Herbs like lavender are a joy to have in the house because of their scent. However, don’t you wish there was a way around having a live plant in the house? There actually is. Dried lavender is a great way to have the lavender scent in your house for longer!
Dried lavender can last anywhere between a season (3 months) and 10 years if you preserve it correctly!
How long dried lavender lasts actually depends on the quality of the lavender and how you look after it. This includes storage (container and location), drying technique, and any other maintenance activities.
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What Is Dried Lavender?
Dried lavender is not lavender that has been left on the plant till it dries off! It requires a certain machine to dry it or extremely powerful sunlight and low to no humidity in the air.
Dried lavender is lavender flower stems that have been cut off and purposely dried using an industrial process or ideal weather conditions.
These lavender stems may also require treatment with essential lavender oils to make the lavender scent last longer. Lavender farms usually grow lavender and harvest it to create lavender oils and dried lavender.
If you are wondering what to do with it, we’ll discuss how to use it later on.
Can Dried Lavender Go Bad?
If you are asking if dried lavender will last forever, the answer is no! Eventually lavender will go bad. Being from a plant, lavender stems and flowers are made from organic building blocks.
Lavender goes bad when mold starts to grow on it or it starts to develop an unpleasant smell. The presence of sunlight, humidity, and heat influence if and how soon dried lavender will go bad.
To prevent it from going bad, you need to store it properly in the right container and in the right place.
Want to evaluate which is better, Russian Sage or Lavender? Read this: Russian Sage vs Lavender – Differences & Similarities
Can Lavender Be Made to Last Longer?
Do you love dried lavender? If you do, you would probably ask if lavender can be made to last longer. The truth is it can. Lavender can spoil faster in inappropriate conditions and there is no reason why it wouldn’t last long in appropriate conditions.
In fact, to maintain its decent shelf life, you have to acknowledge certain care principles.
How to Make Dried Lavender Last Longer?
So you have bought a bag of dried lavender but notice its qualities diminishing each week. What can you do in such a scenario? Well, there are actually many ways you can try to make your dried lavender last much longer.
Take a look at these ways to extend its lifespan.
#1- Select Most Fragrant Lavender
Not every lavender type will make the best-dried lavender. You have to selectively choose the one that has the best aromatic properties. Only if the lavender has the strongest aroma can it have a decently powerful aroma when dry.
Even from a bunch of dried lavender, some are aromatic and some are below par. Take out the ones that are strongest with the most potent scent. These are the ones you should include in your bunch.
#2- Storage Container
Air is another element that can spoil or degrade the quality of your dry lavender. Not only does it degrade the plant matter but it also carries microorganisms that speed up the degradation process. You must place your lavender in a container that is air-tight.
Plastic or glass containers with air-tight lids are other great ways to store your lavender. If you can get the storage boxes that are not transparent, get them.
As the light fades the color of the lavender. You will have to keep transparent containers in a dark location to avoid fading of color and scent.
#3- Location Matters
Keep your dried lavender away from water, sunlight, and heat as these elements can diminish lavender’s aroma. This means to steer clear of storing dried lavender near taps, stoves, and windows.
If storing on the counter where sunlight shines, avoid getting a transparent container that the sun can penetrate and affect your lavender.
#4- Add Lavender Oil
Many people add a few drops of essential lavender oil to their dried lavender once they notice the aroma is becoming faint. If your lavender is still in good condition this is a great way to make it last longer and still retain its scent.
You can find essential oil everywhere and it usually comes in a very small bottle because it is a very concentrated oil.
Try out this lavender oil from Amazon: Lavender Essential Oil- Therapeutic Grade
What Are The Methods of Drying Lavender?
Drying lavender is relatively easy and there are several methods that you can use to dry it. Pick the method that is best suited to you. The various methods of drying lavender are:
- Drying by hanging them up
- Leaving them in the sun to dry
- Using a microwave/conventional oven
- Drying lavender in a specialized food dehydrator
On a large scale, the best option is a food dehydrator as it allows the drying of large amounts of lavender in-efficiently low time. But, for you at home, sun drying or hanging up in a dark room is more appropriate because of its simplicity.
How Long Does Lavender Take To Dry?
This depends on which method you would like to use. Also, ask yourself if you want to dry it naturally or not. Natural drying in the sun or hanging upside down will depend on how humid the air is and the weather in general.
Of course what part of the lavender you are drying also needs to be taken into account. For example, small buds and flowers tend to dry faster than leaves and stems.
The two slowest methods of drying lavender are hanging them up to dry or using the sun. These methods could take a few days or more depending on quantity. It’s best to use a microwave, oven, or dehydrator and as a bonus, your house will smell of lavender!
Check out Tips For Growing and Caring English Lavender
How to Use Dried Lavender?
Dry lavender has many uses, some of which you may not even be aware of. Let us have a look at the various ways in which this versatile herb may be used.
Sprinkle on carpets- Just before vacuuming your carpet sprinkle a little bit onto your carpet. The carpet after you vacuum it will be left smelling great and not dusty.
Lavender bath salts– Add 1 cup Epsom salts, a ¼ cup dried lavender, and a few drops of lavender essential oil to make your own bath salts. Sprinkle a little in your bath water before bathing.
Insect repeller- Lavender can be applied as an insect repellent against flies and mosquitoes. Place sachets of lavender in your dog’s bed to keep fleas at bay.
Air refresher- Place dried lavender in the car to give the car a naturally fresh smell. You can throw in a couple of sachets into your gym shoes or bag to get rid of the smell. A sachet under your pillow at night might help you sleep better!
Soaps- Lavender can also be useful when you want to make homemade soaps. It is a wonderful idea and it gives the soap an authentic look if you choose to add whole lavender leaves or flowers.
Cooking and baking- Let’s not forget lavender’s most important use – in the culinary world! This herb adds another dimension and aroma to an otherwise boring dish and is great as a garnish or in a meat marinade.
Tea- Lavender tea is very calming and has many health benefits you won’t know about until you try it.
Lavender essential oils- Lavender essential oils are quite famous for their various uses. However, their main use is in candle making and as a natural remedy.
What Part of Lavender is Dried?
The flower heads with their long stems are the part of the lavender plant that is dried and commercially sold. However, the lavender leaves can also be dried for use in potpourri and care products such as soaps, tea bags, and other areas in these industries.
Dried lavender is an eco-friendly and often cost-efficient way of making your home smell pleasant and fresh. But the question of how long dried lavender lasts may have you worried about having to switch it out very frequently.
Dried lavender can last a maximum of 10+ years and a minimum of a few months. Storing the dried lavender in the correct location and correct container also affects how long dried lavender lasts.
So, if you want to make your dried lavender last longer, take a look at the tips to make lavender last longer. Alternatively, you can try to grow your own lavender and even dry it out yourself.