Lavender is one of the most popular flowers in the world. It grows wild all over Europe and Asia. However, it’s not native to North America, but rather was introduced via trade with Native Americans. Today, it is grown commercially in many countries around the world such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Lavender has been used medicinally since ancient times (in fact its name comes from the Latin word “lavare” which means healing). Its use dates back to the Roman Empire when it was used as a perfume ingredient. Over time, it became associated with love and romance. Later, it gained popularity during the Victorian era due to its scent being similar to vanilla or chocolate. The flower itself has no medicinal value; however, its leaves have been known to treat colds and coughs.
In recent years, lavender has become increasingly popular among gardeners because of its attractive color and fragrance. There are several varieties of lavender, but they tend to be different shades of purple. The most common variety is the English lavender, Ligustrum angustifolium.
It is commonly called English Lavender and is considered to be one of the best-tended types of lavender. Other common varieties include French Lavender, Ligustrum odoratum, Italian Lavender, Lactuca virosa and Mexican Lavender.
Lavender gets its name from the Latin word lavare, which means “to wash”. This refers to its scent. To ancient people, the smell of lavender was considered “soothing”.
Even though most people today have lavender in their homes for decoration or cooking, it’s important to remember that the plant is non-toxic when ingested and can be used as an insect repellent.
Growers grow lavender from seeds and by cuttings. The seeds are expensive to purchase and take time to germinate. Most people prefer to grow lavender from cuttings because they take less time to begin blooming.
Cuttings can be grown inside or outside.
Purchasing a container with drainage holes is important to start growing lavender from cuttings. Fill the container one-third full with a mixture of perlite and coarse sand. Perlite is a sterile medium and provides space for air to circulate around the cutting.
Coarse sand improves drainage, which prevents over-watering.
Fill the rest of the container with commercial potting soil. The potting soil should be moist but not wet as this can kill the cutting. You may need to water the potting soil when you set up the container to ensure that it’s evenly moist.
Lavender takes very well to cuttings. Unlike other flowers, it doesn’t need to be fertilized or treated with pesticides.
The next step is taking the cutting. This can be done in several ways. The easiest way is to take a few inches off the top of the plant and place it in the container.
The cutting will sprout roots in about 2-3 weeks.
You can also take a 3-4 inch stem with several leaves on it and place it in a glass of water until the leaves turn dark brown. Plant the stem cutting in the container and it should sprout roots in a few days.
The last way to take a cutting is to place a leaf in the container directly. The stem will sprout roots from the underside of the leaf. Cut off the top of the leaf when it grows roots.
Add water to wet all of the soil and allow it to drain through the holes. Water until the water comes out of the holes, then wait five minutes and check to see if the soil is damp. Continue this process until the soil is damp.
Place the container in a warm area, such as a heated garage or a room that’s frequently heated. The temperature should be at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Propagating lavender from cuttings is easy and practical because it doesn’t require any special equipment. You don’t even need to use rooting hormone. Using this process, you’ll have “growing” plants ready to transplant in your outdoor garden or flower bed.
Caring for lavender is easy once it’s growing. During the hottest part of the summer, water once a week. After the leaves turn brown and wither, the plant doesn’t need as much water.
Fertilize 3 times a year with a product specifically made for flowering plants.
You can harvest the lavender anytime after it’s been growing for a year. To harvest, simply cut the stems with scissors. Dried lavender retains most of its scent so feel free to dry it or wrap it in paper towel and place it in a closed container to retain its scent when your’e not using it.
Sources & references used in this article:
Lavender seed dormancy and germination by A Chavagnat – Symposium on Seed Problems in Horticulture 83, 1977 – actahort.org
Yielding and quality of lavender flowers (Lavandula angustifolia Mill.) from organic cultivation by K Seidler-àoĪykowska, R Mordalski, W Kucharski… – 2014 – researchgate.net
Germination characteristics of herbs in Labiatae by T Takano – … I-Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Conference: part 3 of …, 1992 – actahort.org
Up-regulation of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase enhances production of essential oils in transgenic spike lavender by J Muñoz-Bertomeu, I Arrillaga, R Ros… – Plant physiology, 2006 – Am Soc Plant Biol