Lavender is an herb and a member of the mint family, often used in ancient times for its medicinal qualities. This plant has been used to heal skin conditions and calm queasy stomachs. Lavender is also known for its sweet scent and is often placed in sachets to provide clothing with an aromatic fragrance.
Which Type of Lavender Dries Best?
You can grow your own lavender and dry it for personal use around your home. Lavender grows best in full sun and thrives in well-drained, non-acidic soil. There are several types of lavender, some have pink flowers while others produce purple, blue or white blooms. If you are growing lavender for drying purposes, use the type that produce purple flowers as these dry best.
When Do I Harvest for Best Dried Quality?
Lavender flowers air dry best when they are harvested when blooms are one-third open to completely open. You should harvest these flowers on a day when the sun is high and after the dew has dried on the blooms. When cutting flowers, leave stems 12 to 18 inches in length.
Steps to Drying Lavender
Gather the lavender in small bunches and secure with twine. Secure the bunch loosely to allow for good air circulation during the drying process.
Hang the lavender bunches in a cool, dry room. This room should be dark or heavily shaded with good air circulation for best results.
Run a small oscillating fan on low to promote proper air circulation, if your room is not well ventilated.
Store lavender flowers in storage bags or jars in a cool place, once plant stems are dry.
Tip: Lavender dries more quickly when the leaves are removed before drying.
“Lavender -.” West Virginia University. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2012. http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/herbs /lavender.htm
“07-07-02 Lavender.” WSU Gardening in Western Washington. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2012. <http://gardening.wsu.edu/column/07-07-02.htm>.