Drying Lavender is one of the easiest ways to enjoy lavender from your garden.
There are a few ways to use dried lavender in your home:
Enjoy dried stem bunches alone or in floral arrangements
Use dried flower buds in sachets or for potpourri
Use dried flower buds in cooking
WHEN TO CUT YOUR LAVENDER
The best time to cut lavender is in the morning after any dew has dried off (obviously don’t cut lavender if it is wet from rain, it will be more susceptible to mold).
To enjoy dried stem bunches or dried buds for cooking, you want to cut the lavender when just a few of the buds on the stem have bloomed. This will allow you to enjoy a more vibrant color in the dried stems and the buds do not fall off as easy once dried.
If you want to use dried flower buds in sachets or potpourri, you can cut them as you would for dried stem bunches or wait a little longer until most of the buds have bloomed but not yet withered.
HOW TO CUT YOUR LAVENDER
Use a pair of sturdy scissors, pruning clippers or a serrated sickle knife (these are extremely sharp so use caution if using). Then follow these steps to harvest the plants:
Encircle a bunch of stems above the leaves with your thumb and middle finger. This is 100-150 stems and is a good size for drying and helps to avoid molding at the center of the bundle.
Cut carefully, avoiding crushing the flowers.
Don't cut into the woody part of the plant; leave an inch or two at least of the green growth to encourage future flowering.
Don't worry about damaging the plant—pruning like this will encourage the bush to grow better and fuller the following year.
HOW TO HANG YOUR LAVENDER
Secure each bunch with a rubber band. This will secure the bunch as it dries out and shrinks. A pretty ribbon won’t secure the bunch when they shrink but you can swap out the rubber band for a ribbon once the bunch is dried. Hang the bundles upside down in a dark, dry room. If you don’t have a dark room, you can cover the bunches with a brown paper bag (with holes cut along the sides and bottom to allow air circulation) and dry them in a place with more light. The darkness helps the lavender retain the color of the flowers/buds and hanging upside down helps to retain an upright shape if using as decoration.
It takes on average a month for the lavender to be thoroughly dried, but hanging longer does no harm to the bunches.
REMOVING DRIED BUDS FROM STEM
If you want to use the flowers for cooking, tea, potpourri, or lavender sachets, gently run your fingers along the stalks to remove the dried flowers. Store the flowers in a glass jar, metal tin or box and store away from sunlight and temperature extremes.
Sunlight, heat and humidity will make the fragrance of your dried lavender fade faster. If you don’t want to go through the above process, you can buy stems, sachets and culinary buds from us.