It is easy to learn how to dry lavender. If you are looking for simple ways to dry them. You are at the right place. So, get ready to learn new ways to make your room smell super pleasant!
Lavender is popular for its medicinal and aromatic values as well as for its aesthetic appeal. They are used in aromatherapy, where the smell of lavender helps people fall asleep and reduce headaches.
Lavender plants can also be used as a stomach relaxant, medicine for insect bites, and pain relief. They are also used to reduce the formation of scars on the skin due to burns and wounds.
They are commercially dried using mechanized modern methods on a large scale. However, it is relatively easier to dry lavender home.
So, how to dry lavender at home? Read on to find the top four simple ways to dry lavender.
Apart from that, this article will shine some light on the things you must know before drying lavender. This ranges from harvesting to commercial drying lavender methods. So, scroll down to find out more about the fresh world of lavender.
How To Dry Lavender At Home?
There are numerous answers to the question, how to dry lavender at home? However, few methods can yield proper results.
Also, these methods can be used by anyone, from experienced lavender dying enthusiasts to a beginner holding a lavender bunch for the first time.
These methods will also ensure that the essential oils and the lavender blossoms are cared for well.
1. Drying Lavender In A Microwave
This is one of the quickest ways to dry lavender. You can do it with the microwave in your house. You will have to first start with removing the blossoms from the stem.
This should be followed by placing a bunch of lavender across two to three layers of paper towels. Spread them evenly across the surface to ensure all the stems receive heat properly.
You can use a turning tray as well if you do not have any paper towels. Also, place it carefully in the microwave. Turn the microwave on and let it work for about one minute to two minutes.
After that, take it out carefully and check if they are still moist or completely dry. If they are not completely dry, you will have to keep them in the microwave for about half a minute more.
Also, you will have to be careful not to overheat the lavender. Hence, it is always better to keep checking it throughout the time of letting lavender dry in the microwave.
2. Drying Lavender In A Food Dehydrator
It is one of the easiest drying processes, so how to dry lavender in a dehydrator?
You will have to start with snipping the stems of lavender blossoms that are open completely. Remove all the shrunken and discolored leaves. This will ensure you are left with only good quality lavender.
Also, make sure to check for any insects or pests hiding in the blooms. This step is important because it may worsen the quality of your stalk.
Keep the stalks on the dehydrator trays in a single layer. After that, tune the dehydrators on herbal settings. Wait for two hours before you check your stalks.
If the stalks are dry, it means that they are ready to be removed. However, if it feels even a little moist, you will have to leave it on the tray for another hour.
Once they are completely dry, you can remove them, and they are ready to be stored in an air-tight container. Dehydrators may run the risk of over dehydrating during the process. Hence, monitor it regularly.
3. Drying Lavender In An Oven
You can dry lavender in your house using an oven. Here’s how it is done.
Take the bunch of lavender and spread them in a thin layer across a sheet tray. Keep it in the oven and set it to low heat. It can be anywhere around 200 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale.
Leave it for ten minutes, and remember to leave the oven door open a little. This is to ensure the effective movement of moisture.
After ten minutes, rotate the stalks and leave them for another five minutes until it is completely dry.
Once you are done with the drying process, remove the lavender from the oven and check for moisture. You can do so by running your hand gently over the stalks. Make sure the blossoms fall into the container when you are rubbing it gently.
You will have to pay close attention to all the details during this process because a small mistake might jeopardize the entire bunch.
4. Bunching And Drying Using A Rubber Band
If you are looking for the easiest and the most effective way to dry your bunch of lavender. This is the best method, so how to dry lavender by using a rubber band?
You will have to start this process by cutting the stalks while ensuring that a few inches of the stem are with the blooms. Hold about ten to fifteen stalks and tie using a rubber band. This will ensure they are together while you let the lavender dry over time.
You should ensure that the stalks are tied tightly yet with some space between each other. This will ensure enough room for the flow of fresh air.
Also, ensure you have tied it in the woody part and not the blooms to ensure they are not harming your lavender.
