Propagation of lavender is not difficult in itself, if cuttings are used. The situation is different with seeds. Getting the lavender to germinate is already not so simple. Moreover, if pure seed is not used, the plants may remain small and puny. The flowering and fragrance do not turn out as powerful as expected. Nevertheless, sowing lavender can be tried, what to consider, you can learn here.
Things to know
Only with seeds of true lavender will achieve the expected success. Especially cultivars that are not pure in variety can disappoint in the garden. The same applies if seeds are obtained from your own lavender plants. If they are crosses of different lavender varieties, the success of reseeding is rather low.
Note: When buying seeds, pay attention to the Latin name. Real lavender is called Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis or Lavandula vera.
Demands of the lavender
Even true lavender does not germinate everywhere and at all times. On the contrary, however, it can sow itself unexpectedly if the conditions tell it to. For example, it may well germinate between sunny flagstones or on gravel paths.
Derived from this are the right site conditions:
- nutrient-poor substrate
- no waterlogging or compacted soil
- neither too cold nor too warm germination temperature
- sunny, warm place
Preparation of the seed
Purchased lavender seed should be stratified before sowing. This will increase the germination rate, as lavender is a cold germinator that must go through a cold period before it germinates.
- Spread a layer of moistened sand in a sealable container.
- Place the lavender seeds on top and press down gently.
- Seal the container and place it in the refrigerator.
- If you have your own seeds, stratification is not necessary if the seeds are harvested from the plant after winter. They have then already gone through the natural cold phase.
From about February, a first attempt can be started on the windowsill or in the greenhouse. For this, nutrient-poor substrate, sowing soil or herbal soil is used. Compost soil is unsuitable because of its high nutrient density. At best, it can be stretched with plenty of sand.
- Fill the seed pot with soil. Press it down lightly.
- Moisten the substrate.
- Spread the seeds on the soil. Press down gently with a board. Do not cover with soil. Lavender is a light germinator.
- Place the container in a bright place. However, do not make it too warm. About 15 degrees is sufficient.
- Regularly check that the substrate is still moist, do not over water.
- After sowing the lavender, it may take several weeks for the seeds to germinate.
Lavender is hardy, but the seeds will not germinate outdoors until they reach a certain temperature. In addition, young plants should be protected from frost. Therefore, outdoor sowing is worthwhile only in May.
- Prepare seedbed. The soil should be fine crumbly and permeable. Soil that is too rich in nutrients should be leveled off with sand.
- Moisten soil and press down lightly.
- Sow seeds and press down gently with a board.
- Keep soil moist but not too wet.
- Depending on weather, germination may take several weeks. In the meantime, carefully remove any weeds that form.
- Note: For seeds stratified in the refrigerator, spread thinly along with the sand.
Separating is done when the first more leaves are visible on the plants after the cotyledons. In the house, depending on how quickly the seeds germinate, it may be necessary to first prick the plantlets in pots and later plant them in the open ground. Pre-grown lavender plants in the open are planted immediately where they will grow later.
- Low-nutrient soil is best suited as a substrate for further cultivation as well. Special herbal soil or compost mixed with sand can also be used.
- The location should be chosen warm and sunny.
- The soil must be permeable. Waterlogging can affect the winter hardiness of the lavender.
- For the plantlets, small holes are dug into the substrate at a distance of about 20 – 40 cm.
- Note: The actual planting distance depends on the lavender variety. As a guideline, the spacing should be about half the expected final height.
- Very carefully loosen the soil around the young plants and then pull them out of the ground. Do not injure the plant in the process.
- Place the young plant in the hole, press the soil around the roots well and water a little. However, lavender in principle does not require much water.