Splitting lavender plants is an excellent way to propagate and expand your garden. This simple technique allows you to divide mature lavender plants into smaller sections, each capable of growing into a new, healthy plant. In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process for successfully splitting lavender and replanting it, ensuring the growth and beauty of your lavender garden.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Time
To ensure the best chances of success, it is crucial to choose the right time to split your lavender plants. The ideal period for this process is early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. This timing allows the plants to establish roots before the hot summer months, ensuring their ability to withstand the stress of transplantation.
Step 2: Preparing the Lavender Plants
Start by carefully digging up the lavender plant you wish to split, taking care to minimize damage to the roots. Gently shake off any excess soil and use a sharp, sterilized knife or garden shears to divide the plant into smaller sections. Aim for each section to have a healthy root system and a good number of shoots or stems.
Step 3: Creating New Planting Holes
Prepare the new planting holes for the divided lavender sections. Ensure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Lavender thrives in sandy or loamy soil with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. Choose a sunny location for optimal growth.
Step 4: Transplanting the Divided Lavender
Carefully place each lavender section into its respective planting hole, making sure the root system is well-covered with soil. Gently press the soil around the plant to eliminate any air pockets. Leave enough space between each plant to allow for proper air circulation and future growth.
Step 5: Watering and Care
After transplanting, thoroughly water the newly divided lavender plants to help settle the soil around the roots. Lavender prefers moderate watering and dislikes overly wet conditions, so ensure the soil is well-drained to prevent waterlogging. Regularly check the moisture levels and adjust watering accordingly.
Step 6: Mulching and Maintenance
Apply a layer of organic mulch around the newly planted lavender sections to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Avoid placing the mulch too close to the plant’s base to prevent rot. Additionally, prune any excessively long stems or blooms to encourage the plant to focus on root development.
Step 7: Monitoring and Continued Care
After replanting the divided lavender, it’s essential to monitor the plants closely and provide continued care to ensure their successful establishment. Keep an eye out for signs of stress, such as wilting or yellowing leaves, and take appropriate action promptly.
Regularly inspect the soil moisture levels, especially during the initial weeks after replanting. While lavender prefers well-drained soil, it still requires sufficient moisture to establish its roots. Water the plants deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Step 8: Fertilization
Although lavender is known for its ability to thrive in poor soil conditions, providing some nourishment through fertilization can support healthy growth. Apply a balanced organic fertilizer, low in nitrogen, during the early spring or late winter. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower production.
Step 9: Pruning and Harvesting
Pruning lavender is crucial for maintaining its compact shape, promoting better airflow, and encouraging abundant flowering. In early spring or late winter, before new growth emerges, prune back the lavender plants by removing about one-third of their height. This will help stimulate new growth from the base and prevent the plants from becoming woody.
Harvesting lavender blooms not only allows you to enjoy their fragrance but also promotes additional branching and encourages the plant to produce more flowers. Harvest the blossoms when they are in full bloom but before they start to fade. Cut the stems just above a leaf node, and hang them upside down in a warm, well-ventilated area to dry.
Step 10: Winter Protection
As winter approaches, it’s essential to protect your lavender plants from harsh weather conditions. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants, extending a few inches beyond the outermost branches. This will help insulate the soil and protect the roots from freezing temperatures.
Additionally, in regions with particularly cold winters, you may consider covering the lavender plants with burlap or a frost cloth to shield them from extreme cold and wind. Remove the coverings once the danger of frost has passed in the spring.
By following these simple steps, you can successfully split your lavender plants and replant them, expanding your lavender garden and enjoying the beauty and fragrance of these versatile plants. Remember to choose the right time, handle the plants with care, provide suitable soil conditions, and maintain proper watering and mulching. With proper care and attention, your divided lavender plants will flourish, bringing joy and serenity to your garden for years to come.