Harvesting lavender is simple, and the more you do it, the more you’ll get. In this post, you’ll learn what part of the plant to harvest, and the best time to do it. Then I’ll show you exactly how to harvest lavender buds and leaves, and give you tips for storing lavender too.
Lavender is a beautiful and highly fragrant herb that is extremely popular for it’s calming effect. Lots of gardeners love growing lavender in their home garden for the bright purple flowers alone.
But many new gardeners are unsure about harvesting lavender plants. In fact, a few of the most common questions I get are “What part of lavender do you harvest?” and “When is the best time to harvest lavender?“.
The good news is that, once you know the answers to these questions, and I show you how to harvest lavender, you’ll see just how easy it is!
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide to harvesting lavender…
What Part Of Lavender Do You Harvest?
Most people use lavender for the flowers, but the leaves are also edible. Below I will show you how to harvest both.
One thing to note… the leaves smell as good as the flowers, but they have a different flavor. So, keep that in mind before deciding which part of lavender to harvest.
How Many Times A Year Does Lavender Bloom?
The number of times a year lavender blooms depends on the variety. English lavender usually starts blooming in June, and continues through fall.
French lavender blooms in early May, produce flowers all throughout fall. Spanish lavender starts to bloom in late spring.
What Happens If You Don’t Prune Lavender?
If you do not prune the lavender, it will get so large that it will not be able to support itself and will end up flopping over.
If you want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to your lavender, you should prune it every year in the spring by clipping off some of the branches and deadwood.
When To Harvest Lavender
You can harvest it any time during the day. But be sure to cut lavender flowers before the buds open for the best fragrance and flavor. You can harvest them after they bloom too, the oils just won’t be as strong.
Since lavender blooms throughout the growing season, you will get several harvests from it during the summer. And, cutting the flowers regularly encourages even more blooms!
If you want to cut sprigs of leaves, the best time is right after the stem is done blooming, or at the same time as you harvest the flower.
If you’re not worried about the flowers, or you just want to pinch off a few leaves, then you can harvest them at any time.
Related Post: How To Grow Lavender From Seed & When To Plant
How To Harvest Fresh Lavender
The steps for harvesting lavender are a bit different depending on whether you want the flowers or the leaves. First, I’ll show you exactly how to harvest the flowers, then I’ll talk about harvesting the leaves.
How To Harvest Lavender Flowers
To harvest the buds, simply snip each flower stem all the way down to the top of the leaves. Don’t try to remove the individual flower buds. This is very tedious, and you could easily end up crushing them in the process.
Use a sharp pair of precision pruners to remove the flower stems. Trying to pick or pinch them off could crush or damage the stem.
Related Post: How To Collect Lavender Seeds From Your Garden
How To Harvest Lavender Leaves
To harvest the leaves, you can either cut off small springs, or pinch off individual leaves as you need them. Just be sure to use the tender new growth, and avoid any dry or brown leaves.
If you don’t want to sacrifice the flowers, then make sure to harvest the sprigs after the stem is done blooming. Or, you can harvest the whole tip, flower and all.
Also, be sure to avoid cutting into the woody stems. If you cut lavender down too far, it won’t grow back. Learn exactly how to prune lavender here.
How To Store Fresh Lavender
For best results, simply store fresh cut lavender stems in a vase of water on the counter. It will last up to a week. But be sure to use it as soon as you can for the strongest flavor and fragrance.
If you want to store your lavender harvest longer, then try drying it. It’s super easy to do, and there are a few methods you can try! Learn exactly how to dry lavender here.
Regularly harvesting lavender buds encourages the plant to bloom even more. So, now that you know when and how to harvest lavender, you’ll have tons of this wonderful and beneficial herb to use in your kitchen or for crafting.
More Garden Harvesting Posts
- How & When To Harvest Parsley
- How & When To Harvest Basil Leaves
- Free Garden Harvest Tracking Sheet & Guide
- How To Harvest Chives & When To Pick Them
- When And How To Harvest Tomatillos
Share your tips for how to harvest lavender in the comment section below!