How To Dry Lavender

It’s the peak of lavender season in the Pacific Northwest, which means it’s time to start cutting those purple bundles of beauty growing in the garden.

Since I’ve been posting about my lavender love,  friends have been asking how to utilize their lavender stems for something other than fragrant landscaping. Drying lavender is one of my favorite ways to give these gorgeous plants an endless lifespan. The process is effortless, and the dried buds have so many applications. Here are a few of my favorites:

* I love to display the buds in a decorative bowl with a few drops of lavender essential oil. It acts as a natural air freshener for the home.
* Keep a bowl of buds by your bedside or at work to help relieve stress.
* Sachets make lovely (and inexpensive) homemade favors for weddings, baby showers, and other parties.
* Use a decorative bowl of buds as an aromatic girls night centerpiece (then hand out organza bags to your buds and let them scoop out some lavender buds to take home!)
* Celebrate the bride and groom by throwing lavender buds instead of rice.

Harvesting your own dried lavender buds at home is super easy. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial that will have your home smelling like lavender in no time!

Step One: Cut Lavender Stems 
I cut my stems when about half of the buds have opened up. Lavender plants need to be pruned anyway to keep their shape,  so this is the perfect opportunity to give it a trim. Cut a nice handful with the stems roughly the same size.

Step Two: Bundle The Stems
Put a rubber band around the bottom of the bundle to hold the flowers together. Place the bundle in an empty vase (no water) and display in a cool, dry space for about a week.

Step Three: Harvest The Buds
This is the fun part. I suggest taking the dried lavender and a big bowl or a bucket outside since the buds tend to fall off very easily. Hold the dried lavender bundle over the bucket and bang the bundle around inside the container to shake off and capture all the loose buds.

Then use your hands to pinch off all the remaining buds. One bundle yields quite few buds.

Step Four: Display the buds.
Scoop the lavender buds into a sachet for a fragrant gift, or display them in a bowl as a unique home decoration.


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