How To Propogate Mona Lavender (Plectranthus)

Mona Lavender Propogation 0

Mona Lavender is said to be in the same plant family as Swedish Ivy (notice the purple undersides of the leaves?). I won’t go into how to care for it other than it likes half sun/shade and moderate watering outside, and likes to be ignored inside (I only water when almost dry). I’ve managed to keep it alive, so it obviously tolerates a lot of abuse and neglect.

Aside from being able to neglect it, I like it as an outdoor plant because it becomes huge, dense, and has vibrant sprays of small purple flowers all season long. The problem I have is finding Mona Lavender early in the season at a price I can justify. To solve that problem, I started bringing in the two largest plants in the winter and then rooting up cuttings from those plants 8 weeks before the final frost. That way I have plenty of starter plants in time for spring…at a price I like…which is “free”.

The overwintered plants start getting a little “leggy” due to the filtered sun from the window. This works out perfectly, when in mid-February I give it a heavy pruning, and root up the cuttings for new plants. That also helps the older plants to branch out nicely once they’re moved outside.

I prefer to use 4-6 inch cuttings; taller cuttings seem to take longer to recover and regain strength before they’ll root. For the cuttings, I remove all but the top 2 inches of leaves, place the stems in a clear glass with water filled to just below the leaves, and position it in a sunny window. The cuttings seem to prefer a lot of sun and mine root up faster in a sunny window than they did under the plant light.

They cuttings drink a lot of water, so the glass needs to get topped off with water at least every few days.

They’ll have decent length roots within 10-14 days. Because they like water so much, I wait until the roots are at least 2 inches long before potting the plants.

When it’s time to pot them up I put the rooted cuttings into 6-pack plant cells, with each cell being about 2 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. The potted cuttings are then kept in a spot with only filtered sun, no more sunny window, to help them adjust to being transplanted. And the soil is kept moderately moist (they still love water at this stage). Mona Lavender doesn’t seem to like a lot of fertilizer, so I wait about 10 days before fertilizing them.

After 2-3 weeks in their new home, I check their root growth. If their roots start looking like they’re packed into the plant cells, they get upgraded to 4″ pots. This time, they go in a sunny window for the remaining 2-3 weeks until they get transplanted into beds outside. Again, I wait for about 10 days at this stage before fertilizing them again.

When the plants have about 4 inches of new leaf growth, begin pinching off tips. This will encourage the plant to branch out. More branches = more flowers.

As soon as the last frost is past, start putting the plants outside during the day in a spot where they can get filtered sunlight (otherwise they’ll get sunburned). Bring them in at night. After a few days of acclimating them, and after the outdoor nighttime temperatures remain above 45 degrees, they’re ready to finally be planted in the ground.

Categories: Backyard