How to Dry Flowers

Use these tips to keep your garden "alive" long after the flowers have stopped blooming.

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Dried floral arrangements add beauty and keep the memory of your garden alive year-round. Here are some secrets for drying your favorite flowers. Keep in mind that most flowers continue to mature during the drying process; the trick is to pick flowers that haven't fully bloomed. Also, since humidity levels vary from region to region, drying times may vary as well.

Lavender
Pick lavender when the bottom flowers are just beginning to open. Air-dry the flowers in an empty vase for three to four days.

Pansies
Since these delicate blooms tend to curl, it's best to dry pansies in a flower press for four to five days.

Hydrangeas
Pick these flowers after the first frost and air-dry them upside down. Another option: Put stems in a small amount of water and place the container in a cool, dark spot until the flowers have dried naturally.

Roses
To keep the shape of a rose, it's best to dry it in silica gel. You can also air-dry roses in bloom by hanging them upside down in a dark room for as long as 10 days.

Sunflowers
Choose smaller flowers when drying sunflowers. Air-dry the stalks upside down in a warm, dry space for five days. The warmer the area, the better the sunflowers will dry.

Globe amaranth
Globe amaranth comes in seven colors and dries remarkably well, keeping its color for years. Pick this flower at its prime and air-dry it upside down.

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