Tuesday, March 24, 2015

PROPAGATING LAVENDER


By Emma Steendam
'Emma is a blogger, crafter, baker, farmers wife, Mother, photographer-by-trade, many hat wearer. Most days she can be found digging about in her garden, talking to her chickens or brewing a strong pot of tea in her little farmhouse on the hill. You can join Emma as she makes, bakes, sews and grows at She Sows Seeds. Other days can find her pointing her lens at chubby babies, people in love and local businesses with Emma Steendam Photography.

Perfect if you don’t want to spend a fortune on your garden but fancy a lavender bush… or seven....


In the many and varied ramshackle farmhouses we’ve called home, I’ve grown lavender. Just like our humble abodes, my lavender pursuits been many and varied too – several different varieties, French, Italian, big unruly rambling beasts and neatly clipped hedges alike, in our rich chocolate Gippsland soil and in the sand of South Australia’s Limestone Coast. Lavender is incredibly forgiving to even the blackest of thumb, it promotes vital bees to your garden (important!) and is beautiful as a cut flower bunch in your home to ward off headaches, a great natural pain relief in aromatherapy. And bonus - its very easy to propagate yourself! Perfect if you don’t want to spend a fortune on your garden but fancy a lavender bush… or seven.

Arm yourself with some good quality seed raising mix, a little plant cutting hormone powder (available at most nurseries/hardware shops), little pots and a positive outlook. You WILL grow lavender, just from a cutting off another bigger, healthier bush. Mother Nature is a generous lady! Take your cuttings from the bottom third of the plant, not too woody though, with some good green growth on it. The best time to take a cutting to try and propagate is late Summer to Autumn, after they have finished flowering. My cuttings were about 6 inches long, sturdy stemmed enough without being too woody.

Dip the bases of your cuttings in the hormone powder. This stuff isn’t entirely necessary, but more help the merrier I say! Stick the lavender cuttings in your little pots of seed raising mix (a peat or compost mix would also be ideal) and pop in a warm spot – somewhere they can get some sunshine, but not be baked. Keep them moist but not wet and hopefully soon you’ll have happy little lavenders to plant out in the garden or into a bigger pot. They might droop a bit to start with, don’t panic! If you love them dearly, look after them, they should strike and you’ll have a purple patch in no time. Have faith, and talk to your plants, they love it. Trust me.

Happy gardening!

6 comments:

  1. have you tried honey instead of hormone powder? I've heard it works well....and well I have some in the cupboard so it would save me money and the trip out, if you think it would work?

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em