The Q&A Archives: Cutting Lavendar

Question: There are several lavendar plants in my garden. I wish to display dried aromatic bunches in vases. What is the best kind of lavendar for this purpose? When should the blooms be cut and how does one preserve the color?

Answer: I like Spanish lavender (Lavendula stoechas) because of the short, fat flower spikes the plant produces. I think the fragrance is more concentrated, but it's a personal observation. All lavenders will fade to a bluish-gray color when dried. Harvest the stems and flowers when they're at their peak - with all the flowers opened, but before the petals begin to fade. Cut as much stem as possible when you're gathering the flower spikes, then tie them together in small bunches and hang them upside down to dry, in a cool, dark area with plenty of air circulation. When fully dry you can stand the bunches upright in vases. When the fragrance fades, refresh with concentrated lavender oil. Enjoy!

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