Many evergreens as many deciduous plants may be propagated by semi-ripe cuttings. This is a great way to increase your plant stock for free. These cuttings are usually taken from mid-summer to early autumn. Select shoots from this season’s growth that are hard and woody in the base but soft in the at the tip. This is why they are called semi-ripe. In this guide we show step by step how to propagate lavender by semi-ripe cuttings.
How to prepare the cuttings compost
Before collecting the cuttings, you should prepare the compost and containers that will receive them.
The recipe we use is made of turf and sharp sand. But you can use perlite, pine bark, grit and other suitable materials that can retain moisture but at the same time drain well.
How to prepare the semi-ripe cuttings
Cuttings should be taken during the morning as they are much hydrated and the temperature is lower. They should be 7cm to 10cm long and cut with a sharp knife just below a node. In this case we took bigger shoots with scissors and then reduce them to the correct point with a sharp knife.
Hold the cutting with one hand and with the fingers from the other remove the lower two thirds of leaves (see images).
This will allow the roots to grow and reduce moisture loss. Make a shallow wound at one side of the cutting to help it root on those exposed tissues.
How to pot the cuttings
Although not absolutely necessary for lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) you can dip the base of the cutting in a rooting hormone to increase success rate.
Insert it in the soil (for some cuttings you may need the help of a pencil or a little stick). Firm the compost mix around the cutting but not pressing to much.
Make sure the cuttings don’t touch each other as this will increase possible fungi proliferation.
Water the cuttings gently and label them. You can also spray them with a fungicidal solution to prevent diseases.
Place the container in a sheltered position from direct sunlight and specially from strong wind.
Inspect the cuttings periodically removing any fallen leaves. Don’t forget to keep the compost moist (not soaked).