Cutting and Drying Flowers

One of the greatest pleasures of growing a garden is having an abundance of flowers for picking. Some varieties take well to drying and will last into winter and beyond.

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Plant and Sow

Several perennials are useful as dried flowers, but you may want to sow some annuals too. Sow half-hardy annuals into modules or pots indoors in spring, planting when all risk of frost has passed. Hardy annuals can be sown direct in autumn or spring. Water, feed and deadhead as you would any other plant.

Cut in Dry Weather

Pick flowers for drying in fine weather to avoid excess moisture on the foliage and petals. Most flowers will dry better if they're cut before they're fully open. Pick roses just as the buds begin to open, and lavender stems as the top petals start to emerge.

Air-Dry the Blooms

Tie a few stems together with string or a rubber band. Use a kitchen hook or a paper clip to attach the band to a line of string or tie them to a bamboo cane. Then fix the string or cane to the ceiling in a cool, airy place. Because strong light bleaches out the colors, hang them in the dark or at least in low light.

Dried Lavender Hung Upside DownEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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