From cooking and aromatherapy to housekeeping and home decor, there are many creative things to do with dried lavender stems. Try the stems as drink stirrers, seasoning for grilled meats, air fresheners, wall decor, or fragrant fire starters.
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What Can Be Done with Lavender Stems?
While dried lavender leaves and flowers are highly versatile, you may be wondering what to do with the dried lavender stems. The stems have fewer essential oils, which limits using them as much as the leaves and buds. However, you can still use dried lavender stems in applications such as drinks, household decor, aromatherapy, and even housekeeping.
1. Making Lavender Potpourri
Even though they aren’t as fragrant as dried lavender leaves and flowers, dried lavender stems are a perfect option for scented potpourri.
- Use sharp kitchen scissors to chop up a bunch of lavender stems into small pieces.
- Transfer the pieces into a bowl and top them off with some dried lavender flowers to add a pop of color and more fragrance.
- When the scent fades, renew it with a few drops of lavender essential oil.
2. Dried Lavender Stems as Fragrant Fire Starters
The flammable volatile oils in dried lavender stems make them ideal fire starters for your indoor or outdoor fireplace. While they may not have been your first choice, they will become your go-to fire-starting sticks because of their sweet lavender fragrance.
3. Making Dried Lavender Incense Sticks
Make dried lavender incense sticks to prolong the useful life of dried lavender stems:
- Remove and save all the dried buds, leaves, and flowers from the stems.
- Make a water-potassium nitrate bath using 1 cup of water and one tablespoon of potassium nitrate.
- Soak the dried lavender stems in the bath for 30 minutes.
- Remove the stems from the solution and pat them dry between paper towels.
- Mount the end of a stem on an incense holder or flame-proof dish with dry sand.
- Light the stem and enjoy the aroma, taking care never to leave the burning stem unattended.
4. Lavender Sachets
Lavender sachets have always been grandma’s favorite way of making a cheap bug repellent for keeping moths away from clothes. While the sachets work best with dried lavender flowers and leaves because of their stronger fragrance, you can also use sticks.
Cut up some dried lavender stems and put them inside tulle bags. Use them alone for a mild scent, or mix them with dried flowers and leaves for more fragrance. Rekindle the fragrance every few months with a few drops of lavender essential oil.
5. Dried Lavender Bouquets
Dried lavender bouquets are appealing rustic home decor and can be added to kitchens or bathrooms. To add a dash of color, leave some flowers on the stems or add other dried flowers from your garden.
6. Making Aromatic Bath Salts
Lavender bath salts work best with both dried stems and dried lavender flowers. Add 1 cup Epsom salt to ¼ cup dried lavender buds or ½ cup ground dried lavender stems. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Spice up your bathing water with the infused salt, and enjoy!
7. Using Dried Lavender Stems as Drink Stirrers
This may surprise you, but you can use dried lavender stems as a drink’s stir stick. The idea is to garnish the drink with a lavender flavor and aroma. Use more palatable culinary types of lavender like English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Portuguese lavender, or French lavender.
Try this trick with any drink that goes well with dried lavender, such as:
- Lavender martini
- Lavender lemonade
- Lavender tea
- Lightning lavender margarita
- Earl Grey tea cocktail
- Peach lavender cordial
8. Lavender and Cinnamon Tabletop Decor
Wrap dried lavender stems with cinnamon sticks in cloth or twine. Display the fragrant bundles on tabletops, hang them on the wall, or place them on bookshelves as decorative pieces.
9. Seasoned Dried Lavender Stems for Grilling
- Place 10-30 dried lavender stems in a grill-safe cast iron and sprinkle them with olive oil, sea salt, and Cayenne pepper or black pepper.
- Place the cast iron on a grill and process them for five minutes to release the aromas.
- Lay your fish or chicken directly on the stems. Grill, and enjoy!
10. Making Lavender Wreaths
Wreaths work best with sprigs of flowers that include leaves and flowers. For lavender, it would be best if the flowers dry on the stems. However, you may use plain dried lavender stems as the base frame for your wreath and cover them up with other dried flowers.
The one good thing about wreaths made from dried flowers and stems is that they are low-maintenance. You don’t need to water them as you must do to fresh lavender wreaths or bouquets.
11. Homemade Lavender Cold Process Soap
Grind lavender stems and mix with lavender buds. Add the mixture to homemade cold process soap to add a beautiful lavender scent with natural exfoliation!
12. DIY Household Lavender Sprays
To use dried lavender stems in DIY sprays, steep them in boiling water with ground dried lavender leaves and flowers.
- Boil 2 cups water in a saucepan and steep 5 cups of dried lavender stems for 20-30 minutes. You can add 2 cups of dried lavender buds for more fragrance.
- Cool the water and strain it into a spray bottle.
- Add two tablespoons of clear alcohol or vodka to mix the oils and act as a preservative.
- Add 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Shake thoroughly to mix the oil, water, and alcohol.
- Use the spray to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
13. Lavender Simple Syrup
Make a simple sugar syrup infused with lavender stems, buds, and leaves.
- Simply heat 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar in a pot over medium heat.
- Add 1/4 cup of whole lavender stems, buds, and leaves.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Take the mixture off of the heat and allow the syrup to steep for 30 minutes.
- Once cool, strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lavender.
- Use the lavender simple syrup to flavor tea or lemonade, and serve with a side of lavender shortbread!
How to Preserve Dried Lavender Stems
Dried lavender stems can last ten years if stored in a cool, dry, dark place away from direct heat and sunlight.
What are the Benefits of Using Dried Lavender Stems?
- Dried lavender may help with insomnia, stress, anxiety, and depression. Its fragrance has a calming effect that leads to better sleep, calm nerves, and reduced stress.
- Inhaling the scent of lavender from dried stems steeped in hot water may help soothe menstrual cramping.
- Lavender bath salts and soaps may help with skin conditions like acne.
What is the Best Way to Store Dried Lavender Stems?
The best way to store dried lavender stems is to keep them whole in airtight containers like glass jars or Mason jars. Storing them in airtight containers helps the stems hold on to their fragrance.