This morning I went out to the garden and took a few lavender cuttings. Lavender is a popular perennial for many gardeners since it blooms beautifully, smells great, and is very useful for making various crafts. A few years ago I started some lavender seeds which have grown into a small lavender shrub in our front yard. The green softwood growth in spring is ideal for taking cuttings so I figured I would try to root some more for myself and my farmers market customers. (More on Plant Propagation)
I took several cuttings that ranged from 2 inches to 4 inches in length. The ideal length is about 4 inches but some of these cuttings came off as I snipped small groups of branches. Kind of a collateral cutting situation.
I stripped the lower half of the cutting of its leaves very carefully. Fragile greenwood cuttings like these are easy to rip in half when removing the leaves so be careful!
I used rooting hormone to help speed things along. It isn't always necessary but I've found that it helps to quicken the process.
Then I stuck the cuttings into a plastic cup with moist sand. I only stuck enough of the cutting in the sand to allow the cutting to stand up on its own. I'll need to keep the sand moist until the cuttings have rooted. I don't want the sand with standing water, just damp enough to keep moisture around the cuttings.
Once I added the rest of the cuttings I set them under my grow lights on a heat mat. You don't have to use either a heat mat or grow lights for yours. Just find a location with a little bit of gentle light (dappled) where the cuttings can stay adequately warm.
These cuttings should root in a few weeks then I'll place them in small 4" pots to grow larger. When I plant them in the pots I'll pinch the top growth to encourage branching for a nice bushy little lavender plant.
I used the leftovers to make an air freshener for my wife's car. I didn't take a picture of the air freshener but it was extremely easy to make. Just put the leftover leaves in a small jelly jar used for canning. Then cover with a paper towel and tighten on the jar ring. Peel away any paper left hanging outside of the jar and you have a nice little air freshener! When it loses its scent just replace with other fragrant herbs.
Labels: lavender, plant propagation