Here at the Jersey Lavender Farm, you may think that we have more lavender then we know what to do with. However you would be wrong! Firstly there are so many amazing uses for both fresh lavender, dried lavender, culinary lavender and lavender essential oil, that we never run out of things to do with it (have a look at some of our past blog posts to find out more). And secondly on average a lavender plant only lasts approximately 5 years before it starts to become past its best and will need replacing. So not only are we kept busy nurturing and harvesting our current crop of lavender plants, but we also invest further time in bringing on new plants.
So what if you’ve got a once-beautiful but now somewhat-sorry-for-itself looking lavender plant, what should you do?
There are a few different ways that you can replace old lavender plants. Firstly and most easily is to pop to the garden centre and buy a new young plant. Common varieties can be relatively inexpensive, but make sure that you look for healthy plants, that aren’t pot bound and without any signs of pests or disease. However buying a new plant of a rarer variety can be more difficult to source and can be decidedly more expensive. Secondly you can have a go at growing a new lavender plant from seed. A greenhouse or sunny windowsill and a little patience should reward you with a batch of lovely new seedlings. However, always remember to buy your plants or seeds from a reputable grower. We have recently teamed up with a local Jersey nursery to offer a mail order delivery of both lavender seeds and young, healthy lavender plants.
However your third option is to take cuttings from your existing lavender plants which can then be raised into beautiful new plants to adorn your garden with colour and fragrance. If this sounds up your street then follow our step by step guide on how to take lavender cuttings below:
You will need:
- Lavender plant
- Sharp knife
- 10cm pot
- Multi-purpose compost
- Rooting hormone (liquid or powder)
- Clear plastic bags
- First of all choose when and where to take your cutting. Cuttings are best taken between June and September when the plant is growing and healthy. When selecting your cutting choose a non-flowered side shoot of this year’s growth.
- Once you have chosen your cutting, gently pull it away from the main stem with a thin strip of bark, or heel, still attached. This is important as it is where the new roots will develop from.
- Trim off the small flap of excess bark with a clean sharp knife.
- Remove a number of the lower leaves to expose a length of bare stem which can then be cleanly inserted into the compost.
- Coat the end of the cutting in rooting hormone and insert around the edge of a small pot filled with a gritty, free-draining compost. You can insert several cuttings into one pot.
- Water the cutting(s) in well and then cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to maintain a humid atmosphere.
- Place the pots in a warm place, out of direct sunlight
- After 4 to 6 weeks the cuttings will have started to root, now cut the corner off the bag to increase ventilation.
- A few weeks later remove the bag completely and ensure that the compost is kept damp (but take care not to overwater).
- Once the cuttings are well rooted, pot them up individually and allow to grow to a larger size before planting out in their final positions.