Hang these bunches in any part of your house as long as it is dark, dry, and warm. Furthermore, remember to hand it upside down since this will ensure they retain their beautiful blossom shape.
You can tie the drying lavender with decorative ribbons and colorful pieces of cloth. This can enhance the beauty of your place as well.
How To Dry Lavender Buds And Petals?
If you have limited space for hanging and drying lavender, you can find a way around. This by removing the lavender stalks from the lavender, which will leave with only the lavender heads.
You can keep these lavender buds at the bottom of the jar or box. You can layer the lavender buds over a layer lined with newspaper or dry paper towels.
Place this container filled with buds in a warm and dry area. You will have to shake it gently once a day to aerate the flower heads.
After few days, you can pick the dried lavender heads and rub them thoroughly. This will remove the individual lavender buds.
How Are The Flowers Harvested From Lavender Plants?
Lavender flowers can be harvested from the plants in numerous ways during bloom. Large lavender farms use a commercial process of harvesting.
Harvesting machines are driven through the fields of lavender blossoms when it is time to harvest. These harvesters cut the lavender stem and place the flowers in a cart from the lavender bushes. They are immediately towed to the distillery.
These processes are more economical, and they can harvest their flower quickly. This will be followed by drying them and extracting essential oils.
If you are a home flower gardener, you can harvest lavender flowers on your small farm as well. You can harvest by hand if it is in really small numbers.
However, you can use tools for harvesting from your garden easily. You will have to pick a curved tool that has a serrated blade with handles.
Gathering Fresh Lavender Bunch
It is always better to gather lavender bunch that are long-stemmed. If there are not many long-stemmed lavenders available in your garden, you can remove the leaves from the stem. This makes the lavender stalks easier to handle.
You will need to pick lavender stalks before the flowers are in the full bloom stage. This is when the little flower buds are not completely open.
This will keep the dried lavender flower buds fragrant for longer. This also ensures that they will not fall apart when they are dried.
What Is The Name Of Your Lavender?
There are over four hundred varieties of lavender plants, and they are classified into 45 species. So, the care for lavender may slightly vary with the species of lavender. However, the methods of drying lavender are the same for all with minor changes.
They are classified primarily into Spanish Lavender, English Lavender, and Hybrid varieties. However, we shall discuss lavender drying methods for Portugal, Egyptian, and Chinese lavender as well. So how to dry lavender belonging to different species? Let’s take a closer look at the fresh lavender varieties.
1. Spanish Lavender
These lavender plants are excellent for adding to baking and other recipes. The best way to dry them is to simply cut off the stem before the lavender buds open.
You can tie the lavender bunch up together using a rubber band. It should be followed by hanging the flowers up and dry them in a sheltered place.
Some of the commonly found Spanish lavender species are Ballerina (Lavandula Stoechas), Anouk (Lavandula Stoechas), and Kew Red (Lavandula Stoechas).
2. English Lavender
The best way to dry them is in your oven at a very low temperature. Once they are dried completely, you can keep them in a dry and sealed container.
You can keep it that way up to 6 months to a year. It is the best type for potpourri and uses in bathing salts.
Lavenite Petite (Lavandula Angustifolia), Betty’s Blue (Lavandula Angustifolia), and Hidcote (Lavandula Angustifolia) are commonly found Rnglish lavenders.
3. Hybrid Lavender
These are usually the cross-breed of two lavender species. They require similar care as Spanish or English lavender. They are usually more fragrant and colorful than Spanish or English lavender.
Some of the popular hybrid lavenders are as follows. Impress Purple, (Lavandula & Intermedia), Grosso (Lavandula x Intermedia) and Hidcote Hiant (Lavandula & Intermedia).
Egyptian Lavender (Lavandula Multifida), Portuguese Lavender (Lavandula Latifola) and French Lavender (Lavandula Dentata). These are other commonly found varieties of lavender flowers.
They are excellent ornamental plants with the most pleasant fragrance. This is especially true in the case of French lavender. Also, their care is similar to that of English Lavender.
