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August 15th 2021

Discovering Dried Flowers

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Floret

Only in recent years have I become a fan of dried flowers. I always used to turn up my nose at them because they reminded me of tacky, dated flower books from the late ‘80s.

Now I can’t believe it took me so long to discover their benefits. Drying flowers means you can preserve the abundance from your garden to be enjoyed later, when nothing is blooming. Back when we were finishing the winter chapter of the A Year in Flowers, I realized how useful and versatile dried flowers really are.  

Dried flowers hanging from ceiling at FloretIf you use the right method, you can dry just about anything, and there are dozens of books on the subject lining the shelves of used bookstores and thrift stores. A couple of years ago I discovered a dated but incredibly helpful book, Flowers: Growing-Drying-Preserving, by Alan Cormack and David Carter, that goes into great detail on all the different varieties that you can dry, plus step-by-step instructions for how to do it, whether you’re air drying or using silica gel.

There are so many ways to use dried flowers, seed pods, and grasses: in late autumn arrangements, adorning fresh holiday wreaths, or even mixed with fresh blooms. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the varieties that are the easiest to grow and most popular for drying.
Red and white strawflowersStrawflowers (pictured above) are a traditional standby, but the gorgeous new colors and varieties make them seem entirely different from those ’80s flowers, and they actually look incredible when mixed with fresh blooms.

Start seed indoors in trays 6 weeks before your last frost. Seed requires light to germinate so do not cover. Bottom-water until seedlings emerge, and transplant out after all danger of frost has passed. For drying, you can cut them at the desired stage of openness, and they’ll hold in that stage.

Statice growing in fieldBlue staticeStatice, another standby, is one of the best flowers for drying and also wonderful when used fresh. Easy to grow and great for beginners, this versatile plant’s papery flowers bloom all summer long.

Start seeds indoors 6 weeks before last frost; transplant out when all danger of frost has passed. Harvest when all flowers on a stem have appeared. If picked too soon, stems will wilt. Fresh flowers have a 7- to 10-day vase life.
dried statice and celosiaLarkspur (second from right, above) is one of the easiest cut flowers to grow—cold-tolerant and early to bloom, its adds tall, colorful spikes to spring gardens.

Direct seed in late fall or early spring or start seed indoors in trays 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost, and plant out while weather is still cool. Plants do best when sown directly in the garden. Larkspur can be planted in fall in even the coldest corners of the world. Speed up germination by chilling seed in a refrigerator or freezer for a week before sowing.

To dry, let all but the top three to four blooms open, then pick and hang upside down in a warm, dry place out of bright light for 2 weeks.
dried celosia
Grown for their unique textural blooms, celosias are vigorous and free-flowering. These easy-to-grow flowers come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and forms, ranging from a crested cockscomb to spikey, plumed forms that are great accents for bouquets.

Flower heads get bigger over time, so pick when they are the size that you want, but before they go to seed. Celosias often last 2 weeks as fresh flowers. To dry them, hang freshly cut stems upside down in a warm dark place for 2 to 3 weeks or until they are firm to the touch.

Pastel mix globe amaranthGlobe Amaranth have adorable, button-like blooms that look great in bouquets. This late summer darling thrives in the heat and is hard-working in both the garden and in the vase.

Start seed indoors in trays 4 to 6 weeks before last frost; transplant out after all danger of frost has passed. Freshly harvested flowers can last up to 2 weeks in the vase, and dried flowers look nearly the same as fresh ones.

EucalyptusEucalyptus is a staple, much in demand by florists and for weddings. Its blue-green and silvery hues set off both cool and warm floral palettes, and everyone loves its distinctive methol fragrance. Our favorite is ‘Round-Leaved Mallee’, pictured above.

Eucalyptus can be grown as an annual from seed if started early. Sow seed on the surface of the soil and do not cover. Seeds are very slow to germinate and take 45 days to sprout, so be patient. Harvest once foliage is mature and tips are no longer droopy.

Cut fresh, eucalyptus is a long-lasting foliage—often 2 weeks in the vase. As a dried foliage, it’s a favorite in autumn wreaths.

CressI discovered cress, a fantastic filler, almost a decade ago and have been a fan ever since. Just a few stems of these seedy treasures transform every bouquet. The tall, sturdy plants are smothered in beautiful silvery seed pods that aren’t prone to wilting or shattering.

Cress is extremely quick to germinate and produces a bumper crop in just 2 months. We direct sow it every 2 to 3 weeks from our last spring frost through early summer for a steady supply.

Harvest when the seed pods are fully formed and the top blooms have faded for a 7- to 10-day vase life. If you succession sow. you’ll have plenty to dry for autumn bouquets and wreaths. Stems dry easily; just hang them upside down in a warm, dry place.
Bunny Tails grass‘Bunny Tails’ is an irresistible ornamental grass that’s as soft as a well-worn baby’s blanket. Compact plants produce graceful gray-green blades with elongated heads that turn a delicate cream color and soften as they age.

Harvest at any point once seed heads emerge. If you cut it fresh, expect a vase life of 7 days; no preservative needed.

To dry, wait until the pollen sheds, pick and hang upside down in a warm, dark place. Everyone who visits the farm loves this grass! It mixes well with everything and looks fantastic dried.
Amazing Grey poppyPoppy pods have long been a favorite in mixed bouquets. They are easy to grow and make a wonderful addition to any garden.

Breadseed poppies produce large decorative seed pods that can be dried and used indefinitely. ‘Rattle Poppy’ pods are as large as limes! Breadseed poppies do best when direct sown, but slugs love them, so keep an eye out.

PoppyShirley Poppies (pictured above) yield a bumper crop of miniature silver pods with darker tops that are excellent for handwork, bridal bouquets, and dried crafts.

Direct sow into the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Shirley Poppies can be started indoors; just take care when planting out not to disturb the roots too much.

Love in a mist podsMany other materials can be dried. You may want to experiment with lunaria, love-in-a mist (pictured above), hydrangea, and ornamental grasses.

tying up bunches of dried strawflowertying bunches of dried strawflowerWhen we were starting out with drying, we kept things easy and simply hung the harvested bunches upside down in the back of the garage, where it gets really hot and dry in the summer. Standard advice is to dry flowers in a warm, dark place, but thankfully ours dried so quickly that their color didn’t fade in the sunlight.

After the bunches were completely dry, we wrapped them in pieces of kraft paper and stored them in plastic Rubbermaid bins until we were ready to use them.

I gave two huge boxes of dried goodies to my friend Nina who makes the sweetest little dried wreaths that she sells at craft fairs. I divided the rest among the team, and the ladies had fun crafting with them.

dried flower wreathWhat got me going on the dried flower bandwagon in the first place was my flower friend Siri Thorson.

Siri lives on one of the most remote San Juan islands and travels between her family’s farm and destinations worldwide arranging flowers. She makes the most stunning works of art from dried flowers that she grows on her family’s farm and ships nationwide around the holidays.

Pictured are some of Siri’s everlasting wreaths. Aren’t they amazing?

dried flower wreathI am determined to learn Siri’s secrets. She’s hinted at teaching a few workshops, and I’m planning to be the first person to sign up. 

dried flowers at FloretHere are a few important things to keep in mind if you’re planning to dry flowers:

  • Flowers for drying should be picked more open than you would for fresh cuts, but make sure they’re not too ripe. I would suggest picking blooms when they are about three-quarters of the way open. If overly ripe, they will fall apart during the drying process.
  • After flowers are harvested, you’ll want to remove all of the foliage and leaves on the stem because they will turn brown and crispy when they dry.
  • Be sure to hang your bunches upside down while they are drying because the flower heads will be fixed in whatever position they were in when they dried. Hanging them upside down will ensure straight, usable stems.
  • Handle dried flowers with care because they are quite fragile and can break easily. If you aren’t going to use them right away, you can wrap them in tissue or kraft paper and store them away until needed.

Even if you only save aside a few bunches of flowers for drying, I’d highly recommend that you give it a try. You’ll be glad to have them on hand during the lean winter months.

dried flowers in studioI’d love to hear what you think about dried flowers. Are you drying any flowers from your garden this season, or do you think of them as tacky and dated? If you’re a dried flower fan, I’d love to know your favorite varieties for drying and any resources that you’d recommend for beginners.

Please note: If you submit a comment and it doesn’t show up right away, sit tight; we have a spam filter that requires we approve most comments before they are published.

Lastly, if you find this information helpful, I would love it if you’d share it with your friends.

188 Comments

  1. Jeannie on

    In the Larkspur photo, what is the white bloom? The photo from left to right it looks like straw flower, ?, larkspur, celosia.
    Thank you, as always, for your inspiration and sharing your knowledge. Can’t wait to get started :)

    Reply
  2. Kayla on

    Thank you for always creating the most thorough and educational posts. We have a dream to start our own micro cut flower and lavender farm. This post was incredibly helpful for trying to figure out what we might plant to pair with dried lavender in bundles. The Bunny’s Tails are especially fun!

    Reply
  3. Deb on

    Hi Erin!
    I greatly appreciate and enjoy your emails and all of the great info on your website. Your information on drying is spot on.
    I have been growing and drying statice, globes and strawflowers for over 15 years in northeast Ohio. I have a local greenhouse start my plants. I sell the dried flowers at craft shows along with my gourd art. There is something so beautiful about these flowers, especially in the fall. 🥰
    Thanks,
    Deb

    Reply
  4. Karen Ackerman on

    As always gorgeous flowers Erin and thanks so much for sharing. I have one question on the gomphrena, it’s the one you never actually gave instruction too. I have tried drying it and it just turns limp. Do you simply hang that upside down as well in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight? Is there any other preparation to that flower before drying. I definitely could use some tips on that one.

