DRYING FLOWERS FOR THE TABLE
We’ve had a great summer of beautiful flowers in the garden. It’s hard to image they will be gone soon. But you don’t have to just rely on your memory or photos of your flower gardens all winter. You can preserve some of that color, too.
Drying flowers is an easy way to have lasting color indoors, taken right from your own flowers. While many perennial flowers and shrubs can be dried, certain ones are easier than others. If you’re just starting out learning how to dry your own flowers follow these steps for the best drying.
- The easiest flowers to air dry include hydrangeas, baby’s breath, lavender, strawflowers, status, and globe thistle. Harvest these flowers when they are in full color, ideally on a warm, dry sunny day. Panicle hydrangeas are best to let age and turn color into early fall before harvesting the blossoms.
- With a sharp pruner or scissors, snip off the flower stems leaving about 6 to 12 inches of stem.
- This will give you multiple options for arranging and cutting the stem shorter once they’re dry. Strip off the leaves.
- For smaller flowers, bundle them together, tying them with VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties. For larger hydrangea flowers, hang them individually.
- Hang the flowers upside down in an airy, dry room such as a closet or attic or in a building out of the direct sun. For panicle hydrangeas, such as ‘Pee Gee’, an even simpler method is to cut the flower in late summer or fall and place it in a vase with a few inches of water.
- Let the water naturally evaporate. By the time the vase is dry, so will be the hydrangea flowers. Hanging flowers should be dry in about 2 to 3 weeks.
- Test the petals periodically and when they are papery to the touch you can start making bouquets for the table!