Hello lavender fans!
This is the second in a series of posts detailing how to grow your own lavender.
In this post we shall be looking at how to pot up your lavender. This is for those of you who either want to move their rooted plugs into pots, or just to simply transpose those smaller plants that are starting to get too big into larger pots. You can find the post on how to propagate plants here. We will describe those respective processes individually, as they are ever so slightly different. Doing this will allow your lavenders to flourish and help them become more established plants.
Potting up plugs
Mid Spring: early April – mid May
For this you will need:
- healthy, rooted plants
- bucket of water, big enough to fit multiple plants in
- multipurpose compost
- 8cm pots
- Plant food
Begin by ensuring that the plug is established enough in its initial container. First of all look to see if the plant looks green and healthy, if so try to gently pull the plant out of the soil. If the soil comes with the plant, then it is fit enough to transpose. If just the lavender comes out on its own, roots and all, then it is not.
Next, you need to ensure that the plug is saturated in water. At Hitchin Lavender we float the plugs in a large bucket of water, whilst in their polystyrene planters and leave them to soak for a good 20 – 30 minutes.
Whilst the plants are soaking, you can prepare the pots that they shall be planted in. At this point, if applicable, mix the plant food into the compost in a large container. Take your compost and fill the pots. Once completed make a hole for the lavender plug to drop into.
Top tip: to create these hole efficiently, get a hose, put it onto the single stream setting and give a short sharp blast into the centre of the pot, creating a deep hole for the plug.
Once the pots have been prepared and the lavenders soaked, gently break up the soil between your fingers – not totally destroying the clod of soil, but loosening the it all up – and place into the hole. Keep the plants in a humid place and make sure they are constantly watered, especially when it begins to get warm.
Potting up Plants
As previously mentioned, this is a very similar process to the plugs, with some key differences. This process is for plants that are starting to outgrow the pots they are in and need putting into a bigger one so that they can begin to grow.
You will need:
- Healthy looking plants
- Large bucket
- Multipurpose soil
- Larger pots – this is at the discretion of the gardener, as the size of pot depends on the size that the lavender has become
- Plant food
Like the aforementioned process, make sure that the plant is established enough in its current pot. Do this by gently pulling the plant out, to see whether the soil comes with it as well. If it comes out with the soil attached, then it is established, if not, then it is not healthy enough to transpose. Once pulled out of its pot, place the plant – soil and all – into the bucket of water to saturate the lavender.
Whilst the lavender soaks, prepare the pots. As mentioned before, the size of pot that you transpose it to really depends on the vitality and size of the lavender. If the lavender is established, looks healthy, but its stems are a little short – 5 inches – then we would tend to put it into a 1.5 litre pot. If the stems are longer – above 5 – then we would put it into a 2 litre pot. The plant needs to room to grow into, but too much and it may suffer.
Once you have worked out the sizings, begin to prepare the pots. Add the plant food to the compost at this point, then add the compost into the pots. When they have been thoroughly soaked, start to break the soil up, readying them to be planted. Because they are more established than the plugs, you can afford to open up the soil a lot more without damaging the plant.
Top tip: The more you loosen the soil, the greater chance the plant will establish itself in the larger pot.
Next transpose the plants into the new pots. Add compost around the edges of the plants and then cover up any roots or old soil. Make sure to keep watered and keep humid, ideally in a greenhouse.