    Thanks so much for your brilliance,
    Flowers Galore Flower Farm
    Karen Ackerman

    Reply
  5. Christina Rose on

    Erin~
    Again I thank you for your love of flowers! I share that love with you and I am learning so much through your series, blog post, emails and all your books are in my shopping cart ready for purchase!
    I have always been interested in drying flowers and your ideas of the best to dry are much appreciated. I even dry red chilies varieties and tuck in some of my wreaths and swags for gifts. I have always dried the roses that my husband gives me from time to time, both for sentimental reasons and for use. I tuck them in spring heart wreaths or for gift tag embellishments. I even have an ornamental, small glass container with the tiny, delicate, miniature rose buds in it for decor in my office. I have mixed soft pink, white and red buds. They’re gorgeous even dried!
    The last bouquet he gave me, I dried as usual and stored in a jar with lid, as usual, but within a short time they molded. I was shocked to see that happen. Did I not let this group dry enough before storing? Or was it the air right container? I ask because you mentioned you store in Rubbermaid bins which I assume have a lid and is airtight. Advice please?
    Thanks for always sharing your gifts, talent and wisdom!
    ~ Christina

    Reply
  6. Karma on

    This blog post is a small book in itself and I thank you

    Reply
  7. Fannie Trépanier on

    Do you put any product on the dry flowers to keep them from breaking or resist time better?
    My mom used to dry flower and put some hairspray on them, but it is not very ecological!

    Reply
  8. Suzanne Wu on

    I have been one of those folks who turned up my nose at faded dusty dried bouquets. This blog has me inspired to try. I did not know how many plants can be dried. I love making my own wreaths. Now I can add interesting flower joy to my wreaths! Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Sandy Greig on

    I’ve been reading your newsletter for years and wondered why you never mentioned drying flowers. Never too late to join the party! They have been a staple for my homestead farm for more than 40 years and sell very well at local roadstands. Wreaths and arrangements are popular year-round. I love the new colors for statice and strawflowers that have become available in the last few years. I also love ammobium, easy to start from seed and long seasoned.
    If you know of a source for artemesia silver king, I’d love to have some for wreathes and as a bouquet filler. Also, do you know anywhere to get German statice seed?

    Reply
  10. Becky on

    I have been drying flowers for years and just experimenting with all kinds. Yellow mums really turned out so well!! Make sure to pick early though like you said or they will fall apart!! I have also dried the petite double daffodils!! Yellow ones! Use rubber bands to bundle instead of string so it shrinks with the bundle. Violets are so dainty and the deep purple with dark yellow centers really keep their color. Have Fun. 🌻

    Reply
  11. Michele Adams on

    Iam so excited to try drying my beautiful zinnias, thank you so much for the information. I just finished reading your beautiful book, Cut Flower Garden, the illustrations are so beautiful, I just loved it and look forward to getting your other books. Michèle Adams, Picabo, Idaho

    Reply
  12. Magdalena on

    Yes I have been drying Flowers for years.
    Over time I have learned the timing necessary to harvest for successful drying.a challenge in itself on the westcoast of Ireland.love that challenge though.as I run out of them too soon I’ve decided to prepare a place in my Garden for next year and grow specifically.im looking forward to that.
    Thank you for your information I like to learn more .

    Reply
  13. Joan Halsey on

    I love preserving flowers and have had some success with zinnias and globe amaranth. Blackberry lily is a favorite. Thank you for these useful tips. I’m going to give some of these a try.

    Reply
  14. Pamela Santos on

    I haven’t had a garden for years…and with your inspiration I’m going to plant my first cut flower garden next spring. We are living and loving our summer in a camper, until our house is delivered any week now. But, this time is allowing me to learn and take note of information to make it successful. Thank you for being with me as I learn a new flower adventure I’m watching your shop carefully waiting to purchase seeds for next season!
    With best appreciation
    Pam

    Reply
  15. Mignon Atkinson on

    Erin, I live in Australia and am a great fan of your newsletters.I just love the beauty of your photo..just luscious.
    I am also a botanical artist so you can understand my interest in your flowers.This article on dried flowers falls close to home as many of the strawflowers are native to Australia.They can be picked by the roadside in January in the New England part of NSW.Of course the Mallee gum is a native as well.Western Australia is home to an incredible source of wild flowers..worth a trip downunder
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful passion with us

    Reply
  16. Joy F on

    Love dried flowers! I too made wreaths, floral arrangements in the 80’s and sold them to shops and did craft shows in the fall. Does your farm sell dried flowers or would your friend Siri sell and ship? Thanks for the article. Always need inspiration. I would love to plant a cut flower garden but I’m afraid the deer in our neighborhood would eat the flowers. We had beautiful hosta’s growing in our yard and I didn’t realize that I had created a salad bar for them!

    Reply
  17. Gayle Breslin on

    I am going to grow and dry some of these flowers next summer in an attempt to use for my daughters wedding next October! So thanks for this information. —But I’ll keep a florist available just in case:)

    Reply
  18. Debbie Merten on

    Erin…..I throughly enjoy reading your books over and over,buying your seeds, watching your videos and making notes on all your wonderful tips.
    I was smiling to myself reading about drying flowers. Back in the 80s I dried every flower I could and made dried wreaths
    to sell at craft fairs. I LOVED making wreaths and now am looking forward to doing this again with dried flowers. Your friend makes beautiful wreaths and I would love to watch her make some. You can’t imagine how much you inspire me. I have been a hairstylist for 40 years and have always had lots of flowers in my yard. I bought your seed canisters and had a bumper crop of flowers and started selling flower arrangements at my salon!!! I would like to quit doing hair in the next few years and hopefully do flower arrangements from my home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart❤️

    Reply
  19. janet hall on

    It is always good to learn and try something new! Thank you for the information!

    Reply
  20. Theresa LeBeau on

    Hello from Wyoming , I have worked as a florist in the past & have always enjoyed Dried flowers , seems like the appreciation for dried flowers kind of comes & goes &’seems like it’s coming around again , the pictures you shared of Siri’s work has inspired me again , I love texture & color , I luv adding things like feathers , pods , grasses , dried wreaths & swags add so much texture to yr decor, I recently did wreaths made out of bob-wire & old ropes for a rustic log cabin , they were so fun & also did a
    Huge wreath out of curly willow for the fire place , fun fun , also did a herb & spice wreath for the kitchen , have fun & enjoy , take care , luv Tres ❤️

    Reply
  21. Donna Zell on

    A great, informative, and beautiful article! I’ve never really been a fan of dried flowers either, but, of course, you and the gal who made the wreaths, make them look gorgeous!

    Reply
  22. Jill Lee on

    Check out FLORA + LEE (@floraleeart & http://www.floraleeart.com), my company that dries all types of flowers (i.e. roses, peonies, ranunculus, anemone, orchids, etc.) in silica gel and then casts the dried flowers in epoxy resin! Modern Flower Preservation is super on trend and an amazing way to save your beloved blooms! xoxoxo, Jill Lee

    Reply
  23. Capell Simmons on

    I really want to dry zinnias, daisy and cosmos…..when I tried hanging them upside down, the shape of the blooms withered and collapsed, changing its original bloom shape….have you ever tried drying them right side up so the blooms might retain their shape?

    Reply
  24. Gretchen on

    Keep the lid on! You don’t want any moisture or little bugs or moths getting in to have a snack on your beautiful flowers :).

    Reply
  25. Lina on

    So glad you came to realize the value of dried flowers.

    Reply
  26. Susan C. Roberts on

    Have always loved dried flowers. Beautiful article with so much help as always Erin. Now if I can just get my strawflowers to grow!

    Reply
  27. Susan C. Roberts on

    Have always loved dried flowers. Beautiful article with so much help as always Erin. Now if I can just get my strawflowers to grow!

    Reply
  28. Jeanne on

    I love drying Hydrageas. I have some from last summer that still look wonderful. I have dried them upside down, in water and in vegetable glycerine. They are very soft when dried in the glycerin. Do zinnias dry well?

    Reply
  29. Genevieve Beery on

    I have grown and dried Strawberry Fields gomphrena (amaranth) for many years now because I love including that pop of red in Christmas wreaths and arrangements. Furthermore, not only do its tall stems look great during the summer in floral bouquets, it is also one of those flowers that continues to bloom until frost. And even better, the more I pick them the more they produce! They’re one of my favorites.

    Reply
  30. Mary McCord on

    I have loved dried flowers and materials for decades. In the nineties I would grown and dry materials, make them into bouquets, posies, wreaths, etc, and sell them at craft fairs. It was a way of supplementing money for our two daughters college. It truly paid off both monetarily and psychologically.

    Reply
  31. Cris on

    I have dried flowers since I was a little girl. (Now 64!) I never kept them on their stems though. I would put them in a flower press and decorate my books with them. 3 years ago my daughter got married and we decided to put dried flowers and petals in a paper cone with a rolled paper flower on the cone to throw instead of birdseed. I collected the majority of the flowers and petals from my summer flower pots, garden etc. I did order some dried petals from a company and they were lovely to mix in with mine. It worked beautifully and seeing those little petals fall on them was so pretty!! Thank you for this article!

