What's Propagation? Growing more plants.
This weekend we began our first attempt at propagation. We used the trays from the plants that we just put in the ground, refilled them with a new mix of soil and then began with a few cuttings. We trimmed the plants back and used the cuttings for our first attempt at propagation. The one thing that most people will tell you about lavender is...you are much better off growing plants from cuttings than seed. Although we have not tried growing from seed, they say sometimes the seeds are not true to the cultivar. When you take a cutting from a healthy known plant, you are guaranteed to match that plant if the cutting survives.
So, for any lavender lover's out there, we have learned that if you want to grow your own lavender plants.. do it from cuttings off a parent plant. We chose to propagate Grosso lavender today from our healthy plants that we planted a few months ago. Grosso is known to produce an abundance of lavender buds...hence our interest in Grosso. However, since it is an intermedia lavender, it is not recommended for culinary uses. Grosso is reported to have a higher content of Camphor.
Again, we don't claim to be the experts, we are simply learning as we go and hope to share our lessons along the way. So, how does one propagate? From all that we have read, watched and been taught....this is the method we chose. Please note, this is not the only method out there...just how we decided to do it. Being that this is our first attempt, we may be doing it all wrong....we will know in 10-12 weeks. That's when we will determine if the cuttings took root. Don't judge, just enjoy watching the process. :)
We cut approximately a 3 inch growth off the plant. We stripped all of the leaves off bottom 1" of the stem. Then we snipped the middle growth out of the top. Supposedly this will help us determine if the plant takes root without pulling or tugging on it in the soil. They say you can look at the top middle to see if there is new growth. If there is new growth, it's indicative of the cutting establishing new roots in the soil. The soil mixture we used was 25% perlite, 25% vermiculite and 50% Peat Moss. There are some experts that suggest different mixtures, but this is what we chose based on our research. Once the cuttings were prepared, they were dipped in water and then into a root hormone. The excess powder from the root hormone was gently shaken off and then the cutting was simply inserted into the soil mixture.
We will begin to monitor the temperature, humidity and moisture content on the plants and share the progress in a couple weeks. For today, we were able to prepare a total of 384 new plants. More cuttings tomorrow. Our hope is that we have at least a 50% success rate. We will let you know how this works for us...or any changes along the way.
Here are some pictures of the process today.
Relax and Enjoy.