Propagated lavender cuttings from World Farm

I never used to be able to keep my lavenders alive years ago when I bought them back from the nurseries. True, I was extremely new to gardening then, and while I didn’t fully understand the requirements the plant needed, partial blame has to be put on the nurseries (or their suppliers) since the growing media the plants came potted in were usually (if not always) horribly mismatched to the well-draining mix this particular species needed.

Of course, my dad didn’t help to keep these plants alive. I’d placed them in my balcony in the past, where my dad has the tendency to use the hose to water his plants, and thus spraying water all over mine in the process.

So, with a combination of water on their leaves, compacted and too-wet soil, “I” have killed more than ten pots of lavenders. That discouraged me greatly and I stayed away from them for more than a year, turning my interest to other plants which could take wetter conditions. It wasn’t only until recently that I gained the courage to try this species out again.

I started off my lavender pursuit as a fellow gardener and friend gave me a plant she had propagated from her own, brought back from Turkey. I’d only cleared the soil from that plant, and repotted it into a mixture of Tref and volcanic sand. It was smaller then, and needed watering only once every two days. But as it grew, I had to water the plant everyday, or its leaves would wilt. This changed my knowledge on lavenders and my perspectives on them – they were water guzzlers only if their roots were able to breathe due to the well-draining soil. As long as the soil is loose, one can water it everyday and the plant will survive happily.

The next step is to try propagation. Again, I’ve never had much luck propagating lavenders. Perlite, vermiculite, a mixture of both, a mixture of those with soil…nopes. All the cuttings died on me, or grew fungus on them.

Propagated lavender cuttings from my mother plant from Turkey

Yet again, it was only recently that I dared to risk this step, knowing that it’s the trying again and again, armed with more knowledge of the requirements of this plant each time, that would let me succeed. And succeed I did, without much effort at all. All I did was to cut about 8cm of each stalk, strip the lower portion of leaves so that watering won’t lead those leaves to rot (and thus leading to the whole stalk rotting), and plop them into a well-draining soil mix, watering once every two to three days.

Of course, some stalks didn’t make it. I’d expected casualties. But they were far fewer than my past experiences with them.

The cuttings take root quickly, sometimes as quickly as a week. And, true to their type, they need less water now, but I expect that their thirst will increase soon enough.

Care: A moist, well-draining soil mix; allow soil to dry out between waterings
Fertilizing: Does well with frequent weak fertilizing
Sunlight: Full sun to bright shade
Propagation: Easily by cuttings; by seeds

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