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Cloning Lavender: It's almost that time...

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

November is coming, for us that seems to be the best time to clone, try it at home!

Do you love to create in the garden? That doesn't have to stop in the Fall. Once your lavender goes dormant you can being cloning as long as you have a warm bright place to keep it until Spring. Making a few plants can help with the Washington rainy season blues.

Tip #1 - Find your healthiest looking plant

Scour the yard to find your best looking plant. Healthy plants should while "looking dead" when they are dormant still show short nice deep green growth close to the woody portions. You will also be able to tell when you cut your hardwood and see visible healthy green coloring within the hardwood.

Tip #2 - Assemble your tools

You will need a nice pair of garden scissors, a plug tray or similar small potting cells, pencil or stick, a tray to set the cells in to keep moist, a good quality potting mix (without fertilizer infused), and a top shelf rooting hormone.

"Our most successful cutting trials were taken in mid November" – CFLCo

Tip #3 - Select the cuttings

Take hardwood cuttings only, we have had the best luck with those that have a thick base and narrow top, and those that have a "Y" in them at the end I cut. Cut at a 45 degree angle and cut to an overall length of about 3-4". You can simply scratch a little bit of the hardwood at the base off with a fingernail. Set to the side and continue taking cuttings (remember not to cut everything off a single plant.)

Tip #4 - Dip the cuttings

Prepare your tray cells by filling with soil, use a pencil to push a little hole in the middle. Take your cuttings and dip them in a tray of water, and then dip the end of cutting into the hormone so it sticks to the bottom. You can then insert the cutting into the hole and press the dirt down around it. (If you don't make a hole first, the rooting hormone can be scraped off when you push the plug in.)

Tip #5 - Sit and wait

Place the cells on your pan or tray and fill the tray with water. Place this tray in your greenhouse or inside the home where they will maintain a constant temperature, be protected from freezing, and still see light. Keep the tray full and do not allow it to dry out until they have roots, also do not fertilize-we want those roots to seek water and nutrients and at this point they are very delicate.

In the early Spring, results will show

Watch for the development of roots, when you see roots trying to grow out of the bottom of your cells they are now ready to move to a larger pot. Also allow the dirt to dry out a little between watering cycles to promote healthy root growth. A light sprinkle of fertilizer can now be top dressed to help further things along, but do go easy. Once these have root bound in about a 2-3" pot size and the last sign of frost is gone they may be transferred to your garden!


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