Harvesting Lavender

How do you harvest lavender?

Watching lavender grow and harvesting it is the fun part! You can harvest at different times and for different purposes – but it won’t hurt to harvest whenever either! As the buds mature, you will see them getting plumper and then start to bloom.  You can start harvesting when you see a few blooms.  The earlier you harvest, the better it is for a dried bundle.  You can leave the blooms to admire them on the plant, but just make sure to cut off all the stems when they are spent.

Fresh stems with buds can be used for decoration and crafts. You can dry the fresh stem and bud and make beautiful dried arrangements. You can also take off the dried buds and use them in foods, crafts, bath water and home items (just to name a few!). Dried stems can be used in the fire place or grill to give smell and flavor. Learn more about uses for lavender.

To harvest a bundle of stems, hold an inch of stems on the plant and cut at the bottom of the stems. Place a rubberband tightly around the bottom and hang the bundle to dry in a warm (but not too warm) and dry place. If you harvest large handfuls, you can break them apart into smaller bundles to dry. Drying can take 1-3 weeks depending on how dry your drying location is. If you have a lot of bundles, you can even use a dehumidifier in the area. The key is to dry them out quickly and evenly to prevent mold!  Store dried bundles in an airtight container.

A dried bundle will have smell for years, but it may need to be gently smushed to bring it out. The color might fade and some of the buds might come off (use them for a craft!), but it can still bring a smile to your face!

Here are pictures and video of harvesting. People are surprised at how quickly we can go.  That’s because we are not cutting stem by stem!  Click on the pictures for a larger version and description.