Lavender growing | Harvesting, pruning, propagation

The time of lavender harvest – when should we reap lavender?

lavender garden

According to cultivators one of the most difficult questions is to decide when we should harvest lavenders, but there are some basic factors:

The time of the harvest depends on its consumption. - Harvesting lavender

The time of lavender harvest depends on what we wish to use the lavender for later. If we wish to dry them in bouquets, then we need to cut them when the first two blossoms have opened and the rest of the buds are still closed, or at the most one third of the blossoms have opened. If we harvest later, then after we dry them many of the blossoms will drop off. If most of the buds are open, then after the drying we can use the lavenders in foods or in potpourri, fragrant bags.

If we wish to prepare oil, then the harvest takes place even later, depending on the species, usually when the small blossoms have already opened and are starting to dry off.

harvest_sickle

The most suitable time of the day for lavender harvest.

For the harvest we should choose a nice sunny morning, and after the dew has dried, we can harvest the blossoms with a sickle or a pair of scissors. Usually we should cut them with 20-25 cm stems, still above the woody part. When we have cut enough for a bouquet we should tie them together with a rubber band, not too tight, and we dry them by suspending them on a nail, drying stand, or a stretched rope. To older folks this stand is certainly familiar, because it was used for drying cloth a long time ago.

dry lavender 2

If there isn’t a too large quantity we can dry the lavenders on the stair railing as well.

dry lavender 3

dry lavender 4

Dried bouquet, wreath, potpourri

So, if you would like a dried bouquet in your vase, or you wish to braid a wreath, then the lavender should be harvested before the blossom appear, when they are still in the bud phase. If you will only use them in potpourri, or in food, then you may peacefully admire you lavenders and observe the humming of the bees, you can harvest the blossoms at your leisure later.