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It would appear that I have at last had success with lavender cuttings after many failures. I took these latest cuttings last year.
When tearing off the cutting from the plant, the heel can sometimes have a longish tail of bark attached. This won't produce roots and could encourage rotting. It is this outer layer which should be cut off cleanly. Inside there is the lighter core which contains the cells which can become roots. Try to avoid damage to this area by squashing or bruising. There is a higher concentration of root producing cells at junctions between stems, and in the outer layer of the 'inner' stem, which is why we tend to expose this area when attempting cuttings (or grafts).
I used a very light compost with added grit to open it up. I only wanted to take a few cutting from a new plant so put them in individual pots. I used the clear plastic 'cups' you gets with ice cream cones as mini propagators. These make it easy to check the cuttings and dry the inside if by chance it looks too wet. I carefully tipped one out after a few weeks as they appeared to be putting on top growth but there was hardly any root development so repotted it and have left them all for a few months more. I have kept them in an unheated greenhouse throughout and have been careful to keep them on the dry side. I now have very tiny, mini lavender bushes definately putting on top growth, but will keep them in a controlled environment until I can rely on the weather and they are not shocked. Had I rooted them all in the same pot I would have grown them on individually before planting out.
With regard to Standards, these may well be grafted onto the stems of entirely different plants - though I haven't check them out.
Cherrypip: It is my understanding that cuttings of licensed varieties, taken for your own use are ok. Just don't sell them. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
I hope my experience helps with all of the above queries. My neighbour tells me she takes lavender cuttings easily, but must say, although I have had success with lots of different plants, Lavender has always been a problem.
I planted some white lavender in my 'white garden' last year and trimed it back in the autumn. As I can never dispose of a potential cutting I tidied up about 8 shoots (semi-ripe, - thats when the bottom bit of the stem is more woody than green but still pliable, for you new to this stuff ), that had not yet flowered, about 3 inches or so, and put 4 around the edge of a 5" pot, and put them in the window of a cold room, out of sun over winter. i don't think it's the best time to take cuttings but i thought i could either compost them now or later and there is not much to look forward to in the coming months. About half of them took, i dont think i got the watering right, - I neglected to water and then soaked them,- but surprisingly got 3 plants potted up by January, lost 2 but 1 has survived!! So give it a go novices, expect to loose 90% of your cuttings so when you succeed with 50% you'll be proud of your skills and pass plants on to your friends.
Last year I simply popped a lot of lavender off-cuts into patches of bare soil in a corner of the garden, and now I have at least 50 small lavender plants. I simply took some healthy looking pieces 3-4 inches long from when I cut back the lavender bed. I think about 75% must have rooted. I simply couldn't be bothered with pots and compost etc and would probably have forgotten to water them anyway. The 'cuttings' rooted in two different types of soil - edge of rockery and damp and shady. Really easy.
I have grown quite a few lavender plants from seed this year. I followed a propagation tip I read, which was to put the seeds onto a piece of wetted kitchen paper in a container (I used a small square plastic box from Lakeland but anything would do) and put them in a cold (almost freezing but not quite) part of your fridge for at least 2 weeks, checking to make sure they remain moist. We have a second fridge in our cellar which is only opened about once a day, so this wasn't a problem. After the chilling period you sow the seeds in a tray of compost as normal. We had very good results from lavenders Munstead & Hidcote, but Elegance Sky had a lower germination rate and the seedlings seemed more susceptible to dieback etc. I still haven't mastered the propagation from cuttings method, but I daresay I shall keep persevering.