Propagating lavender isn’t difficult, and it’s a fun way to get more plants for your garden. In this post, I’ll show you everything you need to know about how to propagate lavender cuttings, with detailed step by step instructions.
Once you learn how to propagate lavender plants from your garden, you’ll be able to grow as much of it as you want. Plus you can share it with your friends and family too!
In this post, I’ll talk about different lavender propagation methods, tell you when is the best time to do it, and show you how to take and prepare the cuttings.
Then I’ll give you the detailed step by step propagation instructions for exactly how to be successful rooting lavender in either soil or water.
Lavender Propagation Methods
There are a few different ways you can propagate lavender plants: by rooting the stems in soil, by rooting the cuttings in water, or from seed.
In this post, I’m only going to talk about how to propagate lavender from cuttings taken from mature plants, and then rooting them either in water or soil. I’ll save the seed starting post for another day.
Related Post: How To Grow Lavender From Seed & When To Plant
When To Propagate Lavender
The best time to propagate lavender is during mid-late summer during their active growing season, and when it’s hot and humid outside.
If you take cuttings too late in the summer, or in the fall when the plant is starting to go dormant for the winter, they may not root.
How To Take Lavender Cuttings
Before taking cuttings, make sure that you prepare the soil or vase of water first (see steps below for details). Don’t let them dry out or shrivel before you try propagating them.
There are a few things you need to look for before you take cuttings from your lavender plants…
- Ideally you should take cuttings of branches that haven’t flowered yet. Flowering takes a lot of energy from the plant, and a branch that hasn’t flowered will be able to put all of that energy into growing new roots instead.
- It’s also best to take cuttings from a mature lavender plant rather than one that’s brand new or immature. That way, you’ll feel confident that there’s plenty of energy for the cuttings to form strong roots.
Once you find the perfect branch, cut it from the plant at the base of the stem.
Take cuttings that are several inches long. Each stem you remove should have 3-5 leaf nodes, but still have several inches of growth at the top.
Related Post: How To Prune Lavender Plants.
Preparing Lavender Cuttings For Propagation
After taking cuttings from your lavender plant, remove the bottom 3-5 sets of leaves from the stem. You can pinch them off with your fingernail, or snip them off with a sharp pair of clippers.
Removing the bottom leaves will create small wounds on the stems, and that’s where the roots will grow out of.
Longer stems make it easier to propagate lavender plants because there will be more area to stick into the dirt/water, and that gives you a better chance of rooting.
If any of the stems have already started to flower, simply snip or pinch off the flower spike to encourage the cutting to put that energy into growing new roots.
A cutting with a flower on it is probably not going to root, because it will waste all its energy on bud formation.
How To Propagate Lavender Step-By-Step
Below I will walk you through the steps for propagating lavender in soil, and also in water. The steps are different for each, but not complicated.
Propagating Lavender In Soil
Before you can propagate lavender in soil, you’ll need to collect a few supplies. Don’t worry, you won’t need a bunch of expensive equipment – and you probably already have some of this stuff on hand.
- Propagation soil (I make my own using a mix of perlite, vermiculite, and potting soil – but a nice seed starting mix will work too)
- A pot or propagation chamber
- Rooting hormone
- Plastic bag (optional)
See my detailed list of the best plant propagation tools & supplies here.
Step 1: Plan for humidity – If you’re going to be propagating lavender inside the house or outside in a dry climate, you’ll need to add humidity.
It will be easiest to use a propagator, or cover your cuttings with a plastic bag if you put them in a pot. Simply tent the bag over the top, making sure it doesn’t touch any part of the cuttings.
But if you live in a humid climate like I do, lavender cuttings will root pretty quickly outside in a shady spot.
Step 2: Dust stems with rooting hormone – Right after you finish preparing your cuttings, dip the stems in rooting hormone.
Rooting hormone helps them root faster, and gives you a better chance of success!
Related Post: How To Harvest Lavender Fresh From The Garden
Step 3: Make holes in the dirt – Before sticking the cutting into the soil, make a hole with your finger first.
That way the rooting hormone won’t rub off when you stick the cutting into the soil.
Step 4: Place the cutting into the hole – Stick the cutting into the hole that you made, then press soil around the stem.
Gently packing the soil like this will ensure that the cutting stays firm in the pot, and also that the soil comes in good contact with the stem.
Step 5: Add the rest of the cuttings – Repeat the same step to put the rest of the stems into the soil. You can put several cuttings into one large pot or your propagation chamber.
