Lavender (Lavandula) belongs in the family Lamiaceae, which includes mints. There are 39 species of lavender, named such because of the color of their blooms. Using dried lavender flowers and lavendar oil as an herbal medicine has been around since the 1700s. Preserving and drying the lavender flowers is not a difficult process and within a week or two, they should be ready for use. The dried flower stalks will last up to a year before they begin to loose their coloration due to light exposure.
Cut the lavender stem right before the bloom fully opens, because the fragrance will be strongest. Cut the stem off the stalk, allowing several inches of green growth to remain on the stalk.
Cut five to seven stems for each bundle of dried flowers. Do not pack too many flower stems together in a bundle, or the flowers will not dry properly. Place each set of stems into a bundle.
Wrap a rubber band or twist tie around the end of the bundle where you made the cut. Secure the rubber band tightly around the end so the stems do not slip out.
Secure a string around the rubber band or twist tie. Hang the bundles of lavender flowers upside down in a dark area that is warm and dry. Allow the flowers to remain in place until they have fully dried in one to two weeks.
Remove the rubber band from the bundle and use the dried lavender stems in flower arrangements or other craft projects. Place a bunched group inside of a pillowcase and roll it around to release and separate the blossoms, if you desire loose lavender.
Store the dried lavender inside of a plastic container or bag and place in a dry, dark place to preserve the flowers and scent for a longer period.