Learning how to dry lavender leaves can help you keep the scent of summer going all winter long. The stems of lavender, when harvested and dried properly, can retain both their color and their scent. They make great additions to homemade potpourri, and long stems can be woven into wreaths or baskets for a beautiful punch of color. Read on to find out how to dry your lavender properly.
Lavender should be harvested when it is completely dry. Choose a day that follows a week of hot, dry weather. This will make drying your lavender much easier, as you're beginning with flowers and leaves that are already dry. Cut your blossoms in small bundles, and secure them at the bottom with tight rubber bands. Attach a paperclip to the rubber band as an impromptu plant hanger. Suspend your lavender upside down in a dark, cool part of your house. A basement is ideal. Allow several inches of space between bundles, to ensure that the air can circulate between the bundles. Check your bundles frequently, and rotate their position to ensure that all sides dry evenly. In about a week, your lavender should be dry and ready to use. Check the stems in the center of the bundle and ensure that those stems feel completely dry.
If you'd like to use only the flowers and leaves for use in potpourri, you can skip several steps and save yourself time. Cut the leaves and stems from the plant and place those items on a screen. An old window screen works well for this purpose. Keep each stem separate from its neighbor and place the screen in a cool, dark place. Rotate them frequently, so they dry evenly. In about a week, run your fingers down the dried stems to collect the dried flowers and leaves into a colorful pile.