But try to space them apart far enough so they don’t touch each other. This will ensure adequate airflow, and will help to avoid molding or rotting of the cuttings.
Related Post: How To Collect Lavender Seeds From Your Garden
Step 6: Cover the cuttings with plastic (optional) – If you’re using a propagation box, then simply put the lid on it. Otherwise, tent a plastic bag over the entire pot to help provide extra humidity around the cuttings.
If it’s humid outside, then you can skip this step. But remember, lavender cuttings need high humidity in order to form roots.
Step 7: Put the cuttings into a safe spot – Place the pot or propagation box in a spot where they will be protected from sun, wind, and heavy rain during propagation.
Keep the soil evenly moist, but not wet. Check on them daily to make sure the soil never dries out completely. You can also mist the cuttings if you’re not using plastic.
Once you start to see new growth at the top of the cuttings, that’s a good indication that they have started to grow roots.
It takes 3-6 weeks for them to develop roots, depending on the temperature and humidity level. If you’re starting them indoors, adding bottom heat will speed things up, and helps the cuttings root faster.
Related Post: How To Dry Lavender From Your Garden
Propagating Lavender In Water
Propagating lavender in water is even easier than using soil. BUT there is a downside!
Cuttings rooted in water have a harder time being transplanted than those that are propagated in soil. So keep in mind that you may have a lower survival rate when you root them in water.
It’s fun to experiment though, so I encourage you to try both methods to see which one works the best for you! Here’s how to propagate lavender in water…
- Vase (I like to use a clear vase so I can easily see when the roots start to form)
- Tepid water
- Decorative rock (optional)
Step 1: Put decorative rock in bottom of vase (optional) – I like to put an inch or so of decorative rock into the bottom of my vase.
That will make it more sturdy, and looks nice too. It’s totally optional though, and won’t help the cuttings root any faster.
Step 2: Fill the vase with water – Pour room temperature (tepid) water into the vase until it’s about 1/2 – 3/4 full. I prefer to use filtered, distilled, or rainwater, but you can use tap water if that’s your only option.
Step 3: Add the cuttings – Put your lavender stems into the vase of water just like you would with fresh cut flowers.
Step 4: Check for leaves touching the water – Don’t allow any of the leaves to touch the water, or they will only rot.
If any leaves are in the water, you can dump some of the water out of the vase. Or pull out the cuttings, remove the offending leaves, then place the stems back into the vase.
Roots may start forming in water a little faster than in soil, depending on the humidity and heat levels. But wait until there are several thick roots before you attempt to pot them up.
Tips For Transplanting Rooted Lavender Cuttings
Once the roots are established, it’s time to transplant your lavender starts into their own pots. At this point, you can move them into the sun, and allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings.
After your baby lavender plants become established in their new pot, you can plant them into the garden. I recommend planting them on a shady day, or in the early evening after the intense heat of the sun has passed.
Be sure to keep them well watered until they become established in the garden, otherwise they may not survive the transplant shock.
Learn more in my comprehensive lavender plant care guide!
Lavender Propagation FAQs
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about propagating lavender. If you can’t find your answer anywhere, then ask it in the comments below.
Can you root lavender in water?
Yes! Follow the steps in the section above called “Rooting Lavender Cuttings In Water” to learn exactly how to do it.
How long do lavender cuttings take to root?
It can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks for roots to develop on lavender cuttings. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster they will root.
Can I propagate lavender without rooting powder?
Yes. You don’t need rooting hormone when you propagate lavender. But you’ll have much better success rooting cuttings in soil when you use it. It’s not very expensive to buy, and easy to find at any garden center.
Propagating lavender is pretty darn easy, and rewarding too. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have tons of baby lavender starts to share with friends and family, or to fill your garden beds.
Propagating plants is fun and addicting! If you want to learn how to propagate even more of your favorite plants, then you will love my Plant Propagation eBook. It has everything you need to get started using basic propagation methods to propagate any plant that you want! Download your copy today.
More Posts About Plant Propagation
- How To Propagate Basil – A Step By Step Guide
- Propagating Rosemary By Rooting Cuttings In Water Or Soil
- Propagating Mint Plants From Cuttings Step-By-Step
- Plant Propagation: A Detailed Guide For Beginners
- A Cheap and Easy Propagation Box for Rooting Cuttings
Share your lavender propagation tips in the comments section below!