Drying Lavender Flowers

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It’s no secret I love flowers! So when it comes to drying and preserving them too, I am all about it! One of the easiest flowers to dry is lavender. Drying lavender flowers is a simple process that can be done at home. Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant herb commonly used for aromatherapy, cooking, and decoration and can even be bought at places like Trader Joes. Drying lavender flowers is an excellent way to preserve their fragrance and color for long periods. Let me show you how!

How to Harvest and Dry Lavender Flowers

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Drying Lavender Flowers

Harvesting lavender is an essential first step in the drying process. Therefore, harvesting lavender before it is in full bloom when the flowers have not yet fully opened, is recommended. 

Cut the lavender stems just above the leaves and aim for the longest stem possible on the flower. 

Once you have harvested the lavender, it is time to prepare the flowers for drying.

Preparing lavender flowers for drying involves cleaning and removing the leaves from the stems. 

Next, run the cut flowers under tap water to clean off dust, soil, or bugs. 

Gently shake them and let them rest on paper or kitchen towels to remove most of the water. After cleaning, gather the flowers into small bunches and tie them together with string or rubber bands. Now, the flowers are ready for the next step, drying.

Key Takeaways

  • Harvest lavender before it is in full bloom when the flowers haven’t fully opened
  • Clean the flowers and remove the leaves from the stems before drying
  • Dry the lavender flowers in a warm, dry, and dark place for best results.
drying lavender flowers

Harvesting Lavender

As a lover of lavender, I always look forward to when I can harvest my potted lavender plants. Harvesting lavender is an exciting process requiring some planning and attention to detail. In this section, I’ll share some tips and tricks on harvesting lavender flowers.

When to Harvest

Timing is everything when it comes to harvesting lavender. The best time to harvest lavender is when the flowers have just started to open before they are fully open. This is usually in the early to mid-spring, depending on your location and the lavender you are growing.

It’s essential to keep an eye on your lavender plants and wait until at least 40% to 50% of the plant has flowered buds before harvesting. You can also tell that the lavender is ready by looking for tons of bees as they fly around to pollinate each plant.

How to Harvest

When it comes to harvesting lavender, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure that you have a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors. This will make the process much easier and ensure you are not damaging the plant.

To harvest lavender, cut the stalks with the flowers attached. It’s best to cut the stalks in the morning when the plants are still cool, and the oils are concentrated. Cut the stalks just above the leaves, leaving about 1-2 inches of stem attached to the flowers.

Once you have harvested your lavender, it’s time to start drying the flowers. There are several methods for drying lavender, including hanging the flowers upside down in a warm, dry place or using a dehydrator or even a flower press.

Harvesting lavender is a fun and rewarding process that requires a bit of patience and attention to detail. By waiting until the flowers are ready and using the right tools, you can ensure that your lavender harvest is bountiful and of the highest quality.

cement bust and lavender flowers for drying

Preparing Lavender Flowers for Drying

Before drying lavender flowers, it is important to prepare them properly. This will ensure that the flowers retain their fragrance and color. In this section, I will explain how to cut and bundle lavender flowers for drying.

How to Cut Lavender Flowers

When cutting lavender flowers for drying, it is important to do so at the right time. The best time to cut lavender is when the flowers have just started to open before they are entirely in bloom. 

This will ensure that the flowers have the highest concentration of essential oils and will retain their fragrance when dried.

To cut the lavender flowers, I use a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears. First, I cut the stems just above the leaves, leaving as much stem as possible. This will make it easier to bundle the flowers later.

How to Bundle Lavender Flowers

Once you have cut the lavender flowers, it is time to bundle them for drying. First, I gather 8-10 stems and tie them loosely with a rubber band, twine, or string. Tying the bundle loosely is important so air can circulate around the flowers.

Next, I hang the bundle upside down in a warm, dry, dark place. This can be a closet, a pantry, or any other area where the flowers will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Finally, I leave the flowers to dry for about 7-10 days or until completely dry.

When the flowers are dry, I remove them from the bundle and store them in an airtight container. This will help to preserve their fragrance and color for longer.

Preparing lavender flowers for drying is an essential step in the process. By cutting the flowers at the right time and bundling them properly, you can ensure they retain their fragrance and color when dried.

How to Dry Lavender Flowers

Drying Lavender Flowers

When it comes to drying lavender flowers, there are several methods you can use, depending on your preference. In this section, I will discuss four different ways to dry lavender flowers: air drying, drying in the sun, drying in an oven, and using a dehydrator.

Air Drying

Air drying is the most common and traditional method of drying lavender flowers. To air-dry lavender, you must harvest the flowers when they are fully open but before they wilt. Then, cut the stems about 6-8 inches long and remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem.

Next, bundle the stems together with a rubber band or string and hang them upside down in a dark, dry, and warm place. A drying rack can be helpful for this method. Be sure to keep the stems spaced out for proper air circulation. The lavender can take up to two weeks to fully dry, so be patient.

Drying in the Sun

Drying lavender in the sun is another option. This method is faster than air drying but requires more attention. To dry lavender in the sun, follow the same steps as air drying, but instead of hanging the lavender indoors, hang it outside in a sunny spot.

Be sure to bring the lavender inside at night or during humid weather to prevent moisture from ruining the drying process. This method can take up to three days, depending on the amount of sunlight and heat.

Dried lavender flowers in basket

Drying in an Oven

If you’re short on time, you can dry lavender in the oven. First, preheat your oven to the lowest temperature setting, usually around 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, spread the lavender flowers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place them in the oven.