    Reply
  32. arline of VA on

    I would love to learn more. I grow a few yarrows and hydrangeas – Annabelle and limelight, that I hope to dry this year.

    Reply
  33. Elly on

    When your flowers, pods, etc. are COMPLETELY dried, it’s a good idea to store them in containers that are roomy and have a lid for sure…keeps out any stray moth and moisture.

    Reply
  34. Diane on

    Hi Erin
    I’m from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and absolutely loved the Linum I grew last year.
    Linum grandiflorum – blue dress
    Delightful little blue flower that moved in the breeze, but stunning wee round seedpod that dried very well and remains good as we enter spring again. I think it would suit the wee wreaths perfectly.
    Love your books, and email messages. Thank you

    Reply
  35. Dorte Winther Bruhn on

    Dear Erin
    I simply love your post, as always. I’m a new flower farmer from Scandinavia, and I gain much knowledge from following your blog and IG account, so thank you so much. We match climate conditions to a large extent. I never believed in coincidences. I happened to stumble on exactly the book you recommend on growing, drying and preserving flowers – in a thrift shop in Denmark a couple of months ago and paid two bucks for it. Very grateful for this little life hack/lesson; Check for flower books in thrift shops ❤️
    Love and the best of luck with all your projects
    from a small scale flower farmer in Denmark
    Dorte

    Reply
  36. Sherry on

    I had a similar feeling about dried flowers.. but have recently become intrigued. I have tried silica gel drying this season, had some fails, but some wins! Thank you for the book tip, I was able to score a vintage copy for $13.00 so excited to learn more!

    Reply
  37. Nancy on

    This is so exciting! I adore the concept of keeping flowers available throughout the winter months. Siri’s wreaths are indeed magnificent. Thank you Erin!
    Nancy

    Reply
  38. Beth on

    How long should the flowers dry before you use them or store them away?

    Reply
  39. Lisa Thomas on

    Hello! When I store the dried flower in a clear container, do I put a lid of it? Does the lid need to be clear too? Thank you from Ostrander,Ohio.

    Reply
  40. Sally - The Sussex Gardener on

    I only grow flowers for drying but I would love to have more success with celosia, maybe it’s the British climate.

    Reply
  41. Rachel Williams on

    I agree with you . . . that’s always been a problem that I’ve seen . . . dust and cobwebs that are impossible to get rid of. I like the idea of sending them back to nature once their purpose is finished.

    Reply
  42. Judy on

    I have been a dried flower fan since the 1990’s as I had an Everlasting garden plot to educate the public in the Master Gardener Demonstration garden in my Wa. State County. It has always thrilled me, in the middle of a grey winter day, to go to my collections to create a colorful gift for a friend. Peonies, hydrangeas, dogwood flowers, bulbous oat grass, pearly everlasting, stattice, Nigella and bee balm are some of my favorites.

    Reply
  43. Karen J Burzdak on

    Many years ago I went through the dried-flower phase of my gardening experiences. Perhaps they will make a come-back. I thought the muted colors were absolutely beautiful as a bridal bouquet.
    This year I bought some seeds of Bells of Ireland. I discovered that by broadcasting them on a garden bed, they germinated easily. They have yet to bloom, but they will. And I will dry them, also. I happen to love green flowers. Maybe the green zinnias will dry nicely, also.

    Reply
  44. Tammy Meza on

    I really wish I could grow the Eucalyptus. I have to buy it on line. My Daughter puts it in her shower. It helps alot with claiming.

    Reply
  45. Jeannie Kempf on

    I like to dry delphinium, larkspur, and hydrangeas they make beautiful winter bouquets

    Reply
  46. Lisa Clow on

    I kind of feel the same as the opinion that dried flower crafts in the 80s weren’t appealing. But after thinking about it, the crafts weren’t bad but people just kept them too long. Cob webs and dust would settle in but that dried flower craft would remain on the buffet. I think dried flower crafts should have a shelf life and then be returned to nature. What do you think?

    Reply
  47. Jean Shaw on

    I dry lavender every year, cut from my one “Grosso” cultivar. It holds rather well, both in terms of color and fragrance.

    Reply
  48. Deborah Davies on

    Achillea is a great flower to dry for wreaths and to mix in fresh bunches. Easy to dry – just hang upside down as described in your post. Yellows and berry shades particularly good.

    Reply
  49. Margo Duke on

    I adore dried flowers in baskets and have done extensive arrangements in baskets in the 80s and I sold them at fairs. One of my commissions was an arrangement for a large summer fireplace. When we lived in Maryland, at one point my closet ceiling was full of roses that I had shipped from A wholesaler in California and looked so gorgeous! Before that I worked for a woman who had a business drying flowers in silica gel and we preserved wedding bouquets under glass in shadow boxes padded with velvet – we did jewelry as well with tiny blossoms – such exciting memories! Thank you for bringing them back!

    Reply
  50. Carla Hanson on

    I used to have a plastic tub of silica gel that I would use to dry plants and flowers and experiment with some that didn’t turn out very well. I had good luck with roses in the bud stage or partially open bud stage. I also like to dry hydrangea for fall and winter arrangements. Like the look of lavender dried but seems like it fades quite a lot. My other favorite is celosia… so many colors now and unique shaped bloom heads. Thanks for this post. I haven’t done any flower drying in a while but this has inspired me to start up again.

    Reply
  51. Nanette Taylor on

    I have dried hydrangeas for decorating in my house. The blue fades into this blueish sage green color. They are beautiful! I have also dried pussy willows for use in tall vases. They last for years!
    I loves this blog on dried flowers! Thank you, Erin, for helping make the world a more beautiful place!

    Reply
  52. Joanne Crouch on

    I have 2 favorites for making wreaths and they are wonderful as a background for dried flowers, and those are Sweet Annie, or Artemesia Annua, and Silver King Artemesia which is a perennial. Both need to be picked when mature and stalks begin to stiffen. (The Annua I’m careful to pick after the tiny buds open and close which is usually about the time of the first frost.) Picking either early will not yield a material stiff enough for use. Best to use as you pick and let the wreath base dry before adding flowers. I wrap them on a wire base in small bunches much like you might wrap evergreen for holiday wreaths. You can also hang and dry for arrangement filler but can be brittle and messy if overly dry. Experimenting with different stages will give you results you seek.

    Reply
  53. Leslie on

    I’m responding to Anita’s comment. I live in Western NC as well, in the mountains in Haywood County. My strawflowers came up this year and are flowering. This is the first year I grew them- just put out the seeds after frost and have been watering them when we have a break in the rain for more than 3 days. Good luck!

    Reply
  54. Sandra on

    Roses also are wonderful dried …. All sizes and colors and when dried take on a beautiful vintage look .

    Reply
  55. Jessica on

    This is very inspiring!! I’m very offput by dried flowers typically because I always think of them as dust catchers BUT I love the varieties mentioned! Looking forward to playing with dried flowers in the future. Great post!

    Reply
  56. Debbie Bloom on

    Ouch, the tacky comment stings. In our minds, we were new and innovative at the time. I love that you have taken something from the past and updated and upgraded the process, and I am so thankful for your high level of craft and content; you are truly inspirational. Thank you to you and your team for sharing your passion!

    Reply
  57. Kathy Stockton on

    I am interested in saving zinnia seeds. I have a raised bed. Va zone 7a. Should I pluck the flower top off and save it to dry out and replant next spring or should I let them stay in raised bed and let them come back on their own next summer?
    Thank you,
    Kathy Stockton

    Reply
  58. Lennie B. Knight on

    Yarrow is also a delight to enjoy dried. Sprigs of bright fresh yellow or red yarrow enhance zinnia bouquets in Summer, and then dry nicely retaining color in the vase after the zinnias have faded. The dried yarrow complements autumn decor beautifully.

    Reply
  59. Cristianna Cooke-Gibbs on

    Thank you for sharing this information.
    Do you have any advise for drying amaryth, sunflowers, or broom corn?

    Thank you
    Cris

    Reply
  60. Sara Reddick on

    I like to mix “live” flowers and dried ones in arrangements, particularly around Thanksgiving. Using the live flowers seems to bring the dried ones up a notch. November in the South is a hard time to find the colors you may need for a harvest table, so this solution has served me well through the years.

    Reply
  61. Jodi Spragins on

    I like them best when they are hanging from the ceiling of a picturesque barn or garden shed like yours!

    Reply
  62. Augusta on

    The only flowers I’ve ever dried are hydrangea. I found an article about smashing the stems & putting them in a vase filled with regular glycerin until they absorb as much as they can. They remain more supple & don’t loose petals. My question is do you have any experience with this method and can it be used with other flower varieties?
    You article is extremely informative and encouraging!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  63. Ruby jacob on

    Erin, you explain everything so simply that even novices like me not only understand but are excited to try drying a few of the flowers growing in the garden. I’ve seen folks drying them before but they lose their colours. So hoping for success using your method.

    Reply
  64. Cynthia Clohessy on

    I have been drying flowers since the 80’s and still enjoy them.
    Have sold wreaths and dried bunches in shops and at Farmers Market and festivals. I really enjoy the flowers being here in my home particularly in the darkest winter days. They bring joy and cheer. Probably my favorites are lavender and gomphrena. Really enjoy your blogs and look forward to the next.

