Lavender is a beautiful and versatile plant that is known for its soothing fragrance and stunning purple flowers. Harvesting lavender is not only a great way to enjoy its aromatic properties but also allows you to use it in various products such as essential oils, soaps, and dried flower arrangements. In this article, we will guide you through the process of harvesting lavender.
When to Harvest Lavender
The best time to harvest lavender is when the flowers are in full bloom. This is usually in the summer months, typically from June to August, depending on your location. It is important to harvest lavender before the flowers start to wither and lose their color.
Before you start harvesting lavender, make sure you have the necessary tools. You will need a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors, a basket or bucket to collect the harvested lavender, and some gloves to protect your hands.
How to Harvest Lavender
1. Choose a sunny day to harvest lavender. The sun helps to dry out the oils in the flowers, intensifying their fragrance.
2. Start by identifying the stems with flowers that are in full bloom. These are the ones you want to harvest.
3. Using your pruning shears or scissors, cut the lavender stems about 2-3 inches above the woody part of the plant.
4. Gather a small bunch of lavender stems and tie them together with a rubber band or twine. This will make it easier to handle and dry the lavender.
5. Continue harvesting lavender until you have collected as much as you need or until the flowers start to wither.
How to Dry Lavender
Once you have harvested your lavender, it’s time to dry it. Drying lavender helps to preserve its fragrance and color. Here’s how to do it:
1. Remove any excess leaves from the lavender stems.
2. Bundle the lavender stems together and hang them upside down in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Make sure to hang them in small bundles to allow for good air circulation.
3. Leave the lavender to dry for about 1-2 weeks or until the stems become brittle and the flowers easily fall off when touched.
4. Once dried, gently remove the flowers from the stems and store them in an airtight container away from sunlight and moisture.
1. Can I harvest lavender after it has bloomed?
It is best to harvest lavender when the flowers are in full bloom. Once the flowers start to wither, the fragrance and color of the lavender may diminish.
2. How long does it take for lavender to dry?
It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for lavender to dry completely. However, drying time may vary depending on the humidity and air circulation in your drying area.
3. Can I use fresh lavender instead of dried lavender?
Yes, you can use fresh lavender in various recipes and crafts. However, keep in mind that fresh lavender has a higher water content and may not have the same potency as dried lavender.
4. How should I store dried lavender?
To maintain the fragrance and color of dried lavender, store it in an airtight container away from sunlight and moisture. A glass jar or a ziplock bag works well for this purpose.
5. Can I harvest lavender more than once?
Yes, you can harvest lavender multiple times during the blooming season. Just make sure to leave some flowers on the plant to attract pollinators and ensure future growth.