Leave the oven door slightly open to allow for air circulation. Check the flowers every 30 minutes or so and remove them when fully dry, usually within 2-3 hours.

Using a Dehydrator

A dehydrator is the quickest and most efficient way to dry lavender flowers. I personally have never used this method but have heard amazing things and did a bit of research. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your dehydrator. Still, generally, you will need to spread the lavender flowers out on the trays and set the dehydrator to a low temperature or herb setting.

Check the flowers every hour or so until they are fully dry, usually within 2 hours or so. Once the lavender is dry, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to preserve its essential oils and fragrance.

There are several methods to dry lavender flowers, each with advantages and disadvantages. Choose the best way for you and enjoy the beautiful aroma of dried lavender in your home.

overhead view of lavender

Storing Dried Lavender Flowers

As someone who loves to work with lavender, I know how important it is to store dried lavender flowers properly. So here are some tips on how to keep them and use them to make lavender sachets and bouquets.

How to Store Dried Lavender Flowers

The best way to store dried lavender flowers is in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, non-transparent jar, plastic, glass, or metal container. You can also use a vacuum-sealed bag or a ziplock bag. 

The key is to keep them in a dark place to preserve their fragrance and aroma.

If you have a large amount of dried lavender flowers, storing them in a glass container or a vase is best. This keeps them fresh and makes for a decorative display in your home.

How to Make Lavender Sachets

Lavender sachets are a great way to use dried lavender flowers. To make a sachet, you will need:

  • Dried lavender flowers
  • A small cloth bag or sachet
  • Ribbon or twine

Fill the sachet with dried lavender flowers and tie it closed with ribbon or twine. Then, you can place the sachet in your closet, dresser, or any other area that needs a fresh fragrance.

I grew up having lavender sachets in my drawers and I swear I can still smell them sometimes.

dried lavender flowers on table

How to Make Lavender Bouquets

Lavender bouquets are a beautiful and fragrant addition to any room. To make a lavender bouquet, you will need:

  • Dried lavender flowers
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or twine

Cut the stems of the dried lavender flowers to the desired length and tie them together with ribbon or twine. You can place the bouquet in a vase or use it as a decorative accent.

Storing dried lavender flowers properly is essential to preserve their fragrance and aroma. In addition, you can use them to make lavender sachets and bouquets to add a fresh and beautiful touch to your home.

dried lavender flowers in front of cutting board

Uses for Dried Lavender Flowers

As someone who loves gardening, I always dream of having a surplus of lavender flowers that I can dry for later use. Dried lavender flowers are versatile and can be used in various ways. Here are some of my favorite uses for dried lavender flowers:

Culinary Uses

Dried lavender flowers can be used in cooking and baking to add a unique flavor and aroma to dishes. However, it is important to use them sparingly as they have a strong taste. 

I love to use dried lavender flowers in baking shortbread cookies, adding them to tea blends, and infusing them in honey. Lavender also pairs well with chocolate and can be used to make delicious truffles and garnish cocktails.

Medicinal Uses

Lavender has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Dried lavender flowers can be used to make teas and essential oils that could possibly help with anxiety, insomnia, and sleep disorders. 

Lavender oil is also known for its calming effects and can be used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and promote relaxation. I have been known to smell lavender oil in stressful situations. 😉💜

Aromatherapy Uses

The fragrance of dried lavender flowers is soothing and relaxing. You can use them to make potpourri, sachets, and scented candles. Adding dried lavender flowers to a warm bath can also help promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Decorative Uses

I saved the best for last! Dried lavender flowers are perfect for decorative purposes and they are easy to decorate with. You can use them to make wreaths, dried flower arrangements, and centerpieces. You can also tie them together with a ribbon and place them in a vase for a simple yet elegant display.

Overall, dried lavender flowers are a great addition to any home. They are versatile and can be used in various ways, from culinary to medicinal and decorative uses. I love always having a stash of dried lavender flowers on hand!

Lavender in a metal bucket on a bistro table

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you dry lavender after it blooms?

Yes, you can dry lavender after it blooms, but it may be less fragrant and may lose its vibrant color.

How do you dry lavender flowers without losing color?

To dry lavender flowers without losing color, you need to protect the flowers from direct sunlight and heat. Hang the lavender stems upside down in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area, but avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. This will help the flowers retain their color and fragrance.

It can also be dried using a flower press. This is my favorite flower press!

Does dried lavender lose its smell?

When dried, most lavender will retain its strong fragrance for an entire season. However, if stored and cared for properly, its lifespan can be extended up to 10 years.

Drying Lavender Flowers

So here’s the deal, friends: drying lavender flowers at home? Totally doable! Lavender, that gorgeous and oh-so-fragrant herb we all adore for its aromatherapy, cooking, and decorating powers, can be kept in peak form through a little drying magic. Say goodbye to wilted blooms and hello to long-lasting fragrance and color! It’s like giving your lavender flowers a spa day that lasts for ages. Go ahead, give it a whirl and enjoy the benefits of your own homemade potpourri, culinary delights, or stunning decorations. The lavender game just got real!

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  1. Great post. I’m doing a harvesting lavender post soon, too. You have inspired me. It’s so beautiful. Hugs and blessings to you.

  2. I have to go to the farm up the street to get ours. Excited to try this on my own! Thank you. pinned

  3. Such a great post, Kelly. I love lavender. I have one plant still alive. They can be fickle plants in certain areas but so worth it. Love dried lavender and it used in teas and soaps.

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