Take lavender cuttings now

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
It's your last chance to take lavender cuttings - there should be plenty of shoots which haven't flowered, about 4" long, to work with, and it's a good excuse to give the bush a good prune - don't cut into old wood, but prune to just above the lowest grey/green live shoots

Strip off lower leaves by hand, taking care to not damage the nodes (point where leaf joins stem)

Make a clean cut with sterilised secateurs or clean kitchen scissor about 1/16" below a node, trim upper leaves so you just have a little tuft on top two nodes

Push into pots of dry compost until the bottom of the tuft is just above the soil level - a 50% coir/50% grit or seed compost and perlite, or sand instead of the perlite works well - you can fit about 8-10 round the outer edge of a 4" pot but they shouldn't touch each other

Water well to push loose compost into any air gaps in the pot. Label the variety.

Do not cover, put into a sheltered site with good light and air circulation - I do mine in the open but move them under cover when heavy rain forecast

Only water when almost dried out, quickly removing any that show early signs of rot

A gentle tug on the cutting in 6 weeks time should tell you if it has rooted - it will resist slightly if it has

If any new growth or flowers appear before rooted, trim these to same height as original tuft of leaves

You can also take heeled cuttings this time of year but the above method works best for me

Good luck!
You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
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Replies

  • blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
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    Wow, thanks for all the thanks - our gardens will all be great for the bees next year!
    These are ours about a month old, we're about to trim the tops and cleanly cut off the leaf that is going brown

    Lavendersaug-sept12DSC04938a-Copy.jpg
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • i'm gonna have to take some of my sage this year. for some reason, i've just noticed it this morning that some of the branches are dying back (the shrub's only about 3-4 years old) so i don't know if it's been attacked by something. the last time i pruned it was after flowering but it was just the flowering stems to the young wood, not the old. so i'm a lil' baffled on this. does anyone know?? thanks
  • blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
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    Bits of my pineapple sage die back from time to time - I just prune down to any new sign of growth showing on the stem below the dieback and it seems to spring back - cuttings are a good insurance policy though, so good luck dogstarheaven

    My pots of sage cuttings took well but then one potful just went black - they had all had the same treatment so I guess it was just pot luck
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • jenie_2jenie_2 Forumite
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    blossomhill, i've got a question for you. Earlier in the summer I bought 5 tiny old english lavendar plugs, about an inch high. I potted them on into a flower bucket (all in one bucket) they have all grown really well, about 4 inches high and one even has a flower. Would you over winter them in the flower bucket or plant them into the garden now ?
  • blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
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    Hi Jenie
    I would definitely keep them in the bucket, especially as you are in Lincolnshire, give them a bit of a sheltered spot over winter, and plant out in spring to give them plenty of time to put down deep roots before next winter

    Lavender is pretty hardy stuff but young plants can be susceptible (once older and established they should be fine in the ground, think of Norfolk lavender!)

    Trim the tops off for the first 3 years into greeny/grey growth (not as far down as the brown woody stems)

    Is the compost in the bucket a free-draining kind? They really need a good % of grit in the compost to stop them being waterlogged or water around the roots freezing. If it is not gritty then it would be best not to disturb the roots this late in the year, just prop the bucket on its side for the winter so the rain can drain away

    If you look like having a particularly harsh spell of weather it may be worth throwing a bit of horticultural fleece over them

    HTH
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • jenie_2jenie_2 Forumite
    491 Posts
    Hi blossomhill,
    Thank you for the quick reply. The plants are in multi-purpose compost with lots of holes punctured into the bucket for drainage. I have a sheltered corner in my garden where I will put the plants over winter along with my fuchsias. I've got some fleece, so I'll use that if necessary also. I can't resist gently rubbing the leaves between finger and thumb, the smell is beautiful.
    Thank you again.
  • blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
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    Hi Jenie, multipurpose is not quite what you want for lavender so next year pot them on into a grittier mix - it can be low nutritional value as lavender doesn't need much goodness, so don't splash out on any fancy or enriched stuff, or if planting in the ground go for poor soil and chuck in a couple of handfuls of washed gravel

    Glad to hear you are a lavender fan - my hall is bedecked with bags and bags of the bunches drying right now and smells amazing!

    English lavender is a good one for smell, but do look into all the other English varieties as there is an amazing range of smells out there
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • EenymeenyEenymeeny Forumite
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    Can I ask a lavender question too please? I planted french lavender against a low brick wall this year and it's looking good and still flowering. It seems a shame to cut it but I'd like to keep it lowish and not twiggy looking like some I see. I realise that it's not as hardy as English lavender any advice for overwintering please?
    The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.
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  • blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
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    Eenymeeny, I don't know so much about French lavender but would guess that giving it a mulch of a gritty compost banked up around the roots/base of the plant would give it some protection and encourage low growth. The low wall will protect it some as well, but so far north you may be best taking soem cuttings now as an insurance in case you loose it

    The woodiness you describe is symptom of not pruning it when it is young, as when it gets truly woody you can't cut back into the wood, so I would suggest being brave and cutting the flowers now so you can prune it at the right time of year

    Perhaps another poster can give better advice?
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
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    This lavender has been very well pruned for several years in sucession

    MayfieldLavenderBanstead2010-Copy.jpg
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
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