Lavender is characterized by beautiful scent and appearance. It is often used in the production of cosmetics, fragrance oils and perfumes. How to dry lavender?
Lavender oil has a calming effect on the nervous system. It reduces stress and helps sleep. Pharmacologists often use it to make eye drops, essential oils, tablets and herbal mixtures. Lavender is an ingredient in balms, ointments and preparations used to treat rheumatism.
Lavender is used not only as a decorative element in bouquets. It also works well as a dried flower in a bag. You can cut lavender as soon as you see the first flower buds. For drying it is best to prune with secateurs, while during regular care it should only be pruned to encourage growth. It is wisest to repeat this twice a year so that the bush becomes stronger and taller in the following years.
Lavender can be pruned in early spring: from mid-March to April, on days when the temperature is high. This is the time to remove damaged shoots after winter. Lavender blooms from July to September. When you prune it during these months it will encourage it to flower again. The next pruning is in early fall. Make sure that the weather is not rainy and that no frosts are forecast.
To know when lavender is ready to harvest, you need to know its structure. First we observe the calyxes, which take on the color of the stem, then the purple color. The corolla blooms next, usually in pairs. If one of them begins to curl, the next ones start to bloom in their place. Crown fall also occurs in avalanches and motivates the seeds to develop.
It is wisest to harvest lavender when the calyxes are tinged purple. Then it will work great as a decoration for a dry bouquet. If you want to make them into a fresh decoration or a scented bag for your closet, choose a time when the corolla has just opened.
Drying lavender is done as soon as it is arranged in handful-sized bunches. Cut the flowers by attaching a rubber band to the ends of the bouquets. Hang the plants by their stems, flowers down. It is important that the flowers have plenty of space and do not touch each other. Hang them up using string, tridents or clothes clips. Make sure the ends are tied tightly. Place paper under the bundles to collect the dried flowers.
Drying lavender should be done in a dry place where there is no light. Otherwise, flowers exposed to sunlight will be odorless and lose their color. If you don’t have a barn to hang the bundles in, place them on a table in a shady spot away from the heat. Harvest the plants with calmness, taking care not to crush them.
Lavender can’t be wet, or the bouquet will become covered in mold and rot. Also, if you wait too long before harvesting it, the plant may lose its valuable properties. If you don’t do it efficiently, you may encounter the unpleasant sight of lavender devoid of color. Under the right conditions, lavender is able to dry out within a week.
Main photo: CARLOS PÉREZ ADSUAR ANTÓN/pexels.com