How to Dry Lavender: Preserving the Scent of Summer

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Pauline Jurkevicius

Lavender is a beautiful and versatile plant. By drying lavender, you can use the aromatic flowers in a variety of ways.  We’ll look at how to dry lavender so you can enjoy it all year long.

For many gardeners, lavender is primarily ornamental and used to attract bees. However, dried lavender can be used in many ways as both a fragrant and medicinal herb. The scent is considered calming and, when ingested, lavender is even said to promote concentration. In addition, sachets of dried lavender can be used as a moth deterrent.

If you want to learn, how to grow lavender, check out this article: Lavender: How to Plant and Care for the Herb

Choosing the Right Time for Harvest 

drying lavender
When properly dried, lavender will continue to give off a pleasant scent and retain a slightly purple tint. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Tycho Atsma )

Before drying your lavender, it’s important to harvest the blossoms properly. It’s best to cut off the flower heads when the first individual blossoms have just opened. This is when the flower has the highest concentration of fragrance — which is exactly what we’re after. Cut the stem of the lavender about four inches below the flowers. The optimal time to do this is in the early morning, just after the morning dew on the flowers has completely dried. 

Drying Lavender: Step-by-Step

Once you’ve harvested the flowers, it’s time to dry them. Here’s how to dry lavender:

  1. Tie the flowers together by the stems to make a small bouquet.
  2. Hang the bouquet with the flower heads facing downwards in a shady area with good air circulation. Choose a place that is protected from excessive heat.
  3. Let the small bunches dry for one to two weeks. The flowers should feel dry to the touch and crumble easily when you rub them with your fingers.
  4. Remove the dry bunches. Depending on what you’d like to do with your dried lavender, you can strip off the individual flowers, or leave the bunches whole.
  5. It’s important to protect the lavender from sunlight and strong heat as both can weaken the scent of the flowers. This is why dring lavender in the oven isn’t a good idea.

Tip: Instead of hanging the lavender, you can also spread the flowers loosely on drying rack.

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Lavendel trocknen: So hast du länger was von den duftenden Pflanzen

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