Lavender is probably one of the most aromatic and popular plants known to mankind. The beautiful blue-purplish flower is a herb that has numerous qualities.
We have been using this delicate flowering plants for centuries. Recognized for its scent, lavender has been dried and turned into an essential oil. The first procedure is simple but you may still be wondering how to dry lavender. In order to get started, you’ll need to learn a few simple essentials and you’ll also need to master the key steps.
A Quick Overview of Lavender: The Aromatic Herb
The name stems from the Latin word ‘lava,’ which means washing or laundering. Romans used to add lavender to their baths because of the fresh scent. Lavender originated in the Mediterranean region.
The most commonly grown type of lavender is L. officinalis, which can be used both as a decorative plant and a herb.
Dried lavender has numerous uses. It can be placed in the wardrobe to add pleasant scent to clothes and to keep clothes-moths away. It is also used as a medicinal plant and added to infusions because of its wonderful smell. Knowing how to collect and dry lavender is of essential importance, if you are going to use this flower in any way.
Lavender has small bluish flowers. Usually about 10 flowers form at the tip of the stem, together making a cluster. Lavender flowers from July to August.
Lavender flowers should be collected once the plant has fully blossomed. This is when the color and the scent is the strongest.
How to Dry Lavender: A Simple and Effective Process
You can either place the collected flowers on sheets or tie them in bunches, which will be ready for direct usage once they are dried. Use a ribbon or a rope to keep the flowers together and hang the bunches with the stems facing up and the flowers – down.
If you want to get fast results, you can dry lavender in your oven or a specially purchased herb drier. Make sure that you dry at low oven temperatures, otherwise you risk burning and destroying the flowers.
The flowers should be collected and then placed in a well-ventilated, shady place. You can spread the collected flowers over a sheet made of natural fabric (cotton), which further improves ventilation and takes away the extra moisture.
The temperature at which lavender is allowed to dry should remain below 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). Once they are dried, lavender flowers should remain bluish and very aromatic.
To test whether the lavender flowers you have picked are already dry, press one between your fingers and rub. If the flower crushes into small pieces, it is well-dried. In case the flower has retained some moisture, it will be flexible and less likely to break apart.
When it is dried, lavender should be stored properly to maintain its scent and medicinal qualities. For best storage, use glass jars or air-tight containers. Keep the dried lavender in a cool, well-ventilated and preferably darker place.