how to dry lavender

If you have lavender in your garden, maybe it’s flowering for you now like it is here in the mountains by the Damsel’s cottage.

Lavender has a strong, fresh scent that’s been used for centuries. Very old-school. It’s used in soap, candles, lotion–pretty much anything scented has a lavender rendition. Some people even eat it.

It’s simple to dry, so you can enjoy it in your garden now, and then dry some for later. Have your cake and eat it too.

Cut a bunch when the buds are just opening for the strongest scent. Wrap the ends with a rubber band. Jute or ribbon would be oh-so-charming, but you must do as the teacher says. A rubber band will hold tight while the stems dry. If you use something else, the shrinking stems will fall out of their ties. You can always tie something pretty on TOP of the rubber band if you must.

But why? You’ll beĀ  hanging this in a dark place where no one will see your rubber band felony. The dark preserves the delicate purple of the lavender. One simple way to hang it is to unfold a paperclip into an “S”, hook it through the rubber band, and then over a pipe thingy in the garage or storage room. Hanging it upside down helps the buds keep their shape.

If it doesn’t matter for your purposes what color or shape the buds are in, you can quickly dry the lavender by laying it out in the sun. Takes no time at all, maybe a day if it’s hot and sunny.

The dark room lavender will need a week or two. When the stems are brittle, you’re done.

Now, many folks use just the buds for their scented things. Like a sachet. An easy way to dislodge the dried buds is to put the bundle into a pillowcase and gently roll on a table or countertop, as if you were rolling a rolling pin. Don’t smash, just softly roll back and forth. Then pull out the stems and pour the buds into a container.

You can then use them to 1. make soap 2. make tea 3. make candles 4. put them in a sachet 5. make a lavender oil infusion 6. pulverize and sprinkle on salad 7. put in your hair if you’re an Irish bride 8. sew into a hot trivet 9. etc.

The Damsel has heard of putting lavender in a sleeping pillow but she’s not doing that.

The stems are perfectly wonderful laid on top of a fire. The Damsel is saving her stems up for such a thing. If you have a lot, you could even tie the dried stems together into a lavender log.