    Reply
  65. Anita Segers on

    Are straw flowers difficul to grow in certain climates? I’ve struggled to get them to come up. This season I have an abundance of plants but no flowers. I’ve given them tons of bloom fertilizer, still no flowers. I grow many other flowers with no problems. I live in zone 6 or 7, depending on the map…in western N.C. Mountains. Help. Anita in N.C.

    Reply
  66. Yvonne Harmon on

    Thanks for your helpful posts!
    I’ve enjoyed drying hydrangea and weaving them into autumn wreaths over the years. They generally last several years if dried at the right time. I try to harvest when they have started to dry on the shrub, but still retain some color. Hanging upside down in a dark, airy place is the method I’ve used. I also like to embellish the wreaths with dried yarrow… the traditional mustard yellow yarrow retains its color beautifully if hung when fully opened. Baptisia pods are also nice added to the mix as well as the varieties you’ve highlighted.

    Reply
  67. Cindy on

    I tried drying flowers years ago when we lived in Florida. But the humidity was so high the flowers would rehydrate and look a mess. I hadn’t thought of it again- but now that we live in the Northwest-I’d live to try it. I so enjoy reading and learning about flowers and the different journeys/ paths you and your team have been on. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration you all give

    Reply
  68. Violet Miller on

    Your blog is so down-to-earth informative ALWAYS!! But this one is SUPER AWESOME!!! Thx!!!♥️♥️💯💯💯

    Reply
  69. Linda Muir on

    I have always loved dried flowers (even in the 80’s:). Since it was a popular craft at the time they were available at stores especially unique things like pods. I dry many things from my garden. Artemisia ‘silver king’, sweet Annie, oat grass are some of my favorites. I also just got a small crop of coin plant which is a biennial. One thing I do besides hanging upside down is to dry things in a shape. I love wreaths of artemisia & sweet Annie. As I harvest I either loosely tie then into rings or wrap them over old wire wreath forms or just push them into a bucket. This gives them a rounded shape and they are easier to use with less breakage. I do this for vines as well. I take a bucket with me and shape right in the field. I’m so glad the dried are coming back with the beautiful updated artistry of today.

    Reply
  70. Heather on

    You have inspired me to return to dried flowers. Many years ago I grew flowers for drying and adored the pleasure they gave in the darker months . I must niw use your helpful information to plan for next year. Thank you.

    Reply
  71. Darlene MacDonald on

    Thank you for sharing your expertise. I can’t wait for your blog on keeping seeds from your own flower beds & the best way to store them over winter. Again, thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  72. kenneth chojnacki on

    Can you detail the process of using silica gel for drying flowers?
    Thanks

    Reply
  73. Talya Tate Boerner on

    Wow. As soon as the sun comes up, I’m heading out to pick flowers for drying. I want to try my hand at designing a wreath for fall. Just lovely!

    Reply
  74. Cindy Coble on

    Loved reading this and I am going to try drying !! I live in the Northeast and have lots of lavender and hydrangeas.
    Thank you for the inspiration..always!!
    Cindy

    Reply
  75. Ann on

    Very informative. ANM M

    Reply
  76. Mitzi Gilliam on

    Well this has made me decide to clean out the shed just to have the floor space to get a ladder in there to hang flowers! Thank you as always your blog inspires!

    Reply
  77. Joanne on

    Can dahlias be dried successfully?

    Reply
  78. Linda Hoenigsberg on

    Thanks for this! I used to own Little Fox Farm on Fox Island, WA. I grew herbs and flowers for wreaths and topiaries and taught workshops. over twenty years ago a move placed me on a street with a tiny back yard that is full of shade. I’ve made due, but gave up thinking about herbs and flowers long ago. I’m moving again and I’ve got dreams…not commercial dreams but personal dreams…of a cutting flower bed and dried herbs and flowers. I’ll be buying my seeds from you when that day comes. Again, thanks for this. You got my creative juices flowing this morning.

    Reply
  79. Jane Aronson on

    Your blogs, emails are the first thing I read in the morning and I can’t wait for the next. I’m learning so much ! Love the pictures too. So very beautiful. I’ve dried a few hydrangeas this year that have held their blue color. The zinnias are tall now and will be the next. Would you do a short teaching lesson for saving the seeds for the home flower gardener? Can’t wait to purchase seeds and learning more. Thank you for sharing! ❤️

    Reply
  80. Visar Duane on

    Hi,
    You mentioned eucalyptus. Do you dry them the same way like the other flowers? I dried them last year, but their tips didn’t keep their shape (drooped).

    Thank you,
    Visar

    Reply
  81. Daryl June Liam on

    To preserve the color of the flowers that you want to dry, remove them from sunlight immediately after cutting and dry them in a dark room.
    Keep them out of direct sunlight and areas of bright light, as this will cause the colors to fade and can make the flowers brittle.

    Reply
  82. Dani on

    Hi Erin, firstly your blog really is beautiful so thank you for sharing, teaching and inspiring.
    I’m really feeling into the wonderful world of flower art and would love to hear recommendations for pressing flowers dry.

    Reply
  83. Cynthia on

    I dried many flowers last year but didn’t get the opportunity to use most of them. Can I still use them this year or will they be unreliable and fragile?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  84. Frøydis Helene Hauge on

    Silica gel is a pouder like sand that can extract moisture from plant and flower matriale whithin a week for a rose, shorter or longer time depend on the moisture leval for other flowers. I dries roses,pompom dahlias,zinnias, hydrangea,piony, carnation and a lot of other flowers
    that usely are not everlastings. They will hold their color ans chape, but chrink a bit and the color can be darker than when they are frech.

    Glyserin is a metode to soften flowers so they will not crack so easily. You have glyserin mixed in the water and let for exsample limonium flowers and amaranthus caudatus soak it up a few days. The green stalk will turn olive green, and be softend. The limonum colored sepal
    (the part of the plant that protect the flowers ,the actualy flowers are tiny white or yellow)will not be affected by the glyserin.
    another way of soften dried flower when you are working with them like making a wreath,is to put the flower you want to use in a plastic bag, spray it with wather, and leave it for half an hour. Then it will be soften and better to work with.

    Many of the flower we consider as dreid flowers like Helipterum roseum, Amobium alatum and Helichrysum bracteatum ( from 1990 named Xerochrysum bracteatum by Australian botanist) constist of more cellulose than other flowers do ,so they are papery and will keep their shape and color when dry. The do not need glyserin or silica gel .

    I am a norwegian florist and have grown drid flowers 30 years.

    Reply
  85. Laurie Stephens on

    Hi Erin have dried a few things over the years of playing with dried flowers. Do you find if you use silica etc. that it preserves color better than just hanging? I have bought some seed for dried flowers this year to experiment with other plants. Love extending the flower season with dried versions.

    Reply
  86. Hannah Ball on

    I think carnations make lovely dried flowers. I often clip just the blooms to a string garland on my wall. They are pretty fresh and as they dry, so I get the perfect combo of drying utility and decoration.

    Reply
  87. Sarah on

    I’m wondering what your thoughts are on glycerin and silica for flower preservation. Can flowers preserved with glycerin later be composted? I air dry all kinds of things but they can become brittle and difficult to work with, so I’m wondering about environmentally friendly techniques for everlastings. Thanks! Love what you do!

    Reply
  88. HveHope on

    Ornamental oregano, a low growing plant that can drape, has eucalyptus-like foliage & dusky-rose unusual blooms that dry beautifully.
    Our plant came with the house & is a happy perennial, but I noticed it was for sale in recent years at the Denver Botanic gardens.

    Reply
  89. Amanda on

    This blog was exactly what I was looking for! I have been circling the dried flower game for awhile – the beauty of dried flowers is so romantic. I ordered a few flower and eucalyptus seeds, and you gave me a few more to add to my seed trays! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  90. Lynn Galloway on

    Hi Erin and staff, Here is a question on your dried flower blog :in the photo on the blog page about dried flowers, can you tell me what the airy brown plants are with the pink flowers, they are at the back of the photo, hanging all in a line, upside down. Thanks, Lynn

    Reply
  91. Pam Williams on

    Some other materials not mentioned but I find are excellent and easy for dried arrangements/wreaths are: lambs ear (leaves & bloom stalk) and hydrangeas. From Floret’s seed inventory I have dried yarrow and zinnias using just plain air drying and silica sand. I also have dried bachelor buttons from air hanging-harvest just after opening. Lovely, Lovely, Lovely.

    Reply
  92. Anna on

    Hello Erin, I’m wondering if you are selling your dried flowers?
    Thank you

    Reply
  93. Jeannine LeVigne on

    Hi Erin – I highly recommend “The Complete Book of Everlastings” by Terry Silber. It is an older book but still available ( on Amazon) and packed with good information and inspiring ideas!

    Reply
  94. Stacey Young on

    I am very interested in learning more about working with dried flowers. I recently attended a wreath making class and made a beautiful wreath of dried flowers. I don’t know of anywhere to purchase dried flowers. Hopefully this year I can grow and dry flowers for wreaths, dried arrangements and potpourri! So any information is appreciated..

    Reply
  95. Linda Q on

    This year I grew strawflowers for the first time and the ones we did not use in fresh bouquets I hug to dry along with our extra celosia, statice, gomphrena & nigella. These came in handy in the fall to decorate mini pumpkins for my sisters wedding in November. I would really like to master the art of drying hydrangeas though. We hung ours upside down to dry and put them into wreaths but then found that they shattered easily after about a week. Are there any tips for drying hydrangeas so that they stay soft & pliable once dried?

