When to take lavender cuttings – what you need to know about lavender cuttings

Bella Hadid plants lavender during coronavirus lockdown

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Lavender plants are widely available during spring and summer in the UK, and you can buy them in garden centres and online. In this case, plants are usually sold in 9cm container or larger, ready for planting at home. Lavender can also be bought as a plug plant in spring by some suppliers, and this is a more affordable way to buy if you’re after a bulk purchase. Lavender looks beautiful in flower borders, herb gardens and as a low hedge or edging to a border, but if you don’t have any of these, don’t fear as it also grows excellently in containers.

Lavender is a plant originating from the Mediterranean, and even though it’s not always geographically from the area, its needs suit the lifestyle.

Lavender plants need lots of sunshine and to be planted in fast-draining soil.

Unfortunately, the pant will not survive for long in shady, damp or extremely cold conditions, which is why in the UK gardeners are advised to plant in the warmer months.

Lavender prefers dry or moderately fertile soil, including chalky and alkaline varieties, and won’t thrive in heavy clay soil or any soil that gets waterlogged over the winter.

When to take lavender cuttings

Taking lavender cuttings in the summer months is likely best, as they root easily and will provide you with lots of new plants for free.

But ultimately, this is just a guide as the best kind of cutting depends entirely on the type of lavender and time of year.

Softwood cuttings are plentiful in the spring and you can gather more of them without destroying the main plant.

This variety root very quickly but aren’t as reliable in the long term as hardwood cuttings.

Even though softwood cuttings are only available in spring, you can take hardwood cuttings from the spring months all the way to autumn. 

How to take lavender cuttings

Regardless of the type of plant or cutting, you should always cut healthy, straight and vigorous stems for the purpose of rooting.

Choose stems with good colour and no buds blooming. Use a sharp knife to take a hardwood or softwood cutting measuring about three to four inches long.

With hardwood stems, cut just below a bump that indicates there is a leaf node in the area.

Remove all of the leaves from the lower two inches (5cm) of the stem and then gently scrape the skin off the bottom portion of the stem on one side with a knife.

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Put the cutting to one side while you prepare your container. Fill a small pot with commercial starting moss or a homemade mixture of half vermiculite or perlite and half peat moss.

Add a little bit of bark to enable drainage to flow smoothly through the pot.

Next, you can choose to dip the stripped root of the cutting in rooting hormone if you wish, but your lavender will still grow if you omit this step.

The rooting hormone will help prevent the tip from rotting and encourages quick, strong root development.

Stick the lower end of the cutting about two inches (5cm) into the soil and firm the soil up so the cutting stands up straight on its own.

Cover with plastic to form a greenhouse-like environment for the cuttings to grow and thrive.

Softwood cuttings should root in two to four weeks, and hardwood will often take a little bit longer.

You can check to see if the stems have formed roots by tugging gently at them, but wait several days between tags as you can damage young roots by doing this too often.

Remove the plastic bag when the cutting has developed roots and set the plant into a sunny location, watering it when the soil is dry an inch (2.5cm) or so below the surface.

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