AlsoLavender has a wide range of domestic and industrial applications. The excellent aroma, profound medicinal value, and beautiful aesthetics make lavender a useful plant. Centuries ago, people would use lavender extracts as perfumes. They would also use it in their homes to get rid of diseases.
Today, people also use lavender in aromatherapy. Primarily, you can use it to soothe a headache or induce sleep. It is because of the scent of lavender that tranquil the brain. Besides, lavender is also beneficial for treating burns, insect bites, reducing inflammation, and scaring. People call it a “stomach relaxant” due to its natural properties. In this article, we will tell you how to dry lavender quickly via different techniques. Read on!
How to plant and harvest lavender?
There are many varieties of lavender. Each type has its effects. For example, if you want to increase energy levels in your body, we recommend you to choose the Spanish lavender. The plant has a scent like a eucalyptus and gives you a lot of energy. At the same time, if you need relaxation and calmness, you plant and harvest an English lavender. The choice depends on your personal preferences.
After planting the lavender, it is essential to harvest the plant’s pieces. However, you must do this when you see that some of the plant’s buds are blooming. We recommend to harvest them in the late morning. Research shows that it is the time when the plant is dry. Also, the sun is not intense in the late morning, which means you will get the most potent fragrance.
Next, you will directly cut below the blooms to get lavender for drying. Some people say that it is better to cut slightly lower than blossoms to get a bit of stem. You need sharpened pruning shears to cut the plant properly.
Also, you can also use scissors, but shears are what most people use for this purpose. You must cut lavender pieces with stalks on them. They are suitable for your home décor. On the other hand, blossoms are good for baking, tea, and making potpourri.
How to dry lavender at home
There are various ways to dry lavender at home. Some people use manual drying methods. It is because they want to ensure the natural quality of blossoms. Also, they follow the manual techniques to maintain the plant’s essential oils. Here are a few methods, which you can use to dry lavender at home.
In general, lavender has the ability to dry quickly. Therefore, when you harvest the plant, you need to cut a few stalks. The easiest technique is to lay the stalks flat on the table or dry countertop. You can likewise spread the stalks on a drying rack or old newspaper. It is vital to keep them flat in the process. You will see that flowers feel brittle after the drying process has completed.
You can also dry a bunch of lavender stalks. First, you need to cut the stalks and group them. Each group will contain at least 20 stalks. Use an elastic band to tie them. The band ensures the stalks of lavender stay together during the drying process. You can also decorate the group of stalks with colorful bands.
After you have done grouping, you need to hang each bundle in a dry place where it is warm and dark. The best place to dry them is your cellar or basement in your home. Don’t forget to hang the bundle upside down. It is mandatory for retaining the blossom shape.
When you keep the bundle in a dry and dark place, it will help the plant keep its color and scent from fading quickly. Additionally, you need to leave enough space so that the air travels smoothly and freely between the stalks.
If you have high humidity levels in the surrounding, it will lead to the growth of mold on lavender stalks. So, as a result, the stalks would become useless. So, it is essential to hang the bundle from a metal hook, wall peg, or a clothes hanger.
You can also use a dehydrator to dry lavender. In general, it is a machine designed to dry food items. There are different types of dehydrators available on the market. Each serves a different purpose. So, make sure you get a high-quality food dehydrator to get the job done.
Using a dehydrator, you need to snip stems with blossoms of lavender. Make sure they are fully open. Clip off withered or discolored leaves. Also, you need to check the leaves for insects. If there are any insects, you need to grab another bundle.
There is no need to wash the lavender. Place the cut stalks on the trays on the dehydrators in a single layer. Set the food dehydrator on the herbal setting. Run the machine and leave it for two hours.
Check the stalks after two hours. The leaves, stems, and blossoms will feel brittle. It means the dehydrator has dried the stalks. If you feel slight moisture, you can leave them in the dehydrator for another hour.
Remove the stalks from the dehydrator once they have completely dried. It is essential to cool the stalks before you put them in the container with an air-tight cap. Remember, when you use a dehydrator on the wrong setting, it can burn the stalks. So, you need to monitor the entire process yourself.
Using the Oven
If you have a high-quality oven at home, you can use it to dry the lavender. The steps are easy when it comes to using the oven. First, you need to set the temperature setting. We recommend it is at least 100 degrees Celsius. Using a sheet tray and spread lavender on it in a single, thin layer. Place the plate in the oven for about ten minutes. The oven will make the stalks brittle entirely within ten minutes.
We recommend keeping the door of the oven a bit open while the heating process continues. The purpose is to allow moisture to come in and keep the stalks a bit hydrated. Well, if you ignore keeping the door open, then you may see the burning of the stalks. If you feel that the oven has not dried the stalks after ten minutes, you can leave it in there for five more minutes.
Once dried, remove the stalks from the oven and cool them down. Then, place the dried stalks into an air-tight container. You need to act carefully because the blooms may get a bit prickly. The process of drying lavender in the oven requires monitoring and supervision.
Using the microwave
Like an oven, you can dry lavender in the microwave. However, for this, you need to d-stem the blossoms. Then, you need to separate the flowers and leaves from the stem. Use paper towels and make two layers of lavender on them. You can also use a clean kitchen towel to create layers. A turning tray likewise is an excellent way to lay it in the microwave.
Once done, you can turn on the microwave. Let the machine run on a high-temperature setting for about 60 seconds. You need to check for dryness. For instance, if the lavender feels moist, you can heat it again for about 20 seconds. It probably will dry the lavender completely. Remember, if you don’t proceed with precaution, the microwave can completely or overly dry the lavender, making it useless.
In conclusion, there are several ways to store the lavender after you have dried it. When it comes to storage, remember, you have to keep it away from humidity, heat, and light. When the lavender comes in contact with any of these elements, the plant will lose its color and fragrance fast. Moisture is also responsible for the growth of mold, which will eventually destroy the plant.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.