How To Harvest And Dry Lavender

Have you ever tried to harvest and dry lavender from the garden? One of the flowers my daughter chose for her wedding was lavender. I soon learned the high cost of purchasing dried lavender when making the table centerpieces, aisle bows, floral bouquets & boutonnieres as well as the homemade lavender lollipop guest favors.

While pulling out of our driveway to make the 9-hour trek to the wedding destination, I caught a glance of the abundant lavender blooms in our front flower bed. I got to thinking, had I the foresight to harvest and dry the lavender last summer, I could have saved a lot of money.

How To Harvest and Dry Fresh Lavender

How To Harvest And Dry Lavender


I am embarrassed to admit that we've had the plant for several years and not once have I harvested the flowers. Every Summer I've admired the blooms and every Fall after the flowers died off I would cut it back. Thankfully, after we returned from our daughter's wedding, the plant was still in full bloom and I decided this was going to be the year that I finally harvest the lavender!

Lavender Plant Before Harvesting

But first I needed to figure out how and do some online research. Then I got to thinking, I wonder if any of my readers have never harvested their lavender and that's when I decided to share what I learned with all of you.

For those of you who have successfully dried lavender and have any helpful tips I may have missed, I'd be most grateful if you shared them in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

Lavender Harvested For Drying

What you'll need to harvest and dry fresh lavender

  • Rubber bands or jute twine
  • Scissors
  • Paper Clips
  • Large flat sheet or box
  • Hangers, chain, or doweling rod
Harvesting Lavender Plant For Drying

How to harvest fresh lavender

  • The best time to harvest the plant is when the buds have formed but the lavender is not in full bloom. If you wait too long to harvest (like I did) the dried bunches will be less potent.
  • Harvest the flowers mid-morning or evening when the sun is less intense and the plant is completely dry from any morning dew.
  • Cut in bundles the size that can wrap around your hand.
  • Leave about 2-inches of growth on the plant and don't go down to the woody portion of the stem.

Fresh Lavender Bundles For Drying

How to dry fresh lavender

  • Wrap a rubber band or jute twine tightly around each bundle.
  • Open a small paper clip and use it as a hook to hang the lavender.
  • Hang the bundles of lavender upside down from a coat hanger, along a chain (like I did), or doweling rod.
  • Lay a flat sheet or large cardboard box underneath to catch the petals that fall off (great for sachets).
  • Drying upside down helps the lavender retain its blossom shape.
  • Dry the lavender in a dry and dark place. The dryness is most important to prevent mold or mildew. The darkness helps the lavender retain its color.
  • Let the lavender dry between 2-4 weeks until there is no moisture left in the stems at the center of the bundle.
  • Check the bundles every so often because they could shrink a little and may require tightening the elastic or string.
  • If you don't have a dark and dry place to hang the bundles, cover the bunches with brown paper bags with holes cut along the sides and bottom for air to circulate. Dry them in a place with more light.
  • If you live in a high-humidity zone, tie the stalks individually with about 3-inches between each stalk on a strand of string, to prevent mold or mildew from developing.

Lavender Harvested For Drying

What to do with dried lavender

  • Fill pitchers with dried lavender bundles for fragrant displays around the house.
  • Use them in wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages.
  • Make small fragrant wreaths to hang on cabinet doors. 
  • Use them for scented drawer sachets.
  • Blended with Epsom salts for relaxing baths. 
  • Make lavender handmade soaps.
  • If they were grown organically without pesticides, use the buds for cooking like my Lavender Shortbread Cookies.  
  • Make fragrant Fire Starter Bundles from the cut stalks (pictured below).  
Lavender Fire Starter Bundles

Storing dried Lavender

  • Store bundles in a paper bag in a dark, dry place.
  • Store flower stems in a paper bag or lidded mason jar.
  • For cooking, potpourri, and lavender sachets - run your finger along the stalks to remove the dried flowers and store in a box or paper bag. 

Source List


Like I mentioned at the top of this post, I made lavender infused hard candy lollipops dipped in lavender sugar for my daughter's wedding. You can find the recipe I used here at Garden Therapy.

Lavender Infused Handmade Hard Candy Lollipops

I hope you found this post helpful and I gave you some ideas for decorating and cooking with lavender. If you have any questions about this lavender post, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

Again, if you have any helpful tips I may have missed about harvesting and drying lavender, I would love it if you shared them in the comment section below.


How To Harvest And Dry Lavender

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15 comments

  1. I have always wanted to try and dry lavender! I think I may give is a shot, thanks for sharing :-)

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    1. I knew someone, besides me, would find this helpful! So glad I decided to share what I learned about drying lavender. It's the plant that keeps on giving. LOL Enjoy your lavender, Christina!

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  2. Marie I love dried lavender. It smells good it looks pretty and you can do so much with lavender. I love that you make the lollipops with lavender sugar for your daughter's wedding. That is such a great idea. Love seeing the pumpkins too. They are adorable. Happy Friday. Have a great weekend. xoxo

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    1. The lavender sugar was hard to find but so glad I did because the lollipops were amazing! Happy Friday back to you, Kris and have a great weekend as well! xoxo

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  3. Great tips Marie. Thanks so much. Our white lavender bushes have just started pushing out their little buds, I think they can smell Spring is around the corner - whoopity, whoop ;-) So I've pinned your post so I can come back in a few weeks. It does have such a distinct yummy smell and it would be lovely to have a reminder of all that loveliness when Summer is over

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    1. I wish we were where you're at with the arrival of Spring. We had a record breaking chilly and rainy summer and already it is starting to feel like Fall. This summer loving gal feels ripped off by Mother Nature. Thankfully my dried lavender will fill our home with the lovely scent of summer through the dreary months of winter. Enjoy harvesting yours!

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  4. This lavender is going to be fantastic for the Winter. Its so beautiful Marie, it must make your yard smell heavenly.

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    1. Sadly, I never get to smell the scent because it is in the flower bed in our front yard. Passersby can definitely enjoy the scent but not us. I'd love to plant lavender in our back yard near the deck but it just doesn't get enough sun facing north. I do enjoy the wonderful scent throughout the winter now that I dry the lavender.

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  5. I have a ton of lavender and I'm so thrilled to be reading your post. I wanted to save it and now I know how. Thanks for sharing with To Grandma's House We Go, I'll be featuring you next week.

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    1. Chas, I'm so glad this post was helpful. Yay, go harvest that lavender! LOL Thanks for the feature. xo

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  6. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

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  7. What a practical and pretty post! Really, love these photos! So smart to share tips with us on how to harvest and dry lavender, and love the practical uses for dried lavender, too!

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    1. Happy to hear you enjoyed the post and the photos, Julie. Your comment made my day!

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  8. Oh Marie, I hope to try this next year but I'll need to plant more lavender to be able to harvest enough. Your photos are so pretty. I'm excited to share your post today on Tuesday Turn About!

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    1. I hope you do try it next year, Michelle, the scent is wonderful throughout the winter months. Would you believe all my lavender came from one plant! It took a couple of years for the plant to get established enough to produce so many blooms. Thank you so much for the feature! xo

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