Lavender plants are woody stemmed perennials with a popular, distinct aroma. These Mediterranean natives grow well in much of the United States. They provide year round interest in the garden or landscape with small, gray-green leaves. Lavender blooms during the summer in shades of purple, pink or white. Propagation occurs through several methods, though to split lavender plants requires the least amount of time, attention and expense. The simple layering process provides you with two or three new plants per lavender.
Choose an older lavender plant with low, drooping branches. Older plants can often use a little thinning to rejuvenate them. It is best to decide on the plant and start the process in the early spring before new growth appears.
Pick two or three branches around the plant that hang the closest to the ground and do not have flowers. Use a garden trowel to dig a small trench--about 2 inches deep, wide and long--underneath each chosen branch.
Scrape the underside of the lavender branches with a knife. You want to remove the harder outer layer and reveal soft, inside tissue. Remove about an inch long section.
Place rooting hormones on the scraped section. This is not strictly necessary, but gives quicker results. Follow the container’s instructions for the amount to apply.
Lay the branches into the trenches one at a time. Cover them with dirt. If they seem resistant to stay in the position, place a rock over the top or use a large metal earth staple.
Water the layered branches during hot, dry periods to help them establish a strong root system. You can amend the soil and help conserve moisture by spreading a 3-inch layer of compost around the lavender plant and over the layered branches.
Prepare the planting site for the new lavender plants in autumn. Lavender prefers somewhat sandy, well-drained soil. They need full sun and room to grow to their mature size. Dig the holes for the new plants at least 6 inches deep. Add sand to the soil if it is dense, replacing around 10 percent of what was removed.
Cut the branches with a pruner on the plant side of the trench. Do this when the fall weather remains consistently cool. Dig up the small lavender plants that have developed from the layered branches. Place them in the prepared holes and fill with soil. Water until the soil settles.
Spread a 4-inch layer of mulch around the young lavender plants. Lavender is susceptible to winter damage and the mulch helps protect them.