If you are lucky enough to be growing lavender in your garden, then you need to know how to dry your own fresh lavender, and how to make the most of it by using around your home. As long as you are avoiding pesticides, your own crop will be organically grown and better quality than store bought.
Drying lavender is unbelievably simple, and a fabulous way to make it last beyond the flowering season. Both Lavender flowers and the essential oil have so many uses around the home it is no wonder it is such a popular plant.
Lavender is grown all around the world and is a hardy plant with something like 35 different varieties.
Just having it growing in your garden can help to keep pests away, attract pollinators, and it generally requires very little care with just an occasional pruning. And pruning it is where the fun begins!
As you can see from the photo above, I'm fortunate to have a huge well established plant with a lot of flowers! I have never successfully grown my own from scratch, and the previous occupants of our house did a fabulous job.
Collecting fresh lavender for drying, is best done in the morning, before too much sun hits the plant, reducing the potency of the plants natural oils and fragrance. I have found that this is also the best time to avoid too many bees too.
Monash University have been researching bees and lavender effects on behaviour and brain function ,which may explain some of the beneficial effects lavender can have on us humans... an unusual experiment and the first time I have ever seen a bee's tongue! You can see the Catalyst story here
Back to How to Dry It......
As you want to dry the Lavender and of course prevent mould,, you should also aim to collect cuttings while the plant is dry, so avoid rainy days and morning dew.
Cut stems of similar length and form small bundles which can be tied with string or rubber bands before hanging upside down in a cool, dry location away from too much light. Alternatively, you can dry the lavender by laying out on a flat surface. Keep in mind, whichever method you choose, the flowers will need around 2-3 weeks to properly dry.
I prefer to hang mine as I have trouble finding clear flat surfaces and can usually find or invent places to hang them in the laundry, bedroom and living areas.
Don't make your bunches too big as they could become mouldy if not able to properly dry out.
Here's one of my bunches above, this took 2 weeks to dry. As you can see, it's a simple process, requiring minimal effort. If you don't yet have lavender growing in your garden then there is probably some nearby. I don't recommend randomly picking other people's flowers but you can always ask, especially if they seem to have an abundance.
Once you have your dried lavender, there are so many options on how to use it. I often combine it with Lavender Essential Oil for a more potent longer lasting scent.
Always ensure you use a high quality essential oil and steer clear of synthetic fragrances which can cause unwanted side effects plus just don't have the same properties as a proper essential oil.
I really love the Eco Modern Essentials products as they are sustainable sourced, made locally in Australia and shipped as low waste as possible. (this is an affiliate link - that means if you were to click and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission - this all goes towards the expenses of keeping this site up and running)
Dried Lavender Uses Around The Home
-Pot Pouri (I top up my grandma's stash every now and then and add a few drops of Lavender oil, but tend not to use it this way at home)
-Home made Botanical Drawer Sachets to keep everything smelling great and deter pests
-Homemade soaps, face scrubs and skin creams or add to your bath for a natural mood booster
-Create dried bouquets to decorate cards or gifts
-Cooking (you can add dried flowers to shortbread, cupcake icing and even flavour jams and honey)
-DIY Lavender Carpet Deodoriser (Head here for the instructions)
-Make a room spray (Using a glass spray bottle, add distilled water, a dried lavender head plus 4 drops of lavender oil & 2 drops of peppermint oil per 150mls. Shake before each use and simply add more oil for a stronger smell)
Lavender is known for its relaxation properties and ability to sooth and maintain healthy skin, scalp and hair. I use it often in my homemade concoctions and diffuse several times a week as a sleep aid. It has become one of my favourite smells of all time.
I'd love to know how you use lavender and your favourite tips, let me know!