Lavender Love- How to Dry Lavender

Drying-English-Lavender-square3-MediumThis is one of my favorite times of year!  Everything is a beautiful green and new flowers and herbs are popping up each day.  As many of you know, lavender is my absolute favorite!  My plants are blooming and it’s time to start drying them to use throughout the year.  Don’t be intimidated by drying herbs, it’s much easier than you think, and it will add a touch of sunshine even during the dark days of winter.  I’m going to walk you through this simple and rewarding process.

Gathering Lavender:

The first step is to gather together a long stemmed type of lavender.  If your particular lavender is leafy,  you can just remove the excess leaves from the base of each stem.  It is best to pick your lavender before it is in full bloom.  This ensures that the dried buds will retain their fragrance for longer time, and it also means that they won’t fall apart as they dry.

As with most herbs, the best time to harvest is in the morning after the dew has disappeared.

Drying Lavender Buds:

If you want to only dry lavender buds or petals, remove the fresh lavender from the stalks, keeping the purple lavender heads.

Line a box with newspaper and place your lavender heads in a single layer in the bottom of the box.  Store this box in a warm, dry place. Each day, gently shake your buds to aerate.  Once dried, you can separate the lavender heads off the bud grouping.

How To Dry Lavender Bunches:

To dry lavender bunches, simply cut long stems of lavender.  Gather a small bunch and secure the stems together with a rubber band.  The lavender will shrink as it’s drying, so you may need to tighten the rubber band.  Hang your lavender bunch upside down in a well ventilated, dry part of your home.  Put a paper towel lined tray under your bunch to catch any petals that release during the drying process.

I have found that my lavender takes about 3 weeks to dry in my basement.  Your lavender drying time will depend upon the temperature and level of humidity, so check on your bundles every few days.  Some friends are able to have fully dried lavender in a week and others take 4 weeks.

Properly dried lavender should feel crunchy and a little brittle to the touch.  Make sure they’re completely dry before using or you could have an issue with mold or other not fun things.

Uses for Dried Lavender:

Dried lavender stems that are wrapped with a pretty ribbon look beautiful in a vase.  Take a few stalks and hang on a door knob or place on a shelf in your bathroom.  Your only limit is your imagination.

Create simple lavender sachets from your grandma’s handkerchiefs by placing the buds in the center and tying with a ribbon.  Make an eye pillow to help with relaxation at the end of your yoga practice or meditation.  A handful of lavender buds in a nice bowl brings a bit of relaxation to any room.  If you pick up a few buds and lightly squeeze them in your palm, you’ll release the beautiful scent even more.

How to Store Your Dried Lavender:

Your dried lavender will do best if you keep it out of the sun, heat and humidity.  I keep mine in a sealed mason jar and refresh my sachets and bunches throughout the year.

I hope that you’ve been inspired to bring the beauty of nature indoors with a bit of dried lavender.  I’d love to hear your suggestions and see photos of you using it in your home!  Please email me at rebecca@twigleafflower.com and visit twig leaf flower.

twig leaf flower is an organic vegan aromatherapy company founded in Dallas, PA.  I’m passionate about aromatherapy and herbalism and can’t wait for you to see the amazing difference truly natural products will make in your life. I offer a variety of holistic items including lotions, bath soaks, lip balms and diffusion blends, along with collections devoted to children and pets.  I’m always adding new blends and I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me personally  rebecca@twigleafflower.com

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