Tell me about drying lavender for a sachet???

Adele(z7WA)September 30, 2002

Yes, I know it's too late for this year, but I thought over the winter I'd sew up some sachet bags to fill with lavender for gifts next year. I do grow lavender and have dried it on the stem by hanging upside down in a cool dark place.

To use for a sachet, at what point should it be picked? When the flowers first open, or more mature? Should I dry the flowers on the stem, or remove them when picked and dry off the stem?

Thanks for any suggestions.

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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

For fragrance, the best time to pick lavender is when you have the highest number of flowers blooming on a stem -- our rule of thumb is to pick when it looks like about 3/4 of the stem is in flower.

Air-dry the stems, then rub off the flowers and buds.

Save the stems. They still have some fragrance. We gather them and tie them into "lavender logs." Rub a "log" between your palms to release the scent, or toss them onto a fire.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2002 at 4:56PM
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maders(Zone 7)

if you really wanted to do sachets this year Atlantic spice company has a website and I think its 8 for 1 lb bag. but i grew my own in MD. you can also fill with rice and lavendar and heat in microwave for good smelling heating pad

    Bookmark   October 14, 2002 at 7:56AM
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sportkat2(z7 AL)

Hi,

Do you put equal parts of lavender and rice in the sachets to heat them for a heating pad? Do you need to add anything else?
Thanks so much,
Kathy

    Bookmark   October 22, 2002 at 11:03PM
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loree(z9 CA)

Any good ideas for separating the "chaff" from the buds? Has anyone made a screen or some other sifter to do this?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2002 at 10:36PM
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Bonnie_NOVA(z7 NoVA)

Hi-
I just pruned my "Dutch" and "Hidcote" Lavendar. Put the stems in a bushel basket and wonder what I should do now? I love the fragence. Anyone have experience?
Thank you in advance=
Bonnie

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 3:32PM
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enchantedplace

Bonnie, your lavender trimmings should be dry by now. I remove the dried leaves from the stems and make small pillows to put in drawers and closets. I use old embroiderd or chrocheted pieces of material for the covers and they are pretty and fragrant. The leaves can also be used for the rice packs that are heated in the microwave. Sometimes when I trim lavendar I use the fresh stems on wreaths. I make a sprig of several stems and pin them onto the straw wreath bases with the hair pin shaped floral pins. When the wreath is covered lay it aside to dry. The wreaths can be enhanced with dried flowers. Sprigs of other materials such as artemesia can be mixed in with the lavender stems.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 6:39AM
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valleymermaid

So, CAN you dry the leaves to use as well for fragrance? And, is a cool dark place better that a warm or hot place?

Drying rose petals? Can you just dry them on their stem in an empty vase?

~Valerie

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 1:27PM
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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

You could dry the leaves and throw them into potpourri if you wished, but on a flowering stem, you typically have just a few leaves at the bottom. Drying works best when it's fast. A warm/hot place, especially with good air circulation, is better than a cold one. Darkness is not a top issue with lavender, since the blooms don't tend to fade much.

You can dry roses in an empty vase or hang them up. If you want and can get a lot of petals for potpourri, it's easiest to take them off the stem and spread them on screens. You can dry them until they're crisp or just until they become a bit leathery if you're going to do a "wet method" potpourri.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 1:41PM
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anath

does anyone here know if using a dehydrator for drying lavender is a bad thing?
Anath

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:57AM
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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

You'd certainly end up with a house or barn reeking of lavender.

Since heat is one of the things that releases the essential oils from the plant, you could end up with somewhat less scent left in the plant at the end than with simple air drying, but on the other hand, you'd be talking about a few hours in the dehydrator rather than a few days in a room.

We find that lavender dries fairly quickly even in very humid weather and under less than ideal drying conditions (several stems deep on newspaper on the floor vs. hanging in small bunches).

If you're dealing with a small amount of lavender, don't have any better option and do have a dehydrator, there's no harm in trying, and I'm sure the result will still have scent -- it just may not have as much scent two years down the road as if you'd air-dried.

I'd test the stuff in the dehydrator as I went along. You want the stem to first bend and then snap off cleanly -- not fold on the one hand or snap immediately on the other. Also, you may find that things seem done when you take them out of the dehydrator but then reabsorb moisture when they've been out for a bit, and have to go back in for a while.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:26AM
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