Propagating lavender with cuttings, from seed and by division


I am currently studying agricultural and food economics. As a keen hobby gardener, plants take up most of my free time. A few years ago, I got especially interested in herbs, which is why I completed my studies to become a certified herbalist in 2018.

Favourite fruit: apples, cherries
Favourite vegetables: potatoes, fennel

Lavender can be propagated in several ways. Whether by cuttings, sowing or division – we reveal which method is best for propagating lavender.

Small lavender plants in pots
Lavender plants are easy to propagate [Foto: Fotyma/]

The genus of lavender (Lavandula) includes many different species and varieties. However, they are all propagated in a similar manner. Contrary to what many assume, lavender is in fact not a perennial, but a semi-shrub. As such, lavender naturally lignifies with age. Therefore, sooner or later you should rejuvenate your stock to benefit from the fragrant flowers for as long as possible. Below we present three popular methods of propagation of lavender.

The most promising method for propagating true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and co. is by cuttings. In principle, sowing is also possible, but it is very time-consuming and involves a lot of work.

Propagating lavender with cuttings

If you do not want to go through the trouble of sowing lavender seeds, you can simply clone your existing plant using cuttings. This method is also called vegetative propagation. To obtain cuttings, for example, you can use the cuttings, which are obtained when pruning in the spring. To do this, cut young shoots with a clean, sharp knife into pieces about 15 cm long. Then strip the lower leaves of the branch and place the cuttings about 10 cm deep in nutrient-poor substrate. Ideally suited is a peat-free growing soil such as our Plantura Organic Herb & Seeding Compost. The soil should always be kept moist without the plant sinking into waterlogging. As a rule, then after a few weeks the first roots are formed and the little plants can be planted individually in pots.

Organic Herb & Seedling Compost, 20L
Organic Herb & Seedling Compost, 20L
  • Perfect for herbs as well as sowing, propagating & transplanting
  • For aromatic herbs & healthy seedlings with strong roots
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Cuttings can be taken basically all year around. Cuttings, which are set in the spring (end of March), can be transferred to the open ground no later than after the Ice Saints in May. However, if you plan to plant out your lavender cuttings in late summer or fall, be sure to protect them against the winter frost.

hand holding lavender cuttings
The first step is to take lavender cuttings [Photo: Radovan1/]

Propagating lavender from cuttings summary:

  • Cut young shoots into pieces (about 15 cm long)
  • Remove leaves in the lower part
  • Stick about 10 cm deep in nutrient-poor substrate
  • Keep soil moist
  • Repot after rooting

Tip from the professional: Woody parts of the lavender plant are no longer suitable for propagation via cuttings.

Propagating lavender from seed

Lavender seeds are commercially available, but usually not varietal. Therefore, it can happen that the plants from one seed packet look different. This is not a problem with isolated shrubs, but it is much more unpleasant if several plants are to grow next to each other – for example, as a hedge or bed border. In this case, it is best to grow the seedlings in a separate bed and sort them out after a year.

several small potted lavender plants
Young lavender plants need special attention [Photo: Katarzyna Mazurowska/]

In general, propagation by seed is usually difficult with lavender, as special conditions are necessary for germination and growth. Lavender is a light germinator, which means that the seeds should only be lightly covered with soil. The germination period is about one to two weeks in optimal conditions, but can sometimes stretch over a few months.

For growing, fill small pots with our low-nutrient Plantura Organic Herb & Seeding Compost. If you want the plantlets to bloom for the first time in the same year, it is best to pre-grow lavender on the windowsill in early spring (February/March). Sufficient sunlight, humidity and cover with cling film provide optimal greenhouse conditions. After four weeks at the latest, however, you should remove the film again. Prick the plants as soon as the first leaves appeared after the cotyledons. Planting in the garden is done after the last frost (end of May), when the soil has already warmed up. Direct sowing into the bed is also recommended only after the ice saints in May.

Organic Herb & Seedling Compost, 20L
Organic Herb & Seedling Compost, 20L
  • Perfect for herbs as well as sowing, propagating & transplanting
  • For aromatic herbs & healthy seedlings with strong roots
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Summary: Growing lavender from seed

  • Fill pots with low nutrient herb soil
  • Moisten with spray bottle
  • Sprinkle seeds loosely on substrate and press in slightly
  • Cover with cling film
  • Choose a bright location
  • Remove the foil after about four weeks
  • Prick plants
  • Plant in the bed no earlier than the end of May

Tip: True lavender forms a lot of seeds when it is comfortable. Then you can carefully transplant the emerged seedlings to a desired location. To do this, you should dig them as early as possible, so that they survive the procedure well.

Dividing lavender plants

Perennial plants, which include lavender, can be propagated, as a rule, quite simply by dividing the roots. To do this, in the spring (March-April) or fall (September), lift the root ball with a spade and divide it into two pieces. Then plant the parts again at a sufficient distance from each other. However, it should not be planted too densely, so that the lavender plants still have enough space to grow.

Lavender plant being placed in a pot
Dividing older lavender plants can be a bit difficult [Photo: Robert Przybysz/]

However, dividing a lavender bush is possible only if it has rooted in several places in the ground. Unfortunately, the severe lignification of older plants often further complicates the process. The wounds of woody areas due to splitting are also favourable entry points for undesirable diseases. Therefore, propagation by cuttings is much more suitable for most species of lavender.

Here, we have summarised how to best care for your lavender.

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