The soothing fragrance of lavender is not only a delightful addition to any home, but it also offers numerous therapeutic benefits. If you want to preserve and enhance the fragrance of this beloved herb, then drying it would be the best option.
Dried lavender can be used for decorations, scented sachets, air and carpet fresheners, potpourri, and much more!
In this article, we are going to delve into the techniques of drying lavender and share some tips on how to enhance its captivating scent.
So, let’s get started!
1. Wait For The Right Time To Harvest Lavender
Waiting for the perfect time to harvest lavender is the first step. You should harvest your lavender once the first flowers start to bloom. In this period, half the buds are in bloom and the essential oils are at their strongest.
Harvest your lavender in the morning before the sun gets too hot. I would recommend using clean garden shears or sharp scissors when cutting lavender, leaving two inches of green on the plant.
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2. Hang Your Lavender And Leave It To Dry
Once you’ve gathered about ten to fifteen lavender stems, it’s time to tie them with twine or a rubber band, with all the stems pointing in the same direction. Please keep in mind that air circulation is very important in the drying process so keep the bundles relatively small.
Find a cool, dark spot for your lavender bundles and hang them upside down. A chilly environment is ideal because lavender won’t lose too much of its fragrance, while the darkness helps preserve the color. Attics, closets, or garages would be perfect for drying lavender.
Leave your lavender hanging for about 14 days. You should check it from time to time to make sure that they are evenly drying. Don’t rush anything or you could end up with odorless lavender.
Proper air circulation will restrict any mold growth – this is especially important in the initial days of drying.
Protect your lavender from dust and debris. This can be achieved by wrapping the bundles loosely with a paper or mesh bag.
3. Remove The Buds
Check if your lavender is dry after two weeks. If so, now is the time to remove the buds from the lavender stems. This is crucial for preserving its fragrance and can be achieved by putting these buds in an airtight container.
You can put your lavender in a mason jar or any other container for that matter. I would recommend using anti-humidity packets or vacuum-sealed bags for long-term storage.
Do not expose your dried lavender to extremely hot temperatures or direct sunlight as they can diminish the fragrance.
4. Delve Into Preservation Techniques
There are a lot of different preservation techniques you can use for your dried lavender. In case the fragrance has started fading, you can gently crush the buds and they will release some extra aroma – this is ideal when using lavender in sachets or potpourri.
What you can also do is add lavender essential oil to dried buds before putting them in airtight containers. Give your container a gentle shake so that the oil and buds combine perfectly. Buds will absorb the oil, thus enhancing their fragrance.
Another tip is to put the buds in a container with uncooked rice – the rice will absorb moisture that would otherwise affect the fragrance, but also take on the lavender scent so you end up with fragrant rice that you can use for cooking or as an air freshener!
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