Lavender is so much more than a border plant. And most gardeners love the idea of lavender spreading and growing thick.
But even though lavender is a perennial, it doesn’t spread like mint, thyme, or oregano. Lavender plants need help to spread and multiply.
Your lavender plants will flower and self-seed, but the germination rate is very low.
To grow more lavender from your existing plants, think stem-cutting propagation.
Cut a 10-15 cm/4-6 inch branch from your plant, remove the leaves from the bottom 1 inch and cut off the top leaving 3-4 pairs of leaves. Plant the cutting in well draining loosely structured potting mix and cover. Place in a warm spot, avoid direct sunlight, and keep soil moist, Wait 2-3 weeks, give the cutting a gentle tug, it there is resistance you have a healthy rooted cutting.
- How To Grow Lavender | Lavender Plant Care
- Propagating Lavender From Cuttings
- Key Takeaways For Lavender Propagation Success
- Frequently Asked Questions
How To Grow Lavender | Lavender Plant Care
Propagation always starts with a healthy donor plant. It does not matter if you buy a plant from your local nursery or start your lavender plant from seeds.
- Buying a plant is faster: Give your new plant a week to harden off and get used to the new growing environment before you take cuttings.
- Starting from seed takes patience: If you start a plant from seed in early spring, you should be able to take cuttings in the fall of the same year. Find useful tips and step-by-step instructions in our guide: How to grow lavender from seeds
Established lavender plants love full sun and warm soil. Find a sunny spot with well-draining soil, and keep the soil moist but never wet.
Lavender prefers a mild dry out to wet soil. Overwatering – or loving your plants too much – will cause root rot, and you risk killing your plant.
Prune your lavender plants in early spring and fall to encourage healthy compact growth. I cut our plants back to about 20 cm / 8 inches and take great care not to disturb any new growth.
Add compost and organic matter 1-3 times during the growing season for strong, healthy plants.
Now that you know more about the lavender plant, let’s move on to how to propagate new plants by taking stem cuttings from your healthy lavender plants.
Follow the step-by-step guide, and check out the video below:
Propagating Lavender From Cuttings
Make sure you get your tools and supplies ready before you start.
- Healthy lavender plant: You want an established and healthy lavender plant.
- Pruning shears: I prefer micro-tip precision scissors for more control and easy access.
- Rooting hormone (optional): I use rooting hormones for hedges and border plants but never for edible lavender varieties.
- Potting mix: A light, well-draining mix is key for successful root development.
- Pots or trays: Small containers to house your soon-to-be lavender plants.
- Cover or clear plastic bags: Create a mini greenhouse effect for your young plants.
Step 1: Select Your Lavender Plant Wisely
Choose a healthy, disease-free plant with growth.
Look for stems that are neither too young nor too wooden.
Ideally, cut where the green softwood stem meets the more woody hardwood part of the stem.
It does not matter if buds or flowers are on the stem as we top the cutting.
Wooden stems can be used, but it takes longer for new roots to form. I avoid using wooden or hardwood cuttings as I have found them more susceptible to root rot.
Step 2: Timing is everything
Timing is important when you propagate lavender.
You want to take your cuttings when the plant is actively growing.
I prefer to take cuttings in late spring/early summer, but any time from May to September works.
Step 3: Time to snip
Use clean, sharp, precision scissors or pruning shears to cut a 10-15 cm/4-6 inch branch from your lavender donor plant.
Take several cuttings; do not expect all to root.
Make sure each cutting has several leaf nodes.
Tip: I was taught to cut at a 45-degree angle below a leaf node for optimal rooting potential.
Step 4: Remove Lower Leaves
Strip away the leaves from the lower 5 cm/2 inches of the cutting.
I prefer to cut off the leaves, but you can use your fingers like I do in the short video below.
You want the bottom part of the stem to be clean of leaves to promote healthy root development.
Now count 3 to 4 pairs of leaves and cut the rest.
It is important to top the cutting. You want to stop top growth and promote root growth.
Step 5: Dip in root hormone (optional)
My mother-in-law loves rooting powders or hormones for propagating plants in her garden. So I know they work.
Still, I rarely use them.
Mainly because I primarily grow to eat, and most rooting hormones tell you to wait a year before you can consume any part of the plant you are growing.
But I leave it up to you. And I suppose it makes sense if you are propagating lavender for a hedge or border.
I have been told by fellow gardeners that honey and bananas work as natural rooting hormones. I have found my tests inconclusive.
Step 6: Plant in potting mix
Fill your pot with pre-moistened potting mix, make a hole with a clean instrument, and place the cutting in the pot.
Firm the soil gently around the cutting with your fingers.
Do not plant the cutting too deep. You do not want leaf-to-soil contact.
I plant more than one cutting in a pot. I have found a spacing of 3 cm/1 inch between cuttings to work great.
Step 7: Create a mini greenhouse
Cover your pot with a plastic bag, PET bottle, or germination dome to create a warm growing environment.
I use a plastic bag and cut a few holes for air to circulate.
Your lavender cuttings require a moist growing environment to root and thrive.
You can always remove the cover for a while to improve the airflow if you see excessive condensation forming inside the cover.
But I have rarely found it to be a problem.
Step 8: Find the perfect spot
Place the pot in a warm spot with plenty of indirect light.
You do not want to subject the pot to direct sunlight at this early stage.
Step 9: Patience is a Virtue
Now, the waiting game begins.
Be patient as your lavender forms roots.
Softwood cuttings take 2-4 weeks to root; expect wooden hardwood cuttings to take up to 8 weeks.
How do you know if they have rooted? If you do not see new top growth, wait at least three weeks and gently tug them. If you feel resistance, you know roots are forming.
Step 10: Transplanting Time
When your cuttings are rooted, it is time to move them to individual pots.
Do not transplant them directly into the garden.
Harden off your plants for about a week before you move them to their permanent homes, should it be a sunny spot in your garden, a pot, or a container.
Key Takeaways For Lavender Propagation Success
- Select cuttings wisely: Look for strong, healthy branches.
- Cut with intent: Snip where the green softwood stem meets the more woody part.
- Trim your cuttings: Remove lower leaves and top your cuttings.
- Well-draining soil mix: Whether you use a soil mix or go soilless, ensure the mix drains well.
- Don’t Rush: Give cuttings time to root and establish.
- Avoid Over-watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, not soggy.
- Baby Steps: Gradually expose your new lavender plants to longer periods of direct sunlight to toughen them up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will lavender plants spread by themselves?
Lavender will flower and self-seed, but the germination rate is very poor. Healthy plants will, however, grow tall and wide, so in a way they do spread out.
Which is the most hardy type of lavender?
English lavender is hardy from zones 5 to 8  and is the most hardy lavender for climates with frost, snow, and freezing temperatures.
Can I grow lavender in partial shade?
Lavender will tolerate partial shade if the soil is not too wet. But lavender prefers warm growing conditions, and plants grow best in full sun.
Can I grow lavender in pots?
Yes, as long as you remember, lavender will not tolerate excessive watering and wet soil.