The fashion for dried flowers is not stopping! Today I am considering the loveliest, easiest plants out there that can be grown by you for cutting and drying. Now is the time to get out there and gather. Part 2 is all about dried flowers for weddings and bouquets and in part 3 flower lists for commercially prepped materials that enhance the design vase or bouquet. Rounding off with top tips for looking after dried flowers in part 4..So much to come!
Before we get down to that remember that if you have bought some cut flowers you can often just try letting them dry naturally to see what happens. It is amazing how many flower types will dry if it is warm and dry where they are placed. So, don’t be too speedy at tidying away that gift vase of flowers and foliage. Wait to see what dries well!
Easy flower drying tips:
To air dry most cut flowers you just suspend the bunch upside down so they dry straight or simply put an inch of water in a vase and let the water disappear. Let them dry in a warm, dry space out of direct sunlight. Avoid dampness at all cost.
Cut your flowers just before they are fully open as they often continue to open once cut and leave a long stem so they can be tied up once dry.
If you leave it too late to pick they can go to fluff or shed petals. I once cut some bulrush heads, left them overnight and came down the next day to a room full of fluffy seeds! Try a squirt of hairspray to mitigate this.
Easiest larger flowers to cut for drying:
Easiest smaller flowers for cutting and drying:
Easiest seed heads and grasses for cutting and drying:
Nigella- round seed pods with curly bits are lovely
Poppy- a usefull weed!
Pampas grass- silky plumes of loveliness. Just check the final size of a plant as some are massive
Lunaria- honesty moon discs dry well
Cotinus- smoke bush has smoky froth in the autumn when the large shrub is a blazeof colour. Fab
Easiest foliage to cut and dry:
When it comes to leaves they all tend to curl up a bit if left to air dry and become brittle. Best to try standing cut stems in one part glycerine with three parts hot water for a week or two. The glycerine is taken into the veins and stops the plant getting too dry. The leaf colour will change but the final result is very long lasting. In terms of types of foliage I always go by the 'feel test'. If the leaf feels leathery or tough then odds are that it will dry for you beautifully eg Hedera helix or British ivy, x cyparis , conifer and Euonymus are common examples. Eucalyptus contains the oily gum that also helps to preserve it well.
So give cutting and drying a go! Plant a few 'everlasting flowers' for now and the future.
X Helen at Verdila