QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON USING DRIED LAVENDER
- How long does dried lavender last and how do I care for my dried lavender or other dried flowers?
- How do dried flowers hold up compared to fresh?
- How well does lavender ship and how is it packaged?
- How do I store my lavender or dried flowers for a future event?
- How can the fragrance be refreshed after my lavender has been on display for some time?
- How many stems will it take to fill my container?
- What kind of container works well with lavender or other dried flowers?
- Can I mix dried lavender with fresh flowers?
- How do I hold my wedding bouquet?
- How do I store my wedding bouquet after my wedding?
For weddings, I like to ship flowers out shortly before the wedding–3 weeks before they will be used. They can be stored in the shipping box in a cool and dark environment until the wedding date. They will store well for months before the wedding but arrangements are most fragrant when they are freshly created. On display, dried flowers (including lavender) do best in a cool and shaded location, away from sunny windows, drafty spots or heat vents/fireplaces. Wreaths should be hung on interior walls or doors rather than outdoors. Dried lavender will hold it’s color and fragrance for at least a year if it is displayed in the right environment. In storage, lavender can last for years.
In the Winter, flowers can be drier and more brittle BECAUSE of the environment in which they are stored. Normal home environments are heated, with dry air so keeping dried botanicals in an environment with more humidity (up to a point) helps a lot. During the months when homes are heated, storage is best in unheated facilities like a garage or basement.
How do dried flowers hold up when shipped or handled compared to fresh?
Compared to fresh flowers, dried lavender and other dried botanicals hold up very well–there is sometimes a little normal loss of petals and lavender buds in shipping but because there are lots of flowers/petals, it is generally not noticeable in the bouquets/arrangements with normal petal loss. Fresh flowers do lose petals when carried or worn as well–I’d say that this is comparable.
How well does lavender ship and how is it packaged?
How do I store my lavender or dried flowers for a future event?
Because the flowers are dry, you will want to store them in a cool and dark environment until you’re ready to use them-in a closet or under a bed–away from heating sources or direct sunlight is the best choice. For weddings or other events, I suggest having them shipped 2-3 weeks before your date as freshly arranged bouquets are most fragrant.
How can the fragrance be refreshed after my lavender has been on display for some time?
Lavender has little oil glands on the flower buds, leaves and stems. The oils are released when the lavender is touched or disturbed. To refresh a bouquet, hold the bouquet stems flat between the palms of your hands and gently roll the bouquet between your palms. To refresh a sachet or an eye/neck pillow, vigorously fluff the sachet/pillow or scrub it in your hands. This will release oil from the flower buds. Lavender sachets can hold fragrance over 20 years. You can dab lavender oil on sachets but the fragrance will evaporate so it doesn’t last very long–just a few days.
How many stems will it take to fill my container?
For tall arrangements, French Lavender works best as it is 18-22″ long and has long flower spikes. It can also be cut to length for shorter containers. For a container with an opening of 4″ like a regular mouth pint or quart size mason jar, I’d suggest 100-125 stems of French Lavender. For a 5″ container, plan on 150 stems. For a 6″ container 200 stems. Smaller Containers 3″ and under can do with a very small number of stems (25-50.) Even a few sprigs is lovely in a narrow container.
English Lavender works best for shorter containers 4-6″ deep as the stems are approximately 8-12″ in length. Lots of small containers can make a nice show and take very few stems. Look for bottles with smaller openings in a variety of heights.
What kind of container works best with lavender and other dried flowers?
Consider the style and color palette for your decor or event. You’ll want a very different container for an outdoor or rustic wedding than for a clean and modern style. The container height should generally be 1/3 the height of the arrangement although I’d suggest experimenting with proportion. There are lots of exceptions to this guideline that work beautifully.
For dried flowers I’d suggest something that hides the stems (opaque) rather than clear glass, and is heavy since there won’t be water in the container. I like vases that have bigger bottoms with tops that aren’t as wide. I also like rectangles if they are wide across but narrower front to back–they require fewer flowers for a larger impact. Wide round containers require more flowers. I’m not a fan of mason jars as they have very wide openings and require more flower stems. I think those look best in a rustic outdoor or farm setting.
I love using vintage containers or family heirlooms. Pretty pitchers that coordinate with flowers are great for fresh and dry flowers. Bottles and Glass can be painted or you can weight a lighter container (pebbles or glass beads.) Tag sales or vintage stores can also be good sources. Neutral solid colors (muted greens, blues, soft yellows, violets and metallics can work nicely. A busy container with designs will work with a simple lavender arrangement but I’d suggest a simpler container for a multi colored arrangement.
Can I mix dried lavender with fresh flowers?
You can make a mixed dry and fresh arrangement by “compartmentalizing” the fresh and dried elements. Dried Lavender should not be added to a vase with water or sprayed with water as it will ruin it’s structure and color. Fresh flowers or greenery could be added using flower tubes (small water containers used to keep flowers fresh in wreaths, bouquets and arrangements.) Fresh Elements can be added for an event that is eminent so that the event is completed before the fresh flowers wilt. Sprigs of dried lavender can be added to fresh flowers if the lavender doesn’t come in direct contact with moisture from the vase or flowers. For a hand tied bouquet which is not kept in water but used shortly after making, dried and fresh elements can be used together–you would not be able to leave the bouquet in water to lengthen it’s life.
How do I hold my wedding bouquet?
Experiment to see where you feel most comfortable and balanced when holding your bouquet. Try holding your bouquet very slightly below the waist and tilting the bouquet just slightly forward. Hold the bouquet at the top of the stems just below the tie or bow. Try different positions in front of a mirror and with a friend watching to choose the position that is most flattering for your dress and the flowers. Hold you bouquet in a way that doesn’t hide a favorite part of your dress.
How do I store my wedding bouquet after my wedding?
You can wrap your bouquet in acid free paper then place it in an acid free storage box. Keep the box in a cool, dry and dark space. If you display your bouquet, do so in a place out of sunlight and away from heat sources.