How To Dry Lavender (Preserving Methods And Tips)
If you love your garden and hate seeing it die off at the end of the growing season, try drying some of your favorite flowers and herbs to use throughout the winter. This post will show you everything you need to know about how to dry lavender and how to properly preserve it!
If you’ve been following this site for a while now, you probably know just how much I love my garden. I may tend to go slightly overboard, and I’m ok with that.
At least I take complete advantage of my garden by bringing bunches of freshly cut flowers indoors and using my fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs in my cooking!
Then, when the weather starts turning colder, I take a proactive approach to preserve as much of my garden as possible by drying flowers, and herbs, and using up my bountiful harvest of produce.
One of my favorite plants in the garden is lavender. Mine is a huge happy plant that I cut back every year only to watch it come back even larger. I love to dry the flowers at the peak of blooming!
Before the first freeze, I dry a bunch of lavender leaves to use in different ways throughout the year.
Today, I am going to share just how I do that and what are some of my best tips when it comes to drying lavender!
Why Should I Dry Lavender?
Unfortunately, lavender won’t grow through the winter in most climates as it is more temperature-sensitive. So, if you love this plant as much as I do, you will need to take some steps and properly preserve it.
Plus, there are SO many different ways to use your dried lavender and enjoy it all year long. Here are a few ideas:
- Make your own DIY potpourri by blending dried lavender with other favorite dried herbs.
- Add dried lavender to your homemade sugar scrubs and other DIY body product recipes.
- Create a drawer freshener by adding dried lavender to a small sachet and tucking it into your clothing drawers or closets.
- Use dried lavender in your craft projects.
- Add lavender to your water, lemonade, tea, or your favorite adult drinks.
Learn More: Check out our post on 15 ways to use up that lovely dried lavender around your home.
How To Harvest Lavender For Drying
Growing lavender is super easy. It’s a low-maintenance, beautiful, and fragrant herb that grows well as long as it has enough sunlight and water.
When it comes to harvesting your lavender flowers for drying, timing is everything. If you want to dry the blooms and preserve as much fragrance as possible, harvest your lavender when the buds form but before they open up.
The day you want to cut your lavender, wait until mid-morning so that the morning dew has dried but the hot sun hasn’t dried out the plant’s oils.
If you plan to only dry your lavender leaves, you can do it anytime before the first frost.
Learn More: See our full guide for growing fresh lavender from seed to harvest.
3 Different Methods On How To Dry Lavender Leaves
The process of drying lavender is easy, and there are several ways you can do it. Just like drying rose petals! You can choose the method that works the best for you.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to dry lavender leaves (and flowers).
Hang Bunches Of Lavender
This is the most common and popular method. Loosely tie bunches of 8-10 lavender stems together using twine. Then, hang the bunches upside down in a dark, dry, and warm spot. This method is the slowest and will vary depending on the amount of humidity in the air. Expect your lavender to be fully dried in 7-10 days.
In our house, we use our furnace room and it works like a charm.
A Drying Rack
Spread out stems on a drying rack so that none of them touch each other. Place the drying rack in a dry, dark place for several days. You can expect this method to take 5-7 days.
Drying racks also work very well for herbs.
Use A Food Dehydrator
This is the fastest method on this list. Rather than taking days, you can have perfectly dried lavender in just hours!
Simply spread the stems out on your dehydrator trays and set your dehydrator to 100 degrees. Begin checking your lavender starting at 2 hours. If the leaves crumble, it’s done. If they don’t, keep drying them until they do.
Although I prefer the hang-to-dry method I have used my dehydrator for drying lavender in the past and it works great. I have a dehydrator specifically for drying flowers because I have been concerned about lingering scents left behind by high-scented flowers. I have not had that issue, even with lavender, but I do believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Dehydrator I Use For Drying Flowers – It Works GREAT!
You don’t have to buy an expensive dehydrator for drying your flowers. I have used the American Harvest Snack Master for years with great success.
I find it wonderful for drying small pom-style flowers like zinnias and dahlias and of course for drying small bundles of lavender.
To Store Dried Lavender
I prefer to store my dried lavender in clear mason jars. Then, I put those jars in a dark, cool place to prevent moisture, mold, and discoloration.
Learn More: See our full guide on caring for dried flowers to help them last as long as possible.
Learning new techniques such as how to dry lavender tends to invite questions. Check to see if I answer your question below. If you don’t see it, please leave it in the comments so I can respond back!
How long does it take for lavender to dry?
This answer varies depending on the method you use and how much lavender you’re drying. Tying lavender in bunches and hanging it upside down is the slowest method and will take 7-10 days.
By contrast, drying lavender in a dehydrator speeds up the process to just hours.
Where is the best place to dry lavender?
If you really want to preserve its color, slow-drying your lavender (by hanging it upside down in bunches) in a dark, dry, warm place (like a closet) is the best method to use.
Does dried lavender still smell?
Yes! Usually, dried lavender will keep its fragrance for several weeks. When the scent starts to fade, you can refresh it by sprinkling a little lavender essential oil on the blooms.
I hope this post provides all the information you need to get started on your journey to dry lavender! Drying my flowers is my favorite way to keep them close and enjoy them through the winter until the garden comes alive again in the spring.
More Posts To Check Out
- How To Dry Out Dahlias-The Best Preserving Method
- The 12 Fastest-Growing Flowers: A Full Guide With Bloom Times!
- How to Grow Sunflowers: Everything You Need To Know
- Flowers That Grow In The Shade: The 14 Best Options
- Moonlight Plants – Flowers Of White For Your NightTime Garden
- How to Dry Flowers – We Tested 5 Different Methods to Find the Best!