Cutting is the method used for the reproduction of lavandins, but also of clonal lavender ("maillette", "matherone"). This consists of giving birth to a new individual plant (individual child of the mother plant). It is a cloning : the cutting is genetically identical to the mother plant.
In February/March, the mother plants destined to provide cuttings are trimmed with a hedge trimmer (5-6 yrs).
Small branches of lavender, from 10 to 15 cm in length (4 to 6 in.) : « la bouture »
Cuttings are bound in bunches of about a hundred and their ends cut to make the bunches uniform and easier to manage.
The bunches are then preserved until planting takes place.
2 methods of preservation :
- The gauge : bunches of cuttings are buried into soil, in a space with minimal sun exposure.
- Cold chamber : to keep bunches at a regulated low temperature.
The nursery must be set up on grounds with good sun exposure. Good watering is indispensible. Good nursery management entails full-fledged « gardening » : the soil must be as much as possible rid of pebbles that can inhibit root growth. It must be freshly tilled.
Cuttings are planted in March-April.
With the help of a bumper hung to the machine, a trench is opened and watered, then the cuttings are planted by hand. (20 to 30 cuttings per linear meter, about 3 ft).
The cuttings will remain in the nursery for about 7 months, until they become full-grown lavender plants.
During this whole period, the nursery must be watered regularly, especially in dry weather, weeded, and the young plants cropped (the young plants's flower tips must be trimmed with a sickle) for the plants' healthy development.
In December/January, the plants may be pulled out, bound in bunches of 100, and are then ready for sale.