Lavender is a fragrant herb that is popularly used in aromatherapy, cooking, and as a decorative plant. It is native to the Mediterranean region and thrives in warm, sunny climates. When to grab lavender depends on the purpose you have in mind, and it is important to know when the herb is at its best for each specific use. In this article, we will discuss when to grab lavender for each purpose and how to best harvest it.
When to Harvest Lavender for Aromatherapy
Lavender is best harvested for aromatherapy purposes when it is in full bloom, usually around the end of June or beginning of July. At this time, the flowers are just starting to mature and release their essential oils. Harvesting at the right time ensures that the lavender oil will have the best fragrance and therapeutic benefits.
To harvest lavender for aromatherapy, cut the stems just as the flowers are starting to bloom. Cut about a third of the stem length, making sure to leave some foliage on the plant. This will allow the plant to continue growing and producing flowers for a longer period. Hang the lavender upside down in a cool, dry place for several weeks until the flowers are dry. Then, strip the flowers from the stems and store them in an airtight container.
When to Harvest Lavender for Cooking
Lavender can be used as a flavoring in a variety of dishes, from soups to desserts. For cooking, harvest lavender when the flowers are just starting to open, usually around mid-June. At this stage, the flowers have the best flavor and are less bitter than if they are harvested later.
To harvest lavender for cooking, cut the stalks just as the flowers are starting to open. Remove the flowers from the stems and rinse them gently in cool water. The flowers can be used fresh or dried for later use. Use lavender sparingly in cooking, as it can easily overpower other flavors.
When to Harvest Lavender for Decoration
Lavender can also be used as a decorative plant, either fresh or dried. For fresh arrangements, harvest lavender when the flowers are in full bloom, usually around the end of June or beginning of July. For dried arrangements, harvest lavender just as the flowers are starting to open, usually in mid-June.
To harvest lavender for decoration, cut the stems just as the flowers are at the desired stage of bloom. Remove any leaves or buds that will be below the water line in a fresh arrangement. For dried arrangements, tie several stems together with a rubber band and hang them upside down in a cool, dry place until the flowers are completely dry. The dried flowers can then be used in arrangements or wreaths.
In conclusion, harvesting lavender at the right time is crucial to get the best quality for each intended use. When harvesting, make sure to follow proper techniques to preserve the fragrance and therapeutic benefits of the flowers. Whether you plan to use lavender for aromatherapy, cooking, or decoration, knowing when to grab lavender can help you achieve the best results.
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Last update 2023-09-22. Price and product availability may change.