from Lavender
Regardless of the type of cutting, you should always cut healthy, straight, vigorous stems for rooting. Choose stems with good color and no buds. Use a sharp knife to take a hardwood or softwood cutting measuring 3 to 4 inches long. Cut hardwood stems just below a bump that indicates a leaf node.
Remove all of the leaves from the lower 2 inches of the stem and then gently scrape the skin off the bottom portion of the stem on one side with a knife. Set the cutting aside while you prepare the container.
Fill a small pot with commercial starting medium or a homemade mix of half vermiculite or perlite and half peat moss, with a little bark added to facilitate drainage. Dip the stripped tip of the cutting in rooting hormone, if desired. Rooting hormone helps prevent the tip from rotting and encourages quick, strong root development, but lavender roots well without it.
Stick the lower end of the cutting about 2 inches into the soil and firm the soil so that the cutting stands up straight. Cover with plastic to form a greenhouse-like environment for the cuttings.
Lavender Cuttings Care
Softwood cuttings from lavender root in two to four weeks, and hardwood cuttings take a little longer. Check to see if the stems have roots by giving them a gentle tug. If you feel resistance, the stem has roots holding it in place. Wait several days between tugs, as you can damage tender young roots by tugging on them too often. Remove the plastic bag when the cutting has roots.
Set the new plant in a sunny location and water it when the soil is dry, an inch (3 cm.) or so below the surface.
Feed the plant with one-quarter strength liquid plant fertilizer once a week. If you plan to keep the plant in a pot for more than two or three weeks, transplant it into a larger pot with regular potting soil that drains freely. Commercial potting soils have plenty of nutrients to maintain the plants without supplemental feedings.
Propagation of lavender from cuttings is easy and more likely to be successful than growing the plants from seeds. With cuttings, you can rest assured that your new plants will be exactly like the parent plants.
Plants for Free: How to Propagate Lavender from Cuttings
Instructions on how to propagate lavender from cuttings. Works for all types of lavender and cuttings from new or semi-hardwood. Full DIY video at the end.
Lavender is a useful and beautiful plant for any garden, making it no wonder that so many of us want to grow it. You can use the lavender buds to make skincare, sachets for your clothing, or sprinkle them into cookies. When they’re in bloom they’ll draw bees and other insects from far and wide. On a strictly ornamental level, they create stunning hedges and low-maintenance architectural plants.
Buying a few decent sized lavender plants will set you back a fair amount though. A fiver apiece will rack up quite the bill if you need ten, twenty, or more plants. Fortunately, there’s a way to create your own lavender plants for practically nothing. All you’ll need is an established lavender plant, time, and patience. Propagating lavender from cuttings is also fairly easy to do and you can use the same method for other plants like rosemary. Just one plant can give you dozens more for free.
Lavender plants that I propagated from cuttings six years ago
New plants can grow from stem cuttings
Taking cuttings is basically snipping a piece of an existing plant and letting it grow its own roots. The small plants that result are clones of the parent plant and will produce the exact same foliage and flowers. It’s a non-obtrusive method of propagation and you can use it every year to increase your plants.
Soft-wood is the new fresh growth that plants put on in spring. Each sprig of soft-wood can either be left on the shrub to increase its own size or it can be taken off and used to root a brand new plant. Early on in the spring some of the new green growth might be a bit short but you can also use older wood that the new leaves are growing from. This older stem is called ripe wood and will readily grow roots providing that you cut it in the right place and apply a rooting hormone.
Cutting below a leaf node
Step 1: Taking Cuttings
Cut a stem from your plant. Starting from the top, use a very sharp knife to cut 4-6″ long sections just below a leaf node. A leaf node is any place along the stem where the joints of leaves grow from. See what this means in the above photo. If the stem is long enough, you can create multiple cuttings from it.
Using scissors is not a good idea for this step either, in case you had it in mind. They pinch the stem as they cut and partially close the stem, making rooting difficult. Please also keep track of which end was the top end and which was the bottom. You need to plant the pieces into the soil in the same direction the plant was growing. If it’s planted upside down, the cutting won’t take.
Rooting Hormone helps stem cuttings to form their own root systems
Step 2: Trim the leaves
Using that same knife trim all but the top bunch of leaves from the stem. You need a few leaves to feed the plant but too many forces the plant to direct energy and food to the leaves. You want them to focus on the business of putting down roots.
Free-draining soil and terracotta pots are ideal for propagation
Step 3: Prepare the pot and compost
Fill a pot with free-draining compost such as two parts ordinary compost mixed with one part perlite or grit. If you use ordinary compost with no added drainage material then it can tend to be too wet for the cuttings to thrive. They need moisture, but they prefer to have it drain away quickly too.
Terracotta pots are a bit better than plastic pots since terracotta can breathe, whereas air and water can’t pass through plastic. This breath-ability creates better conditions for rooting and can also reduce the chance of fungal attacks. And if you’re able to soak the terracotta pots in water overnight, all the better.
Plastic bags act like mini-greenhouses
Step 4: Planting
Though some people don’t use it, I like to use a substance to help stimulate the cutting to grow roots. Dip the bottom 3/4 inch (2 cm) of the stem into rooting hormone and then plant the cutting in compost. Use a pencil or small dibber to make a hole in the compost just at the edge of the pot. Bury the cutting all the way to the leaves, and space the next one at least a half-inch away. Firm the compost around the cuttings.
