aajdaa
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How to collect seeds from lavender

My neighbour has many lavenders, and I'd really like to collect seeds from them. Any advice on how and when to do so?

imafan26
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Re: How to collect seeds from lavender

Ask her for cuttings. They are easier to start than from seeds. Seeds take a long time to germinate and lavender grows very slowly from seeds. Take a tip cutting from the green wood in early Spring or late summer when the new growth starts to show. Take a 4-6 inch cutting with the bottom cut at a 45 degree angle and taking a strip of the outer layer off with a clean pruner. Dip in a hormone solution or powder. I root everything in perlite. You can tent the cutting to retain humidity but I just keep my cutting under my bench in the shade. If the plant is in active growth, it should root in about 4-6 weeks.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How to collect seeds from lavender

You didn't say where you are. It makes a difference, in what you would do.

When would be NOW if it is fall where you are. Collecting seed from them depends on the neighbor leaving the flowers on to set seed. People that harvest their lavender don't do that, they harvest the flower spikes as buds, before it ever sets seeds. So first you would have to ask the neighbor if she would save a couple flower spikes, leave them on to set seed.

The flower spikes need to stay on the plant until all the flower petals have dropped off. Then you can harvest them, let them dry a little and rub them over a strainer. The seeds should fall through. Collect them and put them in a Ziploc baggie with moist potting soil and put them in the fridge for three weeks. This is called cold stratifying and it simulates going through winter. Alternatively if your winters aren't too cold and it is fall where you are, you can collect the seeds and plant them in the ground now to overwinter. It's a bit more of a gamble since you can't provide appropriate conditions that way (will they dry out? will they get too wet and rot out? etc), but it is what nature does. If starting indoors, after the cold stratification, plant the seeds in potting soil in a warm place under lights. The seeds need lights for germination, so don't cover them, just put them on the soil and press lightly to be sure they are in good contact with the soil. Keep lights directly over them, just a few inches above on for 16 hrs a day (see the seed starting basics thread in this section). For warmth, best is a heat mat under the tray, for gentle even bottom warmth.

Keep the soil just damp until the seeds sprout, anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. Then tend the little seedlings carefully until they are transplant size, which will be 6 - 10 more weeks (they grow slowly). Then they can be transplanted. They probably won't bloom the first year from seed.

This is why imafan suggested cuttings!
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imafan26
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Re: How to collect seeds from lavender

Also because I have grown lavender from seeds. Mine took a couple of months to germinate and they can take up to six months. I used a mini greenhouse a.k.a. the plastic container the grapes from Costco came in. You need to protect the seedlings from slugs, birds and caterpillars, I lost a few of the young ones that way.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

aajdaa
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Location: Maribor, Slovenia

Re: How to collect seeds from lavender

He doesn't collect them, he has them... I don't know, because they grew I guess. I will get the cuttings in the spring, thank you.
rainbowgardener, I'm sorry, I really forgot to mention it, I didn't even think it was important for this question. Yes, it is fall here right now. Since it is easier to grow them from cuttings, that's what I'll do.
Thank you both for your help!

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How to collect seeds from lavender

It helps when you post to add your location and zone information to your profile, it makes a difference where you live.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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