The best way to dry lavender is to cut handfuls that are not too large and hang the bunches in a warm and dry place with good circulation and little to no direct sunlight. Warm and dry spaces will help the lavender dry more quickly and too much direct sunlight can fade your lavender quickly.
You can find great examples of dried lavender bunches at our store. We sell both French lavender bunches (Grosso) and English Lavender bunches (Royal Velvet)
The best way to keep the beauty and scent of your lavender plants all year round is to dry the lavender by harvesting bundles. Plus the lavender plants really like to be cut. Dried lavender can last for years and if dried properly, it can also look great.
I know this seems logical, but I start with harvesting because this might be one of the most important steps. You do not want too large of a bundle of lavender. If you have too much lavender in your bunch you run the risk of getting mold in your lavender bunch due to excessive moisture. A good rule to follow is no more lavender than will fit from your pointer finger to your thumb if you press them together and make a circle.
You want your lavender bunch to have no more than roughly 200 to 250 stems. of lavender.
Once the lavender is harvested you want to rubber band your bunch of lavender. You do not want to put too much pressure on your lavender stems so you do not distort their shape, but you also do not want to have the rubber band loose so the stems fall out of the bunch once the stems shrink from drying. The best practice we have found is to wrap the rubber band around the bunch 3 times a couple of inches from the cut end.
Once the bunch is rubber banded. Take a paper clip and pull the endpoint of the paper clip out creating a 45 to 60-degree angle. Attach the paper clip to the rubber band so the point of the paper clip you just pulled out is pointed toward the flower heads.
Now your bunch is ready to dry!
Maybe equally as important as the size of the bunch is the location where you will be drying your lavender. Depending on your conditions this process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks. Here in Sequim where it is very very dry in the summer, our barn is densely packed with lavender, the process takes about 2-3 weeks to dry. If you live in an area with high humidity expect this process to take at least a month probably longer.
There are two factors you need to consider when selecting your location. First, is the area well ventilated? You want an area with open windows or fans blowing. The open windows may be a difficult task because our other suggestion is a dark area. The more light your lavender bunch is exposed to the less colorful it will be.
If your lavender is in too much sunlight the lavender will brown. If you are just using the lavender buds for a sachet or potpourri this is not a big deal, but if you want a pretty bouquet the area must be free from sunlight or very limited in sunlight. An ideal situation for a few bunches would be a room with windows that have shades. Crack the windows open but leave the shades down. If you have a fan or two at your disposal place them in the room running to speed up the process.
Quantity is key here. Do you have a few bunches? Or do you have 20, 50, 100 bunches? If your answer is only a few the simplest solution is to place the lavender bunch over a door way by placing the point of the paper clip mentioned above on the top of the door way. Just remember to duck when you walk through this door. If this is a seldom traveled doorway you can hang a few bunches here.
If you have a lot of bunches there are a lot of solutions. An easy one is to hang a string tightly, and securely between two walls and hang the lavender on the string.
Another option is to hang a piece of rope or chain from your ceiling (If you have a lot of bunches this chain can get really heavy so make sure it is secured properly to your ceiling by anchoring the chain in a stud or using a wall anchor). Once the rope or chain is hung, hang your lavender bunches flowers towards the ground. Try not to pack the lavender too densely. We skip about 3-4 links on our chains in our barn when we hang lavender.
The key thing to remember is do my lavender stems feel like chips or tortillas. When your lavender is ready to take down from drying it should feel like chips, meaning the stems should crack and crunch if you bend them. If they still bend and feel cool and wet like a tortilla when you touch them, then they probably need to dry longer.
We hope we gave you some great information on how to dry lavender. Please share our page, like our Facebook page, or pin some of our photos. Thanks for visiting!