Traditionally, lavender is dried by hanging it upside down in bunches. It is then allowed to air dry over a long period of time. If you are impatient, however, lavender can be dried in the oven.
Benefits of Oven Drying Lavender
Oven drying can be preferable to air drying for a couple of reasons. It can prevent the growth of mold on the leaves, which can occur when moisture is allowed to stay on the leaves for too long. Oven drying can also save space. Extra room is not needed for an extended period of time as is required in air drying.
Steps to Oven Drying Lavender
To dry lavender in the oven, preheat to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent moisture from building up, you should leave the door open slightly. The leaves should be arranged in a single layer on a cookie sheet to ensure every leaf is dried. You should check frequently to ensure the leaves have not burned. The lavender is ready when the leaves crumble easily, usually after 10 or 15 minutes. If the leaves are still moist, flip them over and place them back into the oven for about 5 minutes.
After the leaves are dried thoroughly, allow them to cool before handling. They can then be crumbled up for storage or for use.
“Harvesting and Drying Herbs | Horticulture and Home Pest News .” IPM at ISU | Integrated Pest Management at Iowa State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2012. <http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1992/7-15-1992/herbs.html>.
“Drying Food .” College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2012. <http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/html_pubs