Harvesting Lavendar
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Margaret Hefferman
Posted on: July 12, 2004

When is the best time to pick lavendar, what part of the plant do you pick and how do you dry it for use in sachets?

Lavender flowers appear from July onwards in most temperate zones in the Northern Hemisphere. They are arranged on spikes, with many tiny flowers attached to each spike. The flowers open at slightly different times along the spike. When more than 50% of the flowers on the spikes are open you can begin to harvest the spikes; but do not wait too long because the fragrance oils begin to dissipate soon after the flowers are fully open.

For lavender crafts such as lavender wands and dried flower arrangements you need spikes dried intact with the flowers attached. For sachets you only need the flowers at the ends of the spikes. You can cut the spikes in mid morning and dry them in an airy but fully shaded location. Within a few days the flowers will be dry. Strip the flowers from the stalks by rubbing your fingers along the stalks. Store in a cool, dry and dark place in plastic or glass containers.

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