Drying lavender is quite simple, but you can make mistakes that cost you a lot of time. If you dry your lavender right, you can enjoy the best smells. I tell you how I do it.
To dry lavender I first bundle the flowers with an elastic band. This rubber band is important because the stems become thinner during drying. I label the bunches with the cultivars name and time of harvesting. That matters if you have different cultivars and different moments of harvesting.
Dry lavender dark, dry, dust-free and with good ventilation
The bunches I hang in the basement just below the ceiling. In the cellar the window is always open. Dark, dry, dust-free and with good ventilation, these are the most important conditions. under the bunches of lavender, I’ve stretched a clean sheet to catch the flowers that are letting loose.
You will notice when the flowers are dry. The buds then release relatively easily from the stem. Check them regularly and do not let them hang too short or too long.
How to detach the lavender buds from the stem?
I have tried a lot of methods to detach the buds from the stem and this one works best for me: a clean pillowcase. I put a bunch of lavender in a clean pillowcase and then carefully roll the bunch back and forth. After a few rolls you pull the bunch of bare stems out of the pillowcase. Only the flowers are left behind. Which you then store in a closed bag or container.
Tip: remove leaves immediately from the stems when harvesting
Remove leaves immediately from the stems during harvesting and before you make bunches, this saves a lot of work later on. As well as pruning the plants twice a year. Last year I harvested lavandin from a friend. Because the plants were not pruned, it was impossible to harvest the flowers without leaves. And I didn’t know then that leaves are very annoying to separate from the flowers when everything is dry. Endlessly I had to get the lavender through the sieve before I only had the flowers.
This time I hung up the lavender bunches without the leaves, that’s going to save me a lot of work. 🙂