Drying lavender is a wonderful way to preserve your beautiful blooms. There are so many wonderful uses for it too. It’s excellent for making tea, cooking and baking and crafting. Learn all about how to make dried lavender (a few different ways), including the best varieties to use, and when to cut it.
The best lavender to use for drying is English lavender. The reason is because it contains more oils than other varieties. But regardless, you can still dry any variety you have in your garden – whether it be English, Spanish or French.
The Hanging Method
Here’s how to dry lavender using hanging bunches:
Cut a bunch of lavender stalks making sure that you leave a few inches of stem on the cut stalk. Group about 15 – 20 stalks together and tie them with an elastic band or twine.
Once set, hang each bundle in a dark, warm, and dry place, like a basement or cellar. Make sure to hang it upside down to help retain its blossom shape. Don’t forget to leave enough space to allow air to travel between the stalks.
Now simply leave your lavender hanging until completely dry.
The Oven Method
Here are the simple steps for drying lavender in the oven:
Set the oven to low heat at around 100 degrees Celsius. Spread a thin layer of lavender on a baking tray and place it in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the stalks are completely brittle. Keep the oven door slightly open while drying (to allow moisture to pass through effectively). If it still feels moist after 10 minutes, rotate the stalks and then leave it for 5 more minutes to dry.
Once done, remove the dried lavender from the oven and run your hand down the dried stalks carefully until the blossoms fall into a container.
Do you hate seeing your flowers fade? It always feels like a shame when you have to throw out cut flowers, but what if we told you that you don’t have to? By turning your blooms into pressed flowers, you’ll be able to keep them as an everlasting ornament. Pressed flowers also add personalised additions to greeting cards and invitations, or even jewellery if you’re feeling crafty! Here’s everything you need to know about pressing flowers.
Step 1: Choose your Flowers
Freshness is the key. Choose flowers that are either still in bud form, or that are freshly bloomed. If you’re picking them from a garden, do so in the morning right after the dew has evaporated. One thing to note is that flowers with naturally flat faces are the easiest to press.
Step 2: Prepping
Once you have chosen your flowers, it’s time to prep.
Hold the stems under water immediately after cutting. Then, recut the stems at an angle.
Remove foliage that will be below the waterline in the vase.
Place flowers in a clean vase with water and flower food (or a teaspoon of sugar). Keep them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for a few hours.
To press thick flowers like roses, split them down the middle with scissors or a knife.
Lay the flat face of the flower on your paper and you are ready to press.
Step 3: Making Pressed Flowers
You will need:
Open a book and line it with newspaper. Place your flowers (as flat as you can) on the page. Then, carefully close the book and weight it down (additional heavy books work well as weights). Store this pile in a warm, dry place and check on your flower specimens daily (this can take a couple of days to a few weeks for your specimen to dry completely). Finally, once your flowers are dry, carefully remove them and enjoy your pressed blooms!
Here are some of our favourite flowers for pressing: