Have you ever wanted to dry out herbs or plants? Maybe it’s to add to your tea. Maybe it’s to save them for later cooking use. Or maybe it’s to make your house look damn cute. For whatever reason, here’s a few tips on air drying your own herbs at home!
How to Dry Flowers & Herbs
What You’ll Need:
- Fresh herbs (mint, lemon balm, dandelion, etc)
- Paper towels
- Rack or grid (basically anything you can put your herbs on that promote airflow above and below)
- Cotton string
- Jar or other air tight container
- Dehumidifier (optional, especially useful if your drying space is humid)
Preparing Your Herbs
First, wash your herbs with care to rid them from grit, dirt, and dust. With dry paper towels, gently pat them down. Prepare your rack or drying apparatus with fresh paper towels and place your towel dried herbs on top to air dry.
Next, gather bundles of your herbs and tie them together in their bundles using your cotton string. Depending on how many bundles you have, cut a string to hang them from. Be sure that you can spread the bundles in well spaced intervals so they balance out, and have room to dry. Do not crowd them.
The Drying Process
Find a room in your home that has good ventilation, and filtered sunlight. A kitchen or bedroom that doesn’t have extreme direct sunlight is ideal. Hang your stringer where you can. If you have a humid room, a dehumidifier will help with the drying process.
After about a week, you can begin to test your herbs to see if they are ready. To determine their readiness, the leaves should be dry enough to crush/crumble if you press a few of them together. If this happens, your herbs are ready! If it doesn’t, wait a few more days.
Finally, take the stringer down, and strip the leaves off of the stems in a gentle manner. Now, your leaves are ready for use! You can leave them as full leaves, or you can crush them for a filter tea bag. To store your leaves, place in a jar or airtight container to keep them fresh for your next use. Try to store your freshly dried herbs in a dry, cool, and dark area. The pantry works wonders! Or for flowers, you can keep them hanging for a cute & rustic look! Just remember, after awhile, they will begin to flake and fall – so maybe prepare another set the following week!