Learn How to Dry Herbs

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Learning how to dry herbs is fun, easy, and economical. Do you grow and cook with your own fresh kitchen herbs? Drying is a great way to preserve them to use in the winter months. On this page, I describe how to dry oregano. The same procedures work for dehydrating most fresh herbs.

There are two ways to dry herbs.

  • Hanging by the stems.
  • Pulling the leaves and drying them separately.

Dehydrating Herbs

How to Dry Herbs on the Stem

Divide your herbs (I’m drying oregano today) into small bunches and bind each bunch together. I find twist ties work well, but you can also use rubber bands or even string.

Place each bunch in a lunchbag-sized paper bag. This will keep the sun and dust off as the herbs dry. Use a stapler to bind the herb stems in the corner. This holds the bag on when it is hung. You could just hang the bunches without the bags. Be sure you hang them where they will not get full of dust.

Hang these bunches in a warm, dry place until dry. The length of time it will take to dry will depend on your climate and temperature.

I live in a very dry climate, and I hung my bags out in my garden shed where it gets pretty warm during the day. It only took a couple days and the oregano was dry and crispy. When the bunches are nice and dry, simply use your fingers and crunch the leaves off the stems.

Place the leaves in an airtight container. Canning jars are perfect!

Check your jar in a day or two to make sure that there is no condensation showing on the sides. If there is, the oregano is not quite dry enough. If that happens, just spread the oregano out in a pan and leave uncovered for another day or two to more fully dry.

Be sure and label your jar. You will forget what you put in the jar! You can always do a sniff test and see if you can guess what it was, but it is so much easier to just grab the labeled jar and know what you are getting. I just used a Sharpie marker. You could also use masking tape or get cute computer labels printed on your computer.

Store in a dark place. A pantry or cupboard is fine.

Oregano divided into six different bundles on the countertop.
Oregano divided into bundles.
Tying oregano stems together tightly.
Tie the bundles together.
Wrapping the bundles of herbs in paper bags with a tray of herb leaves sitting in the background.
Wrap the bundles in small paper bags.
A pile of dried herb leaves sitting next to a pile of bare herb stems.
When crunchy, crumble leaves off the stems.
A closed jar filled with dried oregano leaves and labeled accordingly.

How to Dry Herbs By Removing the Leaves First

Another way to dry herbs is to remove the leaves from the stems and then lay the leaves out on a tray or pan to dehydrate. Cover with cheesecloth and set in a dark, warm place for a few days until dry.

Package the dried oregano in jars just as described above. Be sure and check your jar for any condensation.

This method works just as well as the first method above, but to me it is much easier to hang by the stems and crumble the leaves off after they have dried.

You get to choose what method you like best for you!

Pulling herb leaves off herb stems by hand.
Pull the leaves off the stems.
Individual herb leaves spread over a metal cookie sheet to dry.
Spread out on a tray and allow to dry.

How to Dry Herbs

Learning how to dry herbs is fun, easy, and economical. Do you grow and cook with your own fresh kitchen herbs? Drying herbs is a great way to preserve them to use in the winter months.
Print Recipe
A large stainless steel bowl filled with freshly picked herbs.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes



  • Fresh Herbs


Drying Herbs on the Stem

  • Divide your herbs into small bunches, binding them together.
  • Place each bunch in a paper bag if desired. (Bind the herb stems to the corner using a stapler.)
  • Hang the bunches in a warm, dry place until herbs are dry.
  • Place leaves in a labeled airtight container.

Drying Herb Leaves

  • Remove the leaves from the stems.
  • Lay out leaves on a tray.
  • Cover with cheesecloth.
  • Set in a warm, dark place for a few days until dry.
  • Place leaves in a labeled airtight container.

Related Pages

Dehydrating Tomatoes

Dehydrating Tomatoes

Learn how to dry tomatoes and make homemade tomato powder!

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Dehydrator Reviews

What is the best model, brand, and type of dehydrator? Click here and see what others think.

Freezing Herbs

Freezing Herbs

Freezing herbs like basil, oregano, sage, and parsley are all covered in our free guide on preserving your spices fresh all winter long. Pick up some new skills at SimplyCanning.com.

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How to Dry Fresh Herbs

Page last updated: 6/9/2021

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2 years ago

One of the best and fastest places to dry herbs is in a car, if you don’t mind the fragrance. Move the car into a spot where full sun shines in the windshield for much or most of the day. Open the front windows just a crack. Line the seats and the floorboards with clean newspapers. Distribute your herbs, stem and all, across the newspapers in a single layer. Check daily until dry. If you have to use the car, dump the herbs in a bag, fold the newspapers, and repeat when you return. When drying moist herbs like mint,… Read more »