How To Propagate Lavender: A Complete How-To Guide

Lavender's a great favorite of herb growers. Learning how to propagate lavender lets you fill your garden with even more of these beautiful, fragrant plants.

Lavender Cuttings
lavender growth
(Image credit: MartaJonina)

How To Propagate Lavender – Easiest Ways To Grow More Plants

Lavender remains among the most popular herb plants for the home garden. Highly ornamental, these gorgeous leaves and flowers are renowned for their fragrance and use as a companion plant. Many gardeners who want more lavender in their growing space take a special interest in lavender plant propagation. How do you propagate lavender? Read on for some great info on how and when to do it.

Best Ways to Propagate Lavender

Softwood Cuttings

The process of cutting softwood generally refers to taking small segments of new plant growth, or that which has just begun to mature. This type of cutting can be taken from lavender plants in the spring and will yield dependably good results. If cuttings are taken early in the growing season it allows ample time for each one to begin to root and eventually be potted into individual containers. 

Hardwood Cuttings

Gardeners also find success growing lavender from hardwood cuttings. Hardwood stem segments are usually taken much later in the season, from mid-summer until fall. This is often ideal, as more mature or woody stems require a longer period of root development and establishment while outdoor conditions are cool.  

Layering

Layering occurs by stretching or bending a living plant’s branches towards the ground and covering a small portion of the branch or stem with soil. Over time, leaf nodes in contact with the soil begin to grow roots. Lavender can be propagated this way with ease. Branches with young shoots are the best candidate for layering, provided that soils are kept consistently moist throughout the entire season.

Best Time to Propagate Lavender

The best time to propagate lavender depends upon the technique. Propagation processes that use new or only semi-hard wood are best done in the spring. This includes softwood cuttings, which are much more likely to root at this time. Lavender to be propagated from plant matter that’s more mature is better done later in the season and can be allowed to overwinter as roots develop.

How to Propagate Lavender from Cuttings

Take Cuttings

Take cuttings of lavender by removing several 6-8 inch (15-20 cm.) stems from the plant. Each cut should be made just below the nearest set of healthy leaves, at a 45-degree angle. While softwood cuttings should consist of fresher, green growth, those taken for hardwood propagation should be much more mature. 

Trim Off Leaves

After taking cuttings, each piece needs to be properly prepared. This begins by stripping or removing any excess leaves from the stem. Those that will be covered by soil should be removed as well, leaving only 1-2 sets of leaves at the top of each cutting. 

Dip in Rooting Hormone

Next, prepared cuttings can be dipped into rooting hormones. Though it’s not required, many find that the use of hormones aids in the rapid production of roots and to helps the rate of successful propagation. Cuttings dipped in hormones can then be moved to propagation trays where each stem should be carefully pushed into the soil.  

Cover and Keep Moist

Once prepared, trays of new lavender cuttings should be watered well. Throughout the rooting period, consistent moisture and humidity are key in encouraging plant growth. We often  suggest the use of humidity domes or greenhouses to make certain the conditions are ideal.

How to Propagate Lavender by Layering

To begin layering lavender plants, first select the stems you want to use. Near the base of the plant, dig a small trench. Carefully, bend the lavender to the ground and cover the prepared leaf nodes with soil. Newly layered locations should be watered well. Make certain they receive consistent moisture throughout the season. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Root Lavender Cuttings in Water?

Though it is possible to propagate lavender cuttings in water, rates of success may be unpredictable. As many species of lavender are susceptible to rot, keeping each cutting healthy throughout the process may be difficult. If you plan to try this technique, prepare your cuttings as normal and place them in a glass of tepid water. Water used for cuttings should be clean and may need to be replaced once every other day. 

Can You Plant Lavender Cuttings Straight into the Ground?

Lavender cuttings can also be placed directly into the ground. However, conditions in the garden require close monitoring to avoid the loss of cuttings. This includes careful attention to drainage, soil moisture levels, the potential for weed pressure, and damage that could be caused by insects or browsing animals.

Tonya Barnett
Writer

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/@tonyawiththeflowers.