You can dry them in an oven or food dehydrator, followed by storing them in a dry container. They can be used to make essential oils and food flavors.
Uses Of Dried Lavender
Dried lavenders can be used for various things, and this may include making essential oil, placing them in a vase, or traditional decorative floral arrangements. It has a host of applications that we shall discuss below.
1. Making Lavender Decoratives
Dried lavender can be turned into aromatic lavender sachets, bouquets, as well as beautiful wreaths. They can be used for numerous other aromatic decorative purposes.
You can craft the dried lavender into beautiful bouquets by gathering lavender bunches and securing them with rubber bands. You can gift the bouquet to someone, or you can hang them on your walls.
Alternatively, you can craft them into wreaths to hang them on your walls or door. This can be an excellent aromatic decorative piece.
Also, they can be put into nylon bags and turn them into beautiful little lavender sachets. You can slip these into your closets or your car to fill a fragrance of fresh lavender.
2. Freshening Carpets
Dried lavender buds are used to freshen carpets as well. You can add about two teaspoons of dried lavender with a cup of baking soda.
Once the mixture is set, you can sprinkle it on the carpet and wait for half an hour. You can vacuum after the wait and experience the garden’s fresh lavender fragrance lifting from the carpet.
Lavender is a popular fragrance used in aromatherapy. They can help anyone soothe and relax.
People use dried lavenders to scent their linens since their fragrances can enhance sleep. Some people also tuck lavender sachets into pillowcases for a better sleeping experience.
4. Lavender Oils
You can make lavender oil using dried lavender. Lavender oils have numerous benefits in terms of medicine as well as repelling pests.
Using lavender oil regularly reduces anxiety, heals burn, slows skin aging, improves sleep, and alleviates headaches. They are also known to improve eczema.
Lavender oil also has numerous cosmetic benefits. This includes reducing acne, brightening skin, reducing wrinkles and fine lines. It is also good for improving the health of your hair.
It is a good source for deterring ants, fleas, mosquitoes, spiders, and other pests. This is due to the presence of a compound named Linalool. This is non-toxic to humans and pets such as cats and dogs.
5. Culinary Applications
Lavenders have numerous culinary applications, especially English and French lavenders are used in various recipes. They are often a part of a herb blend that has a subtle floral flavor.
French Lavender herbs are used in making fresh rosemary, baked loaves of bread, and meat marinades.
You can grind some dried lavender with sugar and use them in preparing cookies. Or, you can use culinary lavender oil in whipped cream or ice cream.
Also, using lavender flowers for garnishing is an excellent way to make any dish beautiful and appealing. They can be used for garnishing desserts, salads, and breakfast smoothies.
Dried lavender buds can be added to tea to give yourself a morning floral burst. You can also make lavender lemonade on a sunny afternoon for a fresh floral blast.
You can also use these herbs in making floral flavored meat. You can rub the lavender onto grill coals or infuse them with vegetables or meat for a smoky floral blend.
How To Store Dry Lavender Properly?
Dried lavenders can be stored easily in many ways. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that they should not be stored in a place where there is more humidity. Also, they should not be stored in places where there is more heat and light.
If one exposes dried lavender to these elements, it can fade the color and make it dry sooner. Also, this can provide an environment for molds to thrive and destroy your lavender.
Important Points to remember while storing dry lavender.
- Store only when the lavender is completely dry since even moisture can lead to the growth of molds.
- Keep them in a dark place since sunlight can damage their color as well as scent.
- Use an airtight container to ensure that they are not exposed to air for too long. Mason jars can be a good option for this.
- Use a cool container since it will keep the lavender at a stable temperature.
- Ensure there is low humidity since a higher level of humidity can cause the growth of molds.
Hopefully, this article on how to dry lavender was helpful to you when you needed it. As you can see, drying lavender is super easy and comes with a wide range of benefits.
Also, you can learn a lot in this process on how to care for lavender bunches while enjoying the smell and the beautiful blooms.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.