    Reply
  96. Linda Long on

    I just completed a strawflower wreath, made from Floret’s strawflowers which I started from seed this past summer. It’s wonderful to have a little bit of summer in the house now that winter is here! I only grew the peach colored strawflower this year, so next year I will grow one of every color! I cant get enough of them. They remind me of my late grandmother’s garden.

    Reply
  97. Morgan Bowen on

    The flower farm I worked for this season made garlic braids and incorporated dried flowers between each bulb. They were bodacious and amazing!! We dried larkspur which turned out really well and also marigolds! They were so saturated and added such a nice pop to the arrangement. Along with grasses straw flowers, plume celosia, gomphrena, pods things like echinops and eucalyptus. I was even able to make a braid with all the colors of the rainbow. Pretty incredible. I wish I could share a photo. Since moving off the farm I’ve gotten a garden plot for this coming season needless to say I’ve dedicated about 800sq feet to flowers, hoping for the best.

    Reply
  98. Cindy Flake on

    I grow and dry bread seed poppies on the stalk. When fully dry, I clip the stems low and use them in arrangements. I currently have a display of a dozen or so 34″ bread seed poppies tucked in a narrow vase that is nestled inside a 5-gallon crock. I grow Flander’s field and many other poppy varieties. Fresh-cut poppies will last in a vase if you burn the stem with a lighter.

    Reply
  99. Robin Habing on

    I am adding strawflowers and more globe aramanth in spring garden. Siri’s everlastings are gorgeous! Thank you for all the great info.

    Reply
  100. Lynn Galloway on

    I apologize , my post on October 29th there was a misspelling of one of my favorite flowers for drying. Please note the correction:
    Statice suworowii. It’s worth checking out, as it is stunning.

    Reply
  101. Laura Russo on

    Hi, I’ve been working in a creative industry for 40 years and had to make a change after an accident. I’ve always dabbled in flowers always obsessed over flowers and this time last year I decided since I had time to start foraging and eventually making wreaths The foraging became a wonderful addiction and I have tons of things many of which I don’t even know what they are, if they are interesting I take them home dry them and sometimes paint them I don’t have my own gardens I wish I did and I’m glad I came across your website there is some great information. What I can share is the fact that so many are afraid to dry leaves, I often read people stating that leaves turn brown and fall apart when you dry them After almost a year of trial and error, I think I’ve mastered the leaf I wish I could post some pictures here I did leaves from a pear tree they are absolutely gorgeous and shiny after drying them in silica for 24 hours no longer , they came out perfect the only thing I had to do was seal them with clear spray paint semi gloss I’ve also learned that if you love hydrangeas and you would like to dry them let them dry partially on the stem on the bush before cutting them and finishing the drying process If you’d like to see some of my work unfortunately I don’t take the best photos I need to get better at that but I am recently a member of Instagram and it is called Lora’s lemon leaf company I also have a business page on Facebook please keep in mind that both of these are brand new and I am still learning to navigate I will be putting more photos on soon I just made my first three winter/holiday wreaths I’m very excited they are starting to sell and I must say the style of your friends wreaths are right up my alley I would look forward to hopefully getting into one of her workshops as well thank you for your time and your passion LAura.

    Reply
  102. Lynn Galloway on

    I am in the Sierra foothills of California and I have been growing flowers for drying and using in wreaths for many years. Some of the everlasting flowers that I love that I did not see on you site, but that dry easily are: Statice surrowii ( pink multi- stemmed spikes) Caspia( white to lavender wispy, airy for edges of wreaths), German Statice (white, numerous small white flowers on a stem)- good for filler, Painted Daisies( open papery white and shades of pink). Thanks for all your inspirations and knowledge. See some of these flowers on our wreaths on instagram-# Stalderdesigns.

    Reply
  103. Rita Campbell on

    I live in Georgia and the summers are usually hot and humid. How do you dry flowers in this kind of weather. Can you do it in an air conditioned room?

    Reply
  104. Shelley Yoshiwara on

    I dries statice and so celosia this year to use in wreaths and can’t wait to expand what I grow next year to have a bigger variety of dried goods! And of course anything you have to teach in this department I’m all in for!!

    Reply
  105. Kay Decker on

    I have a retail floral business, Bokay Studio, Pierre, South Dakota, of both fresh and dried flowers AND foliages. I often use a combination of fresh and dried in my wedding design! I enjoy your posts.
    Kay Decker
    http://www.bokaystudio.com

    Reply
  106. Mary Q. on

    I want to try drying plants this year. I love dried grasses–especially bottlebrush and switchgrass. I’m also thinking of hydrangea and some seed heads to complement evergreen arrangements.

    Reply
  107. Sandy Pehler on

    I am trying my hand at drying flowers this year. I have tried silica gel only on blooms, no stems, the colors are great. (Sunflowers, zinnias, celosia, pom dahlias, strawflowers, Lisianthus to name some blooms.) I found if I left them out with humidity they absorbed that back into the flower. I’m hanging also and I should have some almost done. (Amaranth, celosia, dahlias, etc.) I am hoping to use those on Christmas decor. I tried drying in the microwave with silica gel and had ok results, blooms turned a little darker. I have sprayed the blooms now to help prevent moisture affecting them. Just wondering if when you hang them would you have the same concern of air humidity affecting them once dried?

    Reply
  108. Chuey Bluey on

    Does anyone know about the dried flower spray that “dusts” them? I can’t remember the name of the product; we found it at the SF Flower Mart, probably in the 80s/90s.
    We called it “Dust-Eater Spray” and that describes exactly what it did! It was for Silk flowers, too. You can’t really vacuum or feather dust faux arrangements without messing them up. The spray somehow dissolved and totally disappeared all traces of dust.

    Please post back if you know of the product I’m talking about– gotta get my hands on some!

    Reply
  109. Sylvia on

    I’m glad to see them coming back. I’ve been drying flowers for 30+ years, One thing that causes them to seem dated, in my opinion, is when they are dyed in the hideous, lurid colors that don’t exist in nature. I’m always excited to find something new to dry – this year, I discovered hellebores, Peonies are one of my favorites for drying, but no matter how careful I am with them , they are eaten by moths. Does anyone else have this problem?

    Reply
  110. Deb Stockberger on

    I love dried flowers—–they are an art in themselves from growing to preserving and to use in arranging wreaths, swags, or other beautiful arrangements. I used to grow flowers such as the large amaranths to adorn my xmas tree along with baby’s breath, hydrangeas, and statice. How lovely they looked with a tree full of antique glass birds. Nothing tacky about that!

    Reply
  111. Winni on

    I love dried flowers. Dried flowers provide unique indoor decoration. Dried flowers and dried flower arrangements are long-lasting but it needs little bit care.

    Reply
  112. Judith Williams on

    I’m really trying to do this this year , your hints about when to cut them was winderful ! I have lavender and I’ve done those a little . Can anyone tell me about herbs ? Rosemary, basil, lemon grass? Sage ? How too ..

    Reply
  113. Marian on

    I love dried flower arranging! I used to make wreaths, swags, and centerpieces and had such fun- I sold at craft shows- Ladies loved decorating with them because they lasted so long! I have been waiting for it to catch on again since it’s so natural!!

    Reply
  114. Maureen A Conner on

    I love to dry flowers, that is my very favorite hobby. And making wreaths and swags with them….I am in heaven! A few of my favorites to dry are peonies, spray roses, larkspur, globe amaranth, nigella,, of course herbs….the list could go on and on! So glad you discovered and are enjoying them…..

    Reply
  115. Cheryle Duffy-Lehrer on

    Loving that your exploring this option again with fresh eyes! I have always loved dried flowers. I would welcome some new visual ideas. During the fall I love to mix dried with fresh items. Collected grasses and weathered pine cones dried sunflowers are a particular favorite.

    Reply
  116. Joy Collazzi on

    There is a craft spray available specifically for dried flowers, it’s for helping with dust, protecting, and adds just a little bit of strength to the fragility of dried flowers. Any thoughts on this product and it’s use?

    Reply
  117. Mariana Menezes on

    Dryed flowers are becoming really a hit in Brazil. Florists and clients are discovering its beauties and its multifaceted qualities. One of my dream florist who is a master in making dryed arrangements is the French @atelierlonicera – a true feast to the soul (just like everything you do, I´m a totally Floret fan).

    Reply
  118. Lisa Lanni on

    I’m also a huge dried flower fan. They got a bad rap because grandmas everywhere left theirs hanging on their wall for 10+ years. They do need replacing every couple years, but they deserve a spot in our homes. I’ve grown and successfully dried many flowers, grasses and wheats in silica, glycerin, or by air drying. The key to finding their beauty is to put something that may look drab with a contrasting or complimenting flower to give the arrangement either cohesiveness or a pop of color. Flowers that don’t look like anything necessarily on their own, can be stunning when placed with something else that brings out its beauty. I am particular to all colors of gomphrena, they are the perfect flower to dry, but certainly celosia, larkspur, hydrangea, stock, delphiniums, zinnias, lambs ear, sweet annie, several varieties of wheats, ruby silk grass, russian sage, roses, peonies, eucalyptus, craspedia, etc etc, there are just so many that dry successfully! I sell my dried flowers and make wreaths, and I agree they are making a comeback. They do need replacing every few years, but they are worth every bit of time it takes to preserve, if for nothing more than a reminder all winter of the beauty that is yet to come.

