How to Propagate Lavender - Cultivating the Sweet Smelling Flower | Enhanced Garden&Life
Updated: May 27, 2021
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Lavender is a wonderful perennial flower that can be used for many purposes. The most popular use of lavender is to make sachets, which are typically filled with the leaves and flowers of this plant. Did you know that lavender also can be grown from stem cuttings? If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to propagate your own lavender plants, then keep reading!
How to Take a Cutting From Lavender
Growing lavender from stem cuttings is a great way to have fresh plants for the coming year. You can do this by cutting off stems from healthy, mature lavender plants and planting them in moist sand or perlite. The best time of year to take these cuttings is right before or after flowering when the plant produces more essential oils that give it its sweet fragrance.
Cut a healthy stem from your lavender plant. Make sure to take the cuttings in late summer or early fall, when the plant is most active and has plenty of energy stored up for growth.
Strip off any leaves that are lower than about two inches from the top of your cutting by ripping them away with one hand while holding on to the base (at least an inch) with your other hand. Stems should be as smooth as possible. Cut just below where you stripped off the leaves.
After making a few cuts from the healthy, mature lavender plants and plucking out some of last year’s dried stems, you can plant them in moist sand or perlite.
Once planted, use a label with care instructions for how best to take care of these cuttings until planting season comes.
Planting a Lavender Cutting
After the cutting has started to grow roots, it is time to plant. The length of the roots should be at least as deep as the cutting is tall.
Locate a spot in full sun that has well-drained soil and dig a hole wide enough for the cutting and deep enough so that its roots are buried. You will want to add some compost to the planting hole, but don't overdo it.
If you prefer to plant outdoors in your garden or flowerbeds, dig an appropriately sized hole to accommodate for how much room these cuttings roots need to grow into new soil and give them plenty of space to continue their growth upwards.
Carefully place the lavender cutting into a hole deep enough for its roots (make sure you water in your lavender). Add more dirt on top of the root ball when finished planting if necessary.
Place a piece of mulch or pine needles after planting if desired - but avoid fertilizers at this point.
Water the plant and watch it grow!
How to Grow Lavender
Lavender needs full sun exposure and well-drained soil in order to grow successfully. Before taking your first harvest of flowers from your lavender plants, remember not to strip away all of the blooms – leave some behind so they may continue maturing into essential oils.
Uses of Lavender
Some of the many uses of lavender are:
- as a natural remedy for headaches and migraines
- in the treatment of bruises, aches, and pains
- to soothe skin irritations caused by minor burns or bug bites
-as an insect repellent.
Lavender is also well known for its ability to relax people, which may be useful if you are trying to get some sleep after hours spent working out on your feet all day long. Lavender oil can even help create calming spaces before bedtime when diffused through the air! Lavender essential oils come from the steam distillation of dried lavender flowers. After about three weeks' time, harvest all the lavenders that have grown into full maturity.
Distillation Process of Lavender
It can also be helpful to allow lavender flowers to dry out for a few days before harvesting them so that you don’t end up with water-soaked buds. If the buds are wet, you won't be able to get a good yield from the distillation process.
Distillation is the process of separating the essential oils from lavender flowers. It is also called steam distillation because it involves the use of high heat and vapor pressure to extract these fragrant oils from their plant matter substrate.
You will need a large pot or cooking vessel that can be placed on top of a hot plate or stove; a strainer with fairly large holes for draining into your container; dried lavender flower buds (no water-soaked ones!). The process takes about three hours. Fill half your pot up with water and place over medium-high heat until boiling vigorously. Depending upon how much space you have in your pot, add anywhere between 20 grams to 40 grams (0.71 to 0.91 ounces) of dry Lavender. The amount of Lavender that you use will determine how intensely fragrant the oil is. You can also add some dried Bay leaves for a delicious spicy floral scent.
Add your dry lavender to the pot, then bring down the heat until it’s just simmering (you may need to keep an eye on this) and cover with lid or cheesecloth and leave for about three hours. Once cooled down enough, remove from stovetop and allow to cool completely before straining through either a fine sieve or coffee filter into your jar using gravity rather than pressing too hard with strainers or fingers which would release more oils into the liquid making it less potent when mixed in products like shampoo or conditioner later on). After filtering out the buds you can use the sieve or coffee filter to squeeze out the last of the oils.
Lavender is a mighty herb that has been used for centuries to help with everything from promoting sleep and easing anxiety, to healing wounds. It's also great at repelling bugs! When you need more lavender in your life but don't have the time or space for planting, here are some ideas on how you can propagate it without any fuss. I would love to hear what else you've done with this versatile plant - let me know in the comments below!
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