Learn how to dry lavender from your yard the easy way to preserve color and fragrance…
I finally did it – I bunched my lavender!
We recently moved (and are undergoing a HUGE kitchen/pantry/mudroom closet/flooring renovation that you can follow over on my Instagram!) into a new home and I recently discovered we have a ton of lavender in our yard.
I was thrilled to discover this because lavender is one of my favorite plants.
The smell is so relaxing.
We usually diffuse lavender before we go to sleep in a diffuser.
But, I don’t buy lavender scented products like candles and scent-warmers because they never get it just right.
Just my opinion, I’m picky about my lavender.
Finding our four huge bushes of lavender throughout the yard was a treat – but the one time I purchased a lavender plant and potted it, it died within a week.
I tend to show my plants love through my watering.
And while I have a ton of love for my plants, I also have a heavy watering hand, apparently.
Is My Lavender Ready To Harvest?
To determine if your lavender is ready to harvest, look at the buds.
Are most of them closed?
If the answer is yes, then yes!
I harvested mine late this year because this is my first time doing it and I learned a little late, so most of my flowers are open.
But it is more ideal to pick lavender when the buds are still closed for the best results.
Harvesting lavender after it has bloomed will result in reduced fragrance and color.
What You Need to Harvest Lavender
To dry lavender, you’ll need to first harvest it from your garden or yard.
Or your neighbor’s yard.
I’m not judging.
Just don’t come after mine. 😉
To harvest your lavender, you’ll need
- a collection basket (nothing fancy, but make sure it’s wide enough to accommodate the length of your lavender stems to help you preserve the buds
- thin rubber bands (you’ll need two rubber bands for each bunch of lavender
- thick rubber bands might do in a pinch, but can do more harm to the stems during the bunching process, so thin rubber bands are recommended
Where To Cut Lavender Stems
When you’re ready to harvest your lavender, angle one of the stems away from the bush. Look for the second row of leaves on the stem (second from the top, not second from the bottom – see photo below)…
Using a pair of scissors, cut below the second set of leaves.
Set each stem of lavender you cut in a basket as you collect it.
How To Bunch Your Lavender Stems
Collect 15-20 stems to bunch together.
Hold the lavender stems together in one hand, and loop a rubber band around the ends of the first bunch.
Push the rubber band up the length of the stems until it is about 2″ from the beginning of the buds.
Loop another rubber band around the end of the stems about 2-3″ from the ends.
How To Hang Lavender To Dry
Now that your lavender is bunched, it’s time to hang it to dry!
How you hang your lavender isn’t as important as where you hang your lavender.
You can get creative when it comes to hanging your lavender bunches, and do this with paperclips, twine, string, rubber hands, etc.
I rigged up a system that uses rubber bands looped around a clothes hanger and then looped around my bunches where the second rubber band sits on the bunch.
Where To Store Lavender To Dry
Hang your lavender in a warm, dark spot – this helps to best preserve your lavender.
This might be your basement or a closet.
If you are choosing your basement to hang your lavender, make sure it isn’t too cold for your lavender.
For example, my husband keeps our basement at a cool 66 degrees Fahrenheit (he always runs hot), so while the basement would certainly be dark enough, it wouldn’t be warm enough.
I chose to hang ours in the front hallway closet this summer since it is both warm and dark.
The closet does not get opened very often, and will only see traffic this winter when we are hanging our coats after coming inside.
Lavender takes about 7-10 days to dry completely.
Once it’s done drying, you can use your dried lavender a few different ways, like…
- use as a drawer freshener by tucking it into a nylon bag and either putting in clothing drawers or hanging in closets
- combine with other dried herbs to make DIY potpourri
- make your own lavender lemonade
- use in sugar scrubs or homemade lotion recipes
…the uses are endless, and no matter what you add your dried lavender to, it will smell incredible!
Have you tried drying lavender before? What did you end up using your dried lavender for? Tell me in the comments below!
*Post originally published August 2020, last updated October 2021.