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June 2021

The Secret Life of Plants - Rooting

If you’ve read the previous article in this series entitled ‘The Secret Life of Plants – Part 1’, you’ll have seen that we covered taking cuttings from Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote'. These were then propagated in ‘plugs’ of a selected planting medium in our young plant unit and placed in our misting chambers for the roots to become established.

During an average stay of three weeks in the misting chambers, the root development of the plugs is regularly checked and, when ready, they are transferred to a ‘weaning area’ to be prepared or ‘hardened up’ for potting.

This area still has relatively high humidity and the plugs will be irrigated with programmed feed solutions mixed into the water.


We carry out several different types of irrigation as appropriate for the species, depending on the most effective way to supply the correct amount of water each plant needs.

This is done using complex computer-controlled irrigation systems through a network of cables and pipelines running across the nursery to drippers, sprays, rotators, overhead sprinklers and flood beds. And just to be sure everything is getting what it needs, we also use good old hosepipes too.

The science and technology we use to ensure we can produce the best plants possible is constantly evolving.


Trials are continuously carried out to ensure that the composition of the ‘recipe’ that makes up the planting medium for each species and cultivar is being tested and adjusted, based on information gathered at all stages of production, from propagation through potting on, trimming and presentation for sale.

One example of the appliance of science is a new device being installed in the young plant unit which adds controlled quantities (between 1 and 2 parts per million) of copper particles to the watering system. This helps plants to resist diseases such as Phytophthora (root rot) and encourages the growth of stronger plugs.

In the next instalment of this series of features, our young lavenders prepare for the subsequent stage of their journey as they work their way towards being added to our stock lists…