Lavender is an amazing plant. It can be used for many different DIYS and recipes, as well as just looking and smelling beautiful!
However, many recipes and DIY’s call for dried lavender, but they all could be different forms of dried lavender.
So here is a compiled list of how to dry lavender, in many different ways!
First steps – Gathering Your Lavender
It is best to pick the lavender before it's in full bloom (just before the little florets completely open up). This ensures the buds will retain their fragrance for longer and won't fall apart once they are dried.
Much like most herbs, the best time to pick is mid-morning (especially if they are outside, this ensures that the morning dew has evaporated).
Drying Lavender – Petals and buds
This method is great if you have limited space or if you just require buds or petals for your project.
Once your lavender is gathered you will want to remove the lavender stalks from the freshly picked lavender, make sure to keep the heads!
Place the lavender heads in a newspaper-lined box, and store in a warm dry place.
Each day give the lavender a gentle shake to aerate.
Once dry, rub the lavender heads to separate off the individual buds.
Drying Lavender – Lavender Bunches
If you rather beautiful bunches of lavender, make sure to cut nice long stems.
When drying, you can either hang each stem individually to dry, which is much more time consuming, or you can dry them in small bunches.
When drying in bunches, you want to gather a bunch the size you hand can wrap around the base. Secure the stems with a rubber band and hang upside down to dry in a well-ventilated area (This could be a garage, or hung up using a curtain rod).
Feel free to place a tray underneath your bunch to catch any loose petals/buds that might fall off during its drying process.
Final Steps – Drying Times
Depending on the method you chose, there can be a variance of how long it may take to dry your lavender. Not just the method, but it also depends on the level of humidity and the temperature.
The best way would be to check the dryness of your lavender periodically.
The total time for the drying process is usually anywhere from 2-4 weeks. (If you’re lucky and the temperature/humidity is right, it could be as quick as a week!)
Check that the buds or stalks are completely dry. They should feel dry, and maybe a bit brittle/crunchy to touch, before they are ready to use. Don’t forget to remove the rubber band from your bunches!
If not fully dry when used, this could lead to the growth of mold, fungus or rot.
The best way to store your dried lavender for future use is in an airtight container, in a cool, dry and dark place.
Lavender buds: keep them in airtight container to preserve for a longer time (scent will fade over time)
Lavender bundles: Hung up, in a dark place (could be inside a closet, which also will fragrance your clothing). The scent should last about 6 months after drying.