Storing Dried Lavender the right way
Once you prune, harvest and dry your lavender, the next thing to do is to store it properly until you are ready to use it. Depending on how much of the lavender you have, you can choose several options to store. The best option is to choose an air-tight container/s which will ensure your lavender lasts for many years.
Important things to care about when storing lavender
- The most important thing to care about is that lavender is dry enough. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to dry it properly. It is properly dry when the flowers and leaves are sharp and starts to fall off the stems. If you store it while still not dry, the moisture will cause a mold to develop which will destroy your flowers.
- Lavender should be stored in a dark place, away from the direct sunlight and away from the sources of any heath or humidity. It means the kitchen or living room are not good places to store it. The sunlight will fade its colors and possible humidity will make it go stale. So, keep it in a cool, dry, and dark location. If you don’t have a pantry, the dark corner of the corridor is a good place to store.
- It should be stored in airtight containers to preserve its fragrance. Otherwise, the fragrance will soon fade away.
Depending on the intended use, you can choose to store it in different ways. Basically, there are two options – either to leave the flower buds on stems or collect the buds and store them separately:
- Lavender bundles with flowers left on the stem/stalk – keep them hanged on the door inside your wardrobe where it will fragrance your clothes. The fragrance should last for about 6 months.
- Dried buds or flowers – keep them in airtight containers to preserve freshness for a long time.
Storing Dry Lavender in Airtight Containers
The best way to store lavender is any type of airtight container: mason jars, non-transparent jars, plastic, glass, or metal containers. I usually store small amounts in mason jars (as in the below photo).
I use these jars to keep them in a bedroom, next to beds, on bedside tables. During the day we keep jars closed, while at night, just before going to bed we open the jars and the fragrance makes us all sleep better.
Lavender stored in transparent jars looks attractive too, so this is my favorite way to store smaller amounts.
Dried lavender buds stored in a large plastic water bottle
If you have larger amounts of dried lavender as I have, the cheapest way to store it is to keep it in large plastic recycled water bottles. I collected them as storage options for a lot of different things including lavender. I find that using wide neck plastic or metal funnel (spice funnel), also called a canning wide-mouth funnel, to pour the buds inside the bottle works well. It is pretty straightforward to pour buds in and in just a few minutes the bottle is full. Here are the photos:
Fill it up with the buds and tightly twist the bottle top.
Place the bottle in the cool, dark and shaded place, with stable, low temperature and out of the sunlight – as on photo below:
Store dried lavender in storage boxes
Although I like to use free, recycled jars and bottles, recently I bought a couple of stackable, plastic storage boxes with a lid to store this year’s harvest. It would be better if boxes are not as transparent as that way the colors of dried buds will last longer. However, I chose transparent boxes as I like to see my lavender in them. It is much prettier. This way I can save space and stack several boxes in the dark corner of my room.
You can get these storage boxes on Amazon or in your local shop. They are not expensive and are very practical. Look for stackable, transparent storage boxes with lids and ideally with a capacity of 5 to 15 liters. Avoid boxes with ventilation as lavender should be stored in an air-tight container.
Can Dried Lavender Go Bad?
Yes, lavender can go bad if it’s stored in an inappropriate way or if it’s not dried well. Make sure your containers are tight and free of moisture and store it once you are sure it is well dried.
How long does dried Lavender last?
It can last for several years. At least, that is my experience. I have dried lavender buds that are 3 or 4 years old and still have a nice color and good fragrance. The smell fades over time, so mixing it with the freshly dried one each year or adding some lavender oil will enhance its fragrance and refresh the scent.
I dry lavender each year and replace the old one with newly dried flowers and buds.
- see my other articles about lavender, about drying sage, storing sage, sun-drying apricots, drying figs, and storing
- if you are interested in getting some of my dried lavender, get in touch – I may be able to post you a small jar, depending on which country you live in (as I am not familiar with international customs law).. but I will try.