Lavender is a wonderful beginner gardening herb. Learn how to grow and use lavender in your home. We discuss growing, harvesting, storing and using lavender flowers.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to grow and use lavender in your home? It’s easier than you may think.
Everyone loves lavender for its refreshing floral scent and one thousand and one uses. You can use lavender for health and home, making it useful for nearly any application.
With more than 30 species to choose from, you are bound to find one that works for you. The most common variety is referred to as true lavender or English lavender. English lavender is prized for its quality and has been used in essential oils and perfumes since the 17th century.
Growing Your Own Lavender
Lavender is easy to grow and worth the effort. It requires well-drained soil in full sun to thrive. A light application of organic fertilizer will help it grow. Lavender grows well in large pots, making it a great patio plant that even helps keep the insects away.
While you can propagate lavender from cuttings, starting from seed in early spring is much simpler if you are choosing a standard species. Pruning is best done during early spring. Do not cut into the old wood of your lavender plant or it may die.
Harvesting and Storing Lavender Flowers
Harvesting lavender is easy. In mid-summer, when flowers on the spikes of the plant are one to two-thirds open, you then trim them down.
Tie the lavender into small bunches and hang upside down to dry (you can use an herb dryer). Another way to dry is to strip the lavender flowers from the stems and dry them on screens.
Benefits of Lavender
Lavender flowers have been used for calming, soothing and supporting restful sleep for thousands of years. Lavender is known to help relax the body and improve your mood. Try infusing lavender into a tea, soak in a bath of lavender or make a healing salve to relax your body after a long day.
Lavender can also be used for soothing irritated skin and cooling skin after sun exposure. While Lavender Essential oil is more commonly used for this, you can use fresh or dried lavender right out of your garden in a soothing compress. A compress is a cloth that has been soaked in an infusion.
How to Make a Lavender Compress
For an easy to make and use lavender compress boil, mix in 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried lavender. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes, remove the lavender and cool your infusion. Soak a clean white cotton cloth in your chilled infusion, wring out and place onto the skin, or even the head for head tension.
How to Use Lavender in the Home
Use lavender around the home for a fresh, clean and relaxing fragrance. Fresh and dried flowers can be used to create fragrance sachets for your dresser and closet that leave your clothing smelling wonderful. They also keep moths from eating holes in your clothing. These sachets can be used anywhere around the home for a light floral air freshener.
You can infuse white vinegar with fresh or dried flowers, leaves and stems to create a cleaning spray, fabric softener and refresher.
These are just a handful of the many ways to use lavender around your home. I hope you found some new ideas!