How to propagate lavender by semi-ripe cuttings (updated with results)
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. In this guide we show step by step how to propagate lavender by semi-ripe cuttings.
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 at the tip. This is why they are called semi-ripe or semi-hardwood 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 generic potting soil 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. While collecting the cuttings, store them in a plastic bag, so they do not wilt
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.
Now we need to remove some of the lower leaves. Hold the cutting with one hand and with the fingers from the other remove the lower two thirds of leaves (see pictures).
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 plant 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 containers 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).
Now, we have updated results! Here is the part 2 of this step by step guide of how to propagate lavender by semi-ripe cuttings.
Almost a season has passed. These cuttings were rooting during previous autumn and winter, we are now in early July and they are ready to be planted individually.
Look how they are grown. As you can see, some cuttings have failed, but that is part of the process. We should allways take more cuttings than needed because some will eventually fail.
The top part of the plants shows they are ready to be planted. And if we look to the bottom of the pot, more signs of readiness are seen. Look at the roots that are growing through the drainage holes.
Choose a mild day to do this because a hot day in July can literally burn the new plants. If you not feel confident, just wait until september to separate the cuttings.
Lift the cuttings from the pot. If you turn the pot upside down, you can easily take the root ball out and then work to gently separate the cuttings. Try to keep the roots as unperturbed as possible.
See how many roots it has. This is a great sign and it will establish quickly.
Separate the cuttings individually to be ready to plant.
Use a well draining compost, lavenders hate to be with wet roots. and plant in individual pots.
Water the pots so the soil feets well around the roots and place them protected from direct sunlight and wind for two weeks.
These cuttings will grow for another year and next year they will have a good size to be planted in a definitive position. We don’t yet know where we are going to plant them but there are allways a place for a lavender. This is a great plant to have in the garden, an excelent choice for pots and a huge source of food for polinators, every garden should have a lavender. Feel inspired in the Mediterranean garden style, lavender is a symbol of this style.
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