Once your pot is filled, give it a good but gentle watering and place a plastic bag on top. A clear drinks bottle with the bottom cut off will work too. This serves as a mini-greenhouse and helps keep the compost and cuttings warm and from drying out. If you plan on propagating a lot of cuttings, you might want to invest in a plant propagator.
Step 5: Rooting
Place your pots in a warm place with diffused or partial sunlight. If it’s too hot or the light too direct your cuttings can wilt and suffer. Rooting will take place within the next month to eight weeks. Keep the compost moist and after a couple of weeks begin checking the drainage hole for signs of roots. If any of the cuttings wither or turn brown during this time, gently pull them out and dispose of them.
Roots and new leaves will form on the cuttings within a couple of months
Step 6: Individual potting up
Potting up happens after both roots are visible from the drainage hole and new leaves are beginning to form. Gently remove the new plants from the compost and pot them up into individual 3″ pots. If you’re using small pots to propagate lavender cuttings in, you may need to gently up-end it.
The new lavender plants need to be planted into compost that holds a little more water than before. Mix one part perlite or grit to 3 or 4 parts compost. Plant them up to the same place they were in the propagating pot.
The new baby lavender plants are ready for the garden.
Step 7: Planting your new lavender
Grow the plants on until plenty of new leaves have filled out and the plant has bushed out a bit. This could take several weeks to a couple of months and a nice sheltered place with plenty of sun is best. Over-winter them undercover, such as in a greenhouse or cold frame, and plant them outside the following spring. Research the final size of the lavender variety you’re growing and spacing to know how to plant them.
Lavender prefers free-draining soil that has a neutral to alkaline pH. If you have acidic clay soil, you should consider working garden lime and grit into the planting site the autumn before. For more tips on growing and caring for lavender, head over here.
Lavender that I’ve planted to grow into a low hedge
You can propagate more than Lavender
Propagating your own plants from cuttings is a rewarding experience. It’s very easy to do and once you’ve propagated one plant you’ll know how to propagate others. Patience is always key when it comes to nurturing any living thing. Those weeks of waiting for your plants to grow will pay out dividends in the garden. Here are more ideas for creating your own plants for free
How to Take Lavender Cuttings: Step by Step
This time we learn how to cut lavender or lavender cuttings. Cutting plants is one way to multiply plants for free. There are many plants that can be cuttings and one of them is lavender.
If you are still learning how to multiply plants, then starting in the summer is one of the most common ways and this will make lavender plants take root quickly and you can get lots of lavender for free.
To multiply lavender plants, you can cut the shoots, but choose shoots that are not flowering and not diseased. So, this is what was chosen to increase lavender.
Not only for lavender, you can also take the tops of other plants and reproduce with methods like this. Among other plants that you can try are rosemary, rose, and including postemons.
To be successful in propagating plants by cutting methods, please follow the step by step below. Hopefully with this method, you can get lots of lavender plants for free and this is very profitable. To take lavender cuttings, you must prepare the following ingredients:
- Sharp knife
- Pot with a height of 10 cm
- Peat, multi-use compost
- Rooting hormone, liquid or powder
- Polythene bag, clear
Below are the steps you should pay attention and please try:
Select the side sprigs or shoots to be cut, pull sideways and cut with a sharp knife on the base.
Cut the bottom of the stalk or heel, then the root system will grow in this place. Trim this small flap by using a knife.
Remove some of the lower leaves so the stems look long. This rod will later be put into compost.
Before we put the stems into compost, first dip all the stems or stems that we will plant into the rooting hormone. Then put the stems in the compost mixed with sand in the pot, put in the side of the pot.
If it has been planted, water the entire plant and cover with the same pot. It aims to maintain humidity so that it stimulates plant growth.
6. Place the pot in the shade
Then after about 4 to 6 weeks have passed, usually the roots begin to grow. At this time, cut off the plastic ends to increase ventilation.
If it is well rooted, then open the plastic completely and take each lavender stick to be planted in another pot separately. From this one pot, we can get some of the plants we have planted earlier, now the stems are turned into new stems that are ready to become adult lavender.
That’s a simple way to reproduce lavender plants, you can do this technique for other plants as we have mentioned above.
My lavender plants that are grown from cuttings
Here are some photos of my baby lavender plants that I grew from cuttings and photos of the same plants, a year later, when they already grew to a respectable size. More photos of my lavender plants are here
A step by step guide to propagating lavender
One of the easiest ways to propagate lavender is by taking cuttings - and the best time to take cuttings is after flowering. Pruning lavender at least twice a year is an important way to ensure it stays bushy and healthy, so there’s no harm in taking the offcuts from routine pruning to create even more lovely lavender plants.
It will take about a year for the propagated lavender to become big enough to plant, so it pays to think ahead!
What you'll need to propagate lavender
A step-by-step guide to propagating lavender
Step 1 Choose non-flowering shoots that have a woody base but a soft, green tip. Gently pull a 10cm shoot to side and strip away from main plant, ensuring it has a heel (a strip of bark) attached. Trim with secateurs.
Step 2 Remove leaves at base of cutting and dip cutting into rooting hormone powder that’s suitable for semi-hardwood cuttings.
Step 3 Fill pot with seed raising mix. Using pencil, poke a shallow hole in top of mix and insert cutting. Repeat for each cutting. Firm cuttings into mix with your fingers and water. In cool or cold areas, cover pot with a clear plastic bag secured around rim with elastic band. You can skip this step if you live in an area with a warm, humid climate. Position pots on a warm windowsill and water when dry – take care not to overwater, as this will cause cuttings to rot.