    Reply
  119. Melissa Gagnon on

    My favorite flowers to dry are zinnias. They retain their color so amazingly using silica sand as the drying agent. Strawflowers are my second favorite but timing is everything as I don’t like when you can see the center, that is when you waited too long to harvest. Sweet annie is another favorite but I “dry” it in glycerin and it keeps its wonderful scent and remains soft as though cut fresh from the garden.

    Reply
  120. Alissa on

    I love dried flowers and try to dry at least some nigella pods, strawflowers, poppy pods and statice every year. I tried drying some red spike amaranth last fall, but it faded a lot (and dropped a ton of seed all over the place). A friend of mine dries zinnias and dahlias and they surprisingly keep their color and look great. I don’t think their tacky at all and bring cheer in winter when not much is blooming. Thanks for all your posts of information, and inspiration!

    Reply
  121. Debbie Wyatt on

    Even if you did nothing but leave them hanging in the shop it would be amazing. They are gorgeous!

    Reply
  122. Carol Whitman on

    I dried larkspur last summer, and was amazed at how well they dried. Hung them in the dry storage shed and they did well. This year I’ve added gomphera (sp?), and celosia, neither of which I’ve grown before. Saw very lovely wreaths at the Full Belly Farm farmers market stand last fall – concentric layers of small to large flowers – really stunning. I have mixed results with hydrangeas and will watch this space for advice. Lace cap not conducive to drying? Mop heads seem to vary, some dry, some don’t. Thanks for this post.

    Reply
  123. Meg Cocchrane on

    It amuses me that dried flowers are becoming popular again as I used to sell tons of them, as well as dried wreathes and arrangements. Now all of a sudden they are cool again! Besides stretching out the selling season and using flowers that didn’t sell when they were fresh, they are so beautiful and last for- well, until they get too dusty and faded- which is quite awhile. Some of my favorites were roses and larkspur, but there isn’t much that doesn’t dry well. I used silica to dry pansies, sunflowers, zinnias- all the things that have a flat face -more time intensive, but they add so much personality. Hanging bunches of lots of herbs like mint, oregano, lavender,dusty miller, lambs ears, etc. make lovely filler in addition to the grasses and pods you mentioned. You are going to have some fun ahead!

    Reply
  124. Julie on

    I used to grow and dry, dried flowers in the 1980’s, I had a great little business selling the arrangements, then they sadly went out of fashion, It’s really hard to find anything much in the way of dried flowers for sale, now in the UK. So have started to grow some again, Would love to be able to Freeze dry, as it seems to preserve the colour and structure well but the equipment is way too expensive for small scale, so I have been using my food dehydrator to dry heads, particularly sunflowers, camellias and paeonies, some dry very well, others are not so successful, but I have had fun experimenting,

    Reply
  125. Joanna Bruno on

    I made a few dried arrangements last fall for a bakery/cafe I sell my flowers to, and I was surprised by the response they got. The owner told me everyone was taking pictures of themselves with the arrangements and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over them. I was shocked! The dried arrangements were also a great solution for this business, which is always hot (thank you, bread-baking ovens) and has lots of south-facing windows. The fresh flowers baked in there and only lasted a few days at most, but my dried arrangements lasted all winter until I had fresh blooms to replace them with. I had similar thoughts to yours regarding dried flowers – tacky 80s crafts – but these arrangements turned out so beautifully that I was already planning to grow more varieties that could be easily dried. Your post was timed perfectly! I’m wondering how to dry my flowers well in hot, sticky, Michigan weather, though. We don’t have the dry summers that you do out west. Any thoughts?

    Reply
  126. Cathy McRae on

    I dry Hydrangeas every year for winter color in my home. I wait until about the 3rd week in September (in our area of southern B.C.) to cut them and dry them in a vase (with a small amount of water in the bottom), that way they don’t dry all wilted looking if you do them upside down. I’ve also learned from experience to cut the stems as long as you can, so you have the option of different sized containers to display them in, or like me have to add length to them with florist wire/sticks, which works, but not always ideal. Happy drying!

    Reply
  127. Laura on

    I am so excited about this! I have been getting more into dried arrangements recently! One thing I wanted to mention is hydrangeas dry beautifully if you put them in a vase with just a few inches of water and let them suck it dry (do not hang upside down). I’ve had a bouquet of dried antique hydrangeas on our dining table forever now and they still look fresh! They are my favorite for drying! I also have a wreath of cedar, juniper, eucalyptus, protea and spruce that dried beautifully. It doesn’t look fresh like the hydrangeas of course but I love all the warm colors and textures. I kept the wreath on our front door and the storm door created an extra warm protected environment where it dried nicely. Looking forward to seeing new tips and tricks!

    Reply
  128. Alicia on

    Hydrangeas are my favorite flower to dry. I just let mine dry right on the bush in the fall and then cut them off. Lavender and ornamental oregano are also a favorite for drying, along with eucalyptus (though I can get that from the store). Seeded eucalyptus and long leaf eucalyptus dry so nicely. This year I stumbled upon dries zinnias working well as well, when I went to dry them for seeds. Love this article and that dried flowers are seeing their day.

    Reply
  129. Trisha Brink on

    As a buyer and retail shop owner/interior designer I’ve been keenly watching this lovely trend sneaking it’s way back into decor the last few years. Honestly, I felt like you did at first…”oh no…not the tacky 80’s thing again!” Frankly I found myself wondering when the Precious Moments figurines might start popping up in my Pinterest feed! Yikes! LOL! But now, I’m actually finding myself growing flowers specifically for drying purposes! I love how designers are using pampas grasses in wedding photo backdrops and I continue to see dried arrangements/wreaths etc…finding their way into the prettiest of wholesale showrooms at the various markets I attend. Personally…I’ve been growing globe thistle and hydrangeas for years and just began drying them again this past fall. This Spring I’m introducing bread seed poppies, sea holly, bunny tail grass, strawflower, love-in-a-mist, yarrow, celosia, silver dollar/money plant, scabiosa sternkugel, Chinese lanterns and craspedia from seeds (some purchased from you). I am also growing many herbs for drying to make my own tea. Chamomile, lavender, calendula and marshmallow to name a few. I hope I have enough rafters to hang them all from this summer/fall! I look forward to seeing what you’ll be doing with all your lovely dried flowers…I’m so happy to know I am not alone on the dried flower front!

    Reply
  130. patricia Starkey on

    Great article! I am one of the few who really LOVE dried flowers. Seriously! I made a raffia and dried floral arrangement in High School from my step mom and just was in awe at how beautiful something can be when dead. It’s the full circle of life. Prior to signing up for your online course, which was wonderful, I drew up some ideas using dried flowers in different ways and I hope in the future I will be able to use them. I am in the testing stages and have already sent out a couple samples to close friends and family and so far have had a good response. Thank you so much for sharing this, I really think that the dried flowers are coming back. Yeah to floral zombies :-)

    Reply
  131. Patricia Dames on

    I have been experimenting with drying different kinds of cut flowers in our small, dark basement where we always have a dehumidifier running during the summer months. One flower that surprisingly dries well is sweet peas. The vines and pods dry well also. They are nice for swags and garlands.
    Also try drying peonies! They shrink in size, but make a lovely little flowers with very sturdy stems.

    Reply
  132. Rachel Benton on

    Any tips for drying hydrangeas perfectly? I’ve tried using glycerol but no luck. I know you are suppose to pick the hydrangeas when the little middle petiole flowers have come out too. I have tried just hanging up to dry but the petals don’t stay that same perfect shape. I want to keep the colour so I can’t just leave them on the bush, although they dry perfectly like that but without colour! Any tips would be appreciated. Rachel, Wanaka, New Zealand

    Reply
  133. Jen French on

    New to flower farming and love the drieds! Your topics are always so ‘on point’…thanks for another great post!

    Reply
  134. Kelsea on

    So happy to have statis, globe amaranth, and strawflower hanging at home this winter! Pearly Everlasting is another special wild find I treasure having around!

    Reply
  135. Berit MacAllister on

    Yes yes yes yes yes!!!! There is an old bank in our town an last November I asked them if I could cut the dried hydrangeas back for them they were huge bushes and different varieties. I made a ton of wreaths for the holidays out of them. I even found several birds nest in them that I incorporated in the the wreaths. Which was pretty cool. I still have a few bumping around in my studio and they are still in great shape! This season We are growing lots of straw flowers. I can’t wait for your book to come out!!,,

    Reply
  136. Donna M Timm on

    Thanks for sharing this….I have dried various flowers over the years…esp hydrangeas. You always give good advice and so glad you live in the Skagit Valley which is one of the most marvelous places on God’s green earth….we moved back to this area after years away and knew we wanted to retire here and now we do…yeah!

    Reply
  137. FLORA + LEE on

    Would you ever consider selling dried flowers? I’m an artist who makes sculptors out of dried flowers and resin. I’m always in the need for more dried flowers.

    Reply
  138. Megan on

    This is a slightly different use of dried flowers, but I was so excited to see dried flower petals used in weddings rather than rice or bubbles. Flower confetti. So sweet! Those wreaths are beautiful. I have little piles of dried flowers around the house that made me smile all winter long.

    Reply
  139. Jodi Sorrels on

    I can’t wait to dry a few bunches. We are in full bloom with the wild flowers this year, so hoping for success. Thanks for the information

    Reply
  140. Linda Branagan on

    Nothing at all ugly about dried or preserved flowers!
    Maybe the photography had something to do with your remembrance of “tacky and dated”.
    Love Terrain but some would think that their high-priced wreaths are ugly.
    Glad that dried flowers are coming back in fashion.
    I work in the floral industry and I have customers ask for dried flowers often.

