Harvesting Lavender

Harvesting lavender for drying is best done when the flowers are in full color, and either before they start to open or the flowers are only 1/3 open. The flowers keep a stronger color when picked at this bud stage.

You can cut 1/3 to 1/2 off the top of your plant each year. Make sure you leave about 4 weeks before your expected first frost, so the plant has time to harden off.

Cut your flowers with a hand shear or small sickle on a dry and sunny day. The dew needs to be off of the plants before you harvest. A humid or foggy day can cause mildewing.

The pink and white lavender doesn't dry as well. The color fades and looks icky and lifeless.

How long you cut the the stems depends on what you plan on doing with it. Wands need to have longer stems, some things don't need any stems.

Cut down to the first leaf for cooking. The buds or open flowers are tastier. You can use the leaves for cooking, but they are stronger and more bitter. I only use the buds or open flowers in cooking.

For potpourri, both the buds and leaves work well. The leaves also have a nice scent, but the buds are visually more pleasing. I use a mixture of both the leaves and the buds in my potpourri with more buds then leaves. Use the ratio amount that is visually pleasing to you.

Fresh cut lavender can be used as cut flowers. You can put it in any container because it can be done with or without water. Some crafts use fresh lavender and some crafts use dry lavender. Either way, lavender is fun to work with.

Return from harvesting lavender to growing lavender .