Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Lavender cuttings

Back in the early Autumn I had occasion to get rid of an old potted Lavender plant that had become very leggy. When disposing of it I tore off a few sprigs of foliage and stuck them carelessly in a pot of spent compost which had formerly housed some potatoes, in the hope of getting some new plants. I didn't really expect them to root, since in the past I have been less than successful with Lavender cuttings, but I thought it was worth a try - I had nothing to lose after all. Guess what? Most of them seem to be alive still and several of them are showing signs of new growth. Some things seem to thrive on neglect!

This is how you are supposed to take cuttings:

1. Pull off (as opposed to cut) from the parent plant some non-flowering shoots, about 5 or 6 inches long, preferably with some of the bark of the parent plant still attached (the "heel"). The heel contains a lot of growth hormones and is more likely to produce new roots than the softer parts of the shoot.
2. Strip the leaves off about two-thirds of the lower length of the shoots.
3. Dip the heels of the shoots in Hormone Rooting Powder is you have any (not vital).
4. Push the shoots into a pot of moist compost, so that the remaining leaves are just above the surface, arranging them around the perimeter of the pot. Don't ask me why this works, but it does seem to work better than if you place the shoots in the middle of the pot.
5. Stick the pot somewhere reasonably sheltered and forget about it for a while. If you keep the pot indoors you can cover it in a plastic bag to increase humidity, since the air in our houses is often very dry, but I have found that this can encourage mould. Instead, I keep my cuttings outside, but in a sheltered position and uncovered so that they can benefit from rain when it falls.
6. With a bit of luck some of your cuttings will take root and form new plants. You can tell that they have rooted when new leaves appear on them, like this:

I'll leave these to grow stronger, and in the Spring I will pot them up into separate containers. Maybe next year I will have a decent display of Lavender...


  1. You'll be able to grow a small lavender hedge with that lot. It just shows that we can mollycoddle plants sometimes, they often like to be left to their own devices to get on with things.

    1. Yes, I'd like to have a Lavender hedge (if I had space for it), and the bees would enjoy it too.

  2. I usually make new plants by taking a stem still attached to the main plant and putting part of the branch under soil but letting the end see light. Often I have to hold it down with a rock. I let it sit a few months to a year. Then I dig it up once it has a good root system. Of course it doesn't look as pretty in the bed.

    1. Yes, I do that too sometimes. It's called "Layering".

  3. What a coincidence as I have been tidying up our lavenders that edge the fruit beds on the plot.

  4. Loving the never-say-die attitude of your Lavender plant Mark!

  5. ...around the perimeter. So THAT's how it's done! :)
    Have to try that.


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