    Reply
  141. Kristen Tack on

    Oh Erin, this wonderful! I fell in love with dried flowers last growing season too. Everything we did not sell fresh got dried in our barn. Hot and dark, it’s the perfect location. We literally dried everything to see how it would turn out by simply hanging it upside down. Some of our favorites were delphinium, ammonium, ruby silk grass and surprisingly dahlias. My absolute favorite though were peonies!!! We now offer complete wedding packages made with all dried flowers. It’s incredible what beauty can be created with them. If you are interested, checkout our Instagram feed and website to see all the beauty we’ve been able to create. http://Www.agilegoatflowerfarm.com We’ve made everything from arch decor, table arrangements, jewelry, bridal bouquets, etc. You name it and it is possible with dried flowers. So nice to see these beauties being promoted!

    Reply
  142. Susan Miller on

    Did you run floral wire up the stems of strawflowers before bunching them to dry? I have read that once dry, the stems are so fragile, they break or crumble. I would appreciate knowing, since it is time consuming, but worth doing in order to preserve the everlasting.

    Reply
  143. Jesse May Danson on

    This was fascinating! I look forward to seeing more of this reimagined craft!

    Reply
  144. Terri Lamb on

    I was with you thinking that dried flowers were totally naff. But like you I have had a rethink as I’m sure they are overdue for a revival. I’m growing from seed and finding that helicrysums and the like are not keen to germinate. I wonder what I’m doing wrong or am I just anther ‘impatient gardener’!

    Reply
  145. Lynn Meyers on

    I have to admit I also thought of dried flowers as too old & tacky to bother with, but I have started Gomphrena seeds this year and think that will provide the impetus to go at this more seriously. I grew decorative wheat and Nigella last year, and only accidentally found out how long they last and how mixing dried elements with fresh looked really lovely. That wheat was perhaps the easiest thing ever: plunk the seeds in the soil early spring and go on with your life. Harvest and use practically forever. And the Nigella pods are so fun–they have sort of a cool Jetson’s look, like funky little asteroids! I vote yes on expanding this drying idea!

    Reply
  146. debra phillips on

    I thought I was detecting a return of died flowers, a strong part of my business in the 80’s.
    back in the day my favorites were peonies, bundled and hanging in my barn, I would come thru with a blow dryer and give each one a shot when 2/3 dried. they expand into a cabbage rose look and stay. too soon, they will revert to a tight petal, too late is well, too late! have tried this with roses too for great effect
    cheers
    Debra

    Reply
  147. Alice Cox on

    I love dried flowers. I especially like making dried flower arrangements so it’s also great to dry eucalyptus (all varieties) to add to the arrangements.

    Reply
  148. Nova on

    Such a timely post! I’ve been loving the beautiful dried flower wreaths and arrangements on IG many Japanese crafters are making and wanted to try my hand at it. What I’ve noticed with these Japanese dried arrangements is that the colors are very vibrant for dried flowers, so not sure if color is being added or if they are using glycerin to preserve color and pliability??? Have been looking for a source to buy these more colorful dried blooms. Looking forward to making some bouquets & wreaths as materials become more available.

    Reply
  149. Tina McPherson on

    I’ve been experimenting with drying and pressing flowers for years…using expensive dessicants…and i’ve been experimenting with sandblasting sand…i LOVE just hanging stems of PEONIES, from my curtain in my dining room with clothes pins. I know their color would probably be better in a dark place, but this is fun and whimsical. Thanks for all the great tips and love reading comments. Tina in Montana

    Reply
  150. Pam Baker on

    I have always loved dried flowers. I save flowers and especially little rose buds and baby’s breath. I even managed to save some yellow roses from my mother-in-laws funeral and have made some small wreath arrangements with those that I’ve gifted to the granddaughters.

    Question: Do you use any drying spray on your flowers? Or what’s your secret to keep them from falling apart? Maybe the secret lies in when you dry them? Hmmm… I’m really gonna enjoy this series and looking forward to learning more.

    Reply
  151. Jennifer Jordan on

    Hi Erin,
    Such a coincidence, last night I was admiring very pretty dried wreaths on the website Terrain. Yes those 80’s images of badly done dried flower arrangements did creep in but there is beauty in dried flowers. If anyone can revive this flower art it will be you. So many new flower types and such talented flower farms and flower artists today make the dried flower arts fresh and new again with their lasting beauty.
    Have a wonderful, prosperous and creative season.

    Reply
  152. Heidi on

    I have always loved dried flowers and grew them in my first garden when newly married. I picked my favorites to grow this year, strawflower, statice, babys breath, globe amaranth, eucalyptus, lavender and sweet annie. I’m glad you are going to be using more of them. Let’s bring them back in new ways!

    Reply
  153. Pamela S Williams on

    Hi Erin, I am excited to see you embraced dried flowers as a flower production facet. I was disappointed there was not more content on this subject during the online workshop coursework, notebooks, etc. BUT this addition to the blog helps. My years of experience growing for drying has taught me well. Just finished drying a batch of daffodils- people do not realize how easy they are to air dry upright in narrow vases. My new experiments this year will be with the alliums. Last year I had great success with Nandina foliage & seed pods. I think I am moving toward holding workshops. Hope you will continue to focus on dried flowers and carry a line of seeds, bulbs especially suited for drying. Gotta go work with my dried daffodil bunches, so thanks a “bunch”, Prairie Cottage Studio aka Pam Williams in Oklahoma.

    Reply
  154. Heidi Schmidt on

    I have felt the same as you–even the thought of dried flowers brought me back to a time of crinkly, yellowed roses and other dried flowers that truly look terrible. But, like you, I’m coming around… I think the key is only drying things that look great dried! For me, I’ve accidentally discovered good dried flowers because I had them fresh in a vase and they just lasted and lasted–things like statice and globe amaranth–and they look fantastic. You actually can’t tell if they’re fresh or dried. I also like my allium “skeleton” that looks great even after the petals fall off. You’ve totally inspired me with strawflowers–that’s going on my next-year list!

    Reply
  155. Emily Collins on

    I love this!! I have been contemplating dried flowers for weeks because I’d like to hang flowers and ferns from the ceiling of my barn for my wedding. Actually, the bunches drying look amazing and could be used exactly as they are. I also bought floret strawflower, so I’m already on the right track. Thank you!!

    Reply
  156. Arlene in Maine on

    Thanks for posting this while I am still in the process of choosing and starting seeds to grow. I found the recommended book on Ebay for $ 4.25. I’m real interested in dried flowers. I am unable to focus a lot of my energy on developing into cut flowers and bouquet making, as I am already growing produce/herbs/seedling for our farmers’ market. This will give me something to play with during the off season. For years I have been growing glass gem corn, which is an amazingly beautiful multicolor variety, and harvested in fall. Dried flowers and grasses will be fun to combine with the corn. Let’s see what I can create!

    Reply
  157. Evon on

    I volunteer with Weed Ladies in Naperville, IL, who are celebrating 50 yrs of what started as drying “weeds” from their gardens. We use them for bookmarks/arrangements/fillers/weeaths. Pods/hydrangea/peperonia/baby’s breath.
    Hope In Bloom is an outreach I started to deliver donated event/funeral flowers to seniors/hospice. I air dry the faded flowers. Dried scraps are used for paper-making.
    Last Fall, I cut the annual ‘cardinal flower’ vine and shaped/dried immediately to use as a wreath base, then glue on drieds. It’s unique bc the remaining leaves add a lovely texture. Glad to send a picture?
    Make potpourri. Purple are the most stunning. Lambs ear stays pretty. Don’t be afraid to dry any flower/leaf. They take on a new beauty as they dry.

    Reply
  158. Nate Barton on

    I found it interesting that you mentioned strawflowers and hydrangea. I dried both last year, though I found hydrangea to be a little more persnickety. I enjoyed using them to create ornaments by filling clear glass balls. They made wonderful gifts. I look forward to learning more about what varieties you have success with and maybe some tips for DIY. Cheers.

    Reply
  159. Traci Nelson on

    I absolutely love them! I must say, they do bring back vivid memories of the 80’s and early 90’s when everyone was crafting with them…BUT… SO much all together has changed with design and arrangement. I can see that with your friends beautiful dried arrangements. They don’t resemble the 80’s at all! I think it’s time for a Renaissance with dried flowers… certainly fresh flower arranging is also very different than back then, so it would make sense that dry arranging will take on a whole new flair… I also love the kinds of flowers you are drying and the brightness and vividness are beautiful! I’m excited to learn more from you!

    Reply
  160. Karen Glennon on

    I adore dried flowers and used to work on a farm that produced a lot of them and I just loved making wreaths. I hope they become popular again.
    One bit of advice I can share for straw flowers and amobium, cut and bunch them for drying when they bud is clearly showing color but NOT open and exposing any of the center, because they continue to open once hung to dry. The centers on both of these often turn dark or black and look unsightly, in my opinion. One has to consider foliage for wreaths as well. Lambs ear spikes, before the actual flower shows any color, are fabulous. (The pink flowers dry an ugly brown and have to be removed before use, best to cut before they develop.) I also love working with any silver foliage, so lavender, common sage, dusty miller and artemesia are lovely.
    I truly love dried flowers as much as fresh cut!

