French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) is one of the most pleasing aromas in the plant world. An essential oil made from its flowers is said to help calm the body and mind and when you apply it to a sprain or pain of any type, it can help to ease the suffering. French lavender is easy to grow in most climate zones--this Mediterranean native is very hardy and needs little care in order for it to produce beautiful flower spikes that bear the fragrant flower heads. If you grow your own French lavender, it’s easy to preserve it for potpourris and other uses.
Snip off the flower spikes with your clippers just before the flowers are completely open.
Tie about a dozen flower spikes together with string. It’s best if you tie the stalks midway between the flower and the cut end of the stalk. Your little bundles will look like brooms.
Hang your tied bundles from a clothesline in a warm, dry, dark, well-ventilated area, such as your garage. Be sure to leave space between each bundle to allow for good air circulation. If you prefer, you can lay individual flower spikes on top of an old window screen that you have propped up to enable plenty of airflow.
Check your drying lavender for dryness after several days; within 10 days, it should be completely dry and ready to store or use.
Cut the string off the bundles when your lavender is dry. If you wish, rub the flower heads over a sheet of paper to release the petals from the stalks. If you want to use the flowers in dried arrangements leave the flower heads on the stalks.
Things You Will Need
- Garden clippers
- Clothesline or window screen
- Warm, dry, dark, well-ventilated area
- You can also dry French lavender by pressing it between two sheets of wax paper in a large book. This method is appropriate if you plan to use your lavender on homemade greeting cards and other craft projects.