Lavender is a beautiful plant that is beloved by many gardeners for its wonderful scent and gorgeous flowers. It can be used for various purposes, including making essential oils, perfumes, and even cooking. However, one of the most important questions gardeners often have is when to pick or harvest lavender? In this article, we will discuss the factors to consider and the best time to pick lavender.
Factors to Consider before Picking Lavender
Before picking lavender, it’s essential to consider some critical factors that can affect its quality and longevity. Here are some things to keep in mind.
The Lavender Variety
First, you need to know the type of lavender plant you’re dealing with because different varieties have different harvest times. For example, English lavender, the most common type, blooms from June to August, and it’s best to harvest it when most of the buds are open but not fully open. French and Spanish lavenders, on the other hand, bloom from mid-to late-summer and are best harvested when the first flowers have opened.
The weather conditions can also have a significant impact on the ideal harvesting time. It’s best to pick lavender when the weather is dry, and the morning dew has already evaporated. Harvesting in damp conditions can cause the buds to rot, and the leaves may become moldy.
The Purpose of the Lavender
The purpose for which you intend to use the lavender also determines when you should pick it. For example, if you’re harvesting lavender for its essential oils, it’s best to pick it before the flowers fully bloom. On the other hand, if you’re using lavender for decoration, it’s best to wait until the flowers have bloomed fully.
Best Time to Harvest Lavender
The ideal time to harvest lavender depends on the factors discussed above. For most lavender varieties, the best time to harvest is during the morning when the dew has dried up but before the sun’s heat evaporates its essential oils. This typically means early summer for most varieties.
How to Harvest Lavender
When it comes to picking lavender, it’s vital to do it at the right time and handle it with care. You want to avoid overhandling the plant, which can cause damage and reduce the scent and oil content. Here are some tips for harvesting lavender:
- Cut the stems with sharp, clean shears or scissors.
- Only cut about one-third of the plant’s total stem length to ensure regrowth.
- Cut stems when the buds nearest the top have begun to open.
- Remove any leaves that will be below the waterline in your vase or container.
- Gather stems into small bunches and secure them with a rubber band.
Storing Harvested Lavender:
After harvesting, it’s essential to store the lavender properly. Here are some tips to follow:
- Hang the bunches of lavender upside down in a dry, cool, and dark place.
- Avoid drying in direct sunlight or high temperatures
- Store the dried lavender bundles in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.
In conclusion, picking lavender at the right time is crucial to maintain its quality, fragrance, and oil content. Remember to consider the variety, weather, and purpose of the lavender you’re picking. And when you finally decide to harvest your lavender, handle it carefully and store it properly to ensure it lasts long. With these tips, you can enjoy the beautiful fragrance and color of lavender throughout the year.
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Last update 2023-09-22. Price and product availability may change.