    Reply
  161. Kelly on

    Great blog post! Thanks! I can´t wait to dig in with dried flowers because they look great in wreaths and want to do those in the fall and christmas season. About how long it takes to dry them? When I thought about dried flowers it took me to a gourd variety I have that we call güira it is like a bottle gourd here its used mainly as an instrument. The man that gave me the seeds he mentioned if I grow them and make sure they stay in a position with bottom flat to soil the grow nicely flat and wide at the bottom…. Which made me think they would do awesome vases for Fall arrangements and workshops… and if we drop in a few dry flowers I think its beyond perfect for fall…I already have a a batch of seeds sprouting to try this idea and see how it goes. Thanks!

    Reply
  162. Toby Wollin on

    Question – do you have any issues with mold/rotting when you put dried flowers in fresh bouquets?

    Reply
  163. Audrey on

    We love mixing in all sorts of dried pods and bits. It’s a great juxtaposition to the preciousness of cut flowers. A particularly abundant harvest of Coral Fountain amaranthus I grew last year is still hanging around the studio and often gets tucked into our hotel arrangements and photo shoots. Can’t wait to grow a whole rainbow of amaranth this year along with lots of other dryable stems: strawflower, gomphrena, celosia, poppy pods, giant dill, and crespedia.

    Reply
  164. Megan on

    While I’ve largely cut down on my blog reading in the past several years, I don’t miss any of your content. It’s all so inspirational! Would love a guest blog post from your friend or your own ideas on how to use your dried blooms!

    Reply
  165. Eliza Shaw Valk on

    Gorgeous! I love desiccated flowers, and even murky fresh ones on their way out. Looking up at all of the dried blooms above your head must have been breathtaking.

    Reply
  166. San Giovanni's Farm on

    This is helpful. I experimented too, this past year, with dried flowers and found that the straw flowers dry beautifully! The Globe Amaranth also dry well and look lovely in an arrangement with dried eucalyptus. The celosia dry well too. I hung the flowers to be dried in a closet in one of our bedrooms that does not get regular use, it is just a guest room. My disappointment was that the eucalyptus is so crumbly when it dries and it is very hard to work with. I am wondering if anyone knows of a way to avoid that. Maybe I picked them too late, not sure. I much prefer the fresh flowers over the dry, however, the pics of the wreaths in your post are so lovely and we enjoyed our dried eucalyptus/globe amaranth arrangements all winter long. Also, the broom corn is beautiful when dried. I have a generous bunch of those siting in a somewhat tall, tin, slender decorative planter in my foyer and they are just beautiful. They are very easy to handle when dried. I am going to grow more broom corn this year for market and for drying.

    Reply
  167. Deby Wright on

    My daughter in law flipped over an adorable wreathe made of all dried carmine gomphrena that she saw in a magazine so I’m growing a lot to try selling them around Valentines Day. Back in the 80s I stored boxes of dried flowers under my bed for years so I find the renewed interest funny. “Nothing new under the sun” right?! ?

    Reply
  168. Linda Edwards on

    Last Valentines day my fiance sent me flowers at work that had pink zinnias with yellow centers. It was just last week that I finally threw the vase away with the dried out flowers. The zinnias were still so beautiful even dried. Your post is very timely to inspire me to grow some this spring!

    Reply
  169. Charline Swoveland on

    I detest fake flowers so I’ve always dried flowers for winter decorating. Yellow yarrow and Annabelle hydrangeas are two of my fav’s but I love seed pods too.

    Reply
  170. Anne Nolt on

    I dried flowers the first time around in the 1980s. It was fun then. I moved on to arranging with silk florals but nothing compares to growing and arranging with fresh flowers. I think there will always be room for adding dried elements to a fresh arrangement, but I don’t see a resurgence of the dried flower movement like 35 years ago.

    Reply
  171. Julie on

    As always, I love your post. I have dabbled with dried flowers as a home hobby. They are a different genre altogether, and must be appreciated as such. Maybe others think they are “dull” compared to their fresh siblings in color and form. Not quite, plenty of beautiful dried varieties pack bright saturated color. Depending on how the blooms are dried can affect their form. I agree about storing them.

    Please keep us updated. So loving your down to earth attitude and willingness to share knowledge. I hope you are blessed with many more years of success.

    Reply
  172. Allie Millington on

    Hi,

    I’m so glad you posted this! My husband and I run a flower preservation business called Wither Without Florals. We started off preserving wedding Florals as way for brides and grooms to enjoy their flowers for decades to come by incorporating their preserved blooms in a unique piece of decor they can hang up in their home. We believe that through preserving flowers, we can also preserve memories, and our goal is for the flower to hold its same color and shape that it did on the wedding day. Recently, we’ve been preserving funeral flowers for families and creating something that can have in their home that honors their loved one who passed. We like to think of ourselves as professional flower rescuers and though it’s a small business, I think it’s meant a lot to the people we’ve gotten to work with so far. Anyways, thanks for the post- it always excites me to see more people working with dried flowers!

    Reply
  173. Canyon Crest Farms on

    I’ve always loved dried flowers! We’ve been experimenting with drying just our blooms that we can’t sell (such as stems too short, crooked or broken). We’re going to use them in value-added products like salt scrubs or potpourri for farmers market. I wasn’t going to even consider potpourri because that seems like a trend that died in the 80s but surprisingly, I’ve had several people suggest it so maybe it’s making a comeback….I don’t know. Anyway, I’m excited to try more varieties and methods and explore all the other dried flower opportunities!

    Reply
  174. Debra Byler on

    Your post brought many precious memories my way Erin! Our whole flower career actually started with dried flowers. As it grew, we built a retail shop beside our house and had 2-3 designers hired at all times. We made thousands of wreaths, container arrangements, christmas ornaments, and every imaginable thing you could do with drieds. We dried fruit slices and even some veggie slices in a dehydrator, dried sunflower and double hollyhock heads also in the dehydrator. Our shop was open for 17 years (80’s-90’s) and closed as the trend faded and our Penn State extension agent at the time mentored us into the fresh cut world. We continued to dry whatever was left from fresh sales (cockscomb, silver king artemesia, grasses, hydrangea, etc.) ever since and sell to crafters. I just said to a flower farmer friend this week, “drieds are coming back” and then I saw your post today. Have fun! We are not opening our shop again, lol.

    Reply
  175. Amanda Vanhoozier on

    Yea! Thanks for pushing into the trend. I chose to dry flowers because I have a no waste farm so flowers that did not make it into the market, I hung to dry. Everything! Most turned out lovely and after making my woodland wreaths, I make two products that folks like at market this spring.

    Dried bouquets wrapped in white tissue and the flower heads packed into small jars as reminiscent of summer! My first excitement with them was seeing them drying at the Homeless Garden in Santa Cruz.

    Reply
  176. Tracey on

    I worked with drying flowers for years. I agree with Mary Menn. And, after all the work, when arranged and used under normal living conditions they soon become dusty and then the pleasure is gone because there is no way to clean the fragile things. And they shed….

    I do dry hydrangeas, however – it’s simple and easy and they are fairly sturdy. The variety ‘Strawberry Vanilla’ dries beautifully simply left in a vase, and retains the pink color for at least a year. The blue-green macrophylla varieties are also gorgeous, and easy to dry.

    Reply
  177. Jennifer Joray on

    I have to say, Erin, I disliked them, too. But now that I see your beautiful pictures, especially the wreaths, I have a renewed sense of gratitude towards flowers for giving so much beauty at all stages!! After all, it is nature, and there are treasures awaiting in the dried realm as well. Maybe you’ll bring them back and it’ll be all the craze again!!

    Reply
  178. Cor on

    I’ve been working with dried flowers since I was a teenager…and 20+ years later still loving them so much. We designed our new packing shed to have a large upstairs for drying flowers/workshop space. Some of my favorites that you didn’t mention are the taka (Japanese) chiles, marigolds, and herbs like sage, thyme, and flowering marjoram. The herbs and chiles mixed with dried flowers give a great foodie flair to wreath work

    Reply
  179. Chris on

    Here in Vermont dried flowers, in bunches and wreaths, sell well at the holiday market before Thanksgiving–when there are no fresh flowers in the landscape and people are looking for things to decorate for the winter season and holidays.
    One note: we have heavy due in the mornings in the late summer and fall, and I find that you sacrifice color, especially in the greens, and the subtle colors of hydrangeas, if you hang them in barn or shed open to the air. I bring everything into the house and hang it inside.

    Reply
  180. Nancy Johnson on

    Dried flowers are especially needed to extend our very short season in Maine. One year I had a request for a dried flower wedding. I had never done one before but felt challenged and excited to give it a try. It turned out really well and I learned a lot as well. Now I always take time to dry flowers at there peak in the summer to make wreaths and arrangements for the fall market.

    Reply
  181. Carly on

    We successfully dried flowers last year – trying to preserve a harvest that we were unable to sell. It gave us an opportunity to create dried wreaths that became very popular over winter.
    In Bloom Flower Farm

    Reply
  182. Mary Menn on

    I tried to convert towards a dying market last summer after the birth of my first baby. I thought it would be something that is more flexible with time than selling fresh cuts. What I found out is that dried are just so much less beautiful and fun to work with. They bored me. I’ll go back to selling dried chinese laterns and money plant bouquets b/c they look stunning and a in high demand but everything else can stay fresh!

    Reply

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