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21 Fabulous Flowers for Drying

Don't be sad when bloom-time ends. Learn how to save your beautiful flowers for dried arrangements or crafts.

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Photo: Sally Guthart, Earthborn Landscape Design. From: Lynn Coulter.

Our Favorite Drying Flowers

Brighten your home by preserving flowers for dried arrangements, created with a colorful crop you've grown yourself or picked elsewhere. Or, add personality to your cards, picture frames and scrapbooks with the following beauties that are among our favorite drying flowers.

You’ll need to wear gloves to protect your hands when you’re working with the prickly globe thistle 'Blue Glow', shown above, but these flowers are striking when dried. Cut the stems from your plants after the morning dew evaporates, just before the buds are completely open, or the flowers are fully mature. They’ll usually continue to open after cutting. Tie the stems together and air dry them, upside down, in a dark, dry spot.

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Photo: Costa Farms/National Garden Bureau . From: Lynn Coulter.

Celosia 'Dragon's Breath'

Celosia, or cockscomb, is an excellent “everlasting” flower. Harvest the stems of plumed celosia, like ‘Dragon’s Breath’, when the flowers are almost completely open. Cut crested celosia when seeds start to form underneath the comb. Hang both types upside down in a cool, dark location to dry for a month or so.

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Photo: Proven Winners. From: Lynn Coulter.

Sundaze Blaze Strawflower

Strawflowers like Sundaze Blaze (Bracteantha or Xerochrysum) should be harvested before the centers of the flowers open, so there's enough moisture in the blooms to make them easy to handle. Cut the stems 12 to 15 inches long, and remove the leaves. Tie the stems together (a rubber band is good for this, as the stems tend to shrink when they dry), and hang them upside down in a dry, dark spot that gets good air circulation. They’ll be ready to use in 2 or 3 weeks.

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Photo: Proven Winners. From: Lynn Coulter.


Dried, pressed violas or pansies are great for making cards, scrapbook pages or other crafts. Pick the fresh flowers, Anytime Pansiola 'Iris' shown above, early in the day and pinch off the stems just under the blossoms. Then layer them between paper towels or blotting paper and press them under some heavy books, or use a flower press. Check every couple of weeks to see if the blooms are dry enough to remove and use.

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