Lavender is a popular herb in the world of gardening due to its lovely fragrance and multiple uses. Lavender is mostly grown for its flowers, which can be used for culinary purposes, aromatherapy, and as an ingredient in cosmetics. However, the question that arises among lavender growers is when do they harvest lavender flowers? In this article, we shall discuss the best time for you to harvest lavender flowers, and how you can maintain them.
Best time to harvest lavender flowers
The best time to harvest lavender flowers is just before they are fully bloomed. The time period for harvesting the flowers can vary from region to region, and it also depends on the type of lavender you are growing. Typically, lavender flowers should be harvested when two-thirds of their buds have opened. At this point, the flowers will have a vibrant color and will be packed with essential oils.
Factors to consider when harvesting lavender flowers
Apart from timing, other factors should be considered when harvesting lavender flowers. Here are some of the main factors to keep in mind:
- Time of day: Harvesting lavender flowers in the morning is ideal because the flowers will have more essential oils than in the evening. This is because the plants experience morning dew that traps the essential oils in the blossoms.
- Weather conditions: It is best to avoid harvesting lavender on rainy days or immediately after a rain shower. This is because the flowers will be wet and susceptible to mold and mildew. Harvesting should be done on a dry and sunny day to ensure optimal quality.
- Tools: Proper harvesting tools should be used to prevent damaging the flowers or stems. Scissors, shears, or a sharp knife are ideal tools for harvesting lavender.
Post-harvest care for lavender flowers
After harvesting lavender flowers, they should be immediately processed. Processing involves removing the leaves from the stems and drying them. The drying process is crucial because it prevents mold and mildew from forming on the flowers.
- Drying: Lavender flowers should be hung upside down in a dry, dust-free area for several days. The drying process can take up to three weeks, depending on environmental conditions. Once the flowers are dried, they should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool, dark place.
- Preserving the color: Lavender flowers can quickly lose their vibrant color if exposed to sunlight for an extended period. To prevent yellowing or fading, store them in a dark place or wrap them in tissue paper.
- Preventing moisture: Lavender flowers should be adequately dried to avoid moisture retention, which can lead to mold and mildew. If the flowers feel moist, they can be put in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes to remove moisture.
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Lavender flowers are a beautiful addition to any garden or home, and harvesting them at the right time can make all the difference. To ensure optimal quality, harvest lavender flowers when two-thirds of the buds have opened, check the weather conditions, and use proper harvesting tools. Once harvested, the flowers should be processed by removing the leaves, dried, and stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. With the right care, you can enjoy the aromatic fragrance and the beautiful color of lavender flowers for an extended period.
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Last update 2023-06-07. Price and product availability may change.