How to Air Dry Flowers
You Will Need:Cut flowers
Pruning or floral shears
Container of lukewarm water
Rubber bands and string for hang drying flowers
Cookie sheets, racks and newspaper for flat drying petals
Airtight plastic containers or bags
- Using shears, cut flowers from your garden; place immediately into container of water to prevent wilting.
- Remove leaves from flower stems.
- Reinforce weak plant stems by threading floral wire through stem. Stem will bond to wire during drying. Do not wrap with floral tape until drying process is complete.
- Divide flowers by type; group into small bunches of 5 to 8 stems. Cut stems to various lengths so stem ends are even but flower heads are staggered and do not touch.
- Using rubber bands, tie stems together about 2 inches from ends. Rubber bands will contract, keeping flowers bunched as stems lose size during dehydration.
- Loop a piece of string through the rubber band and hang flower bunches upside down in a warm, dry, dark place with good air circulation such as an attic, garage, potting shed or furnace room. Hang from hooks or a pole at least 1 foot from the ceiling. (To complete hang drying, skip to step 12.)
- To flat dry flower heads, buds or petals, use a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet to provide air circulation.
- If drying flower petals or leaves for potpourri, line the rack with newspaper.
- Remove stems 1 inch below flower heads. For potpourri, carefully separate petals.
- Lay flowers or petals on the rack in a single layer, making certain edges do not touch. Flower heads should be placed face up.
- Place in a warm, dry, dark, well-ventilated place for 2 to 4 weeks. Check and turn flowers daily. Some items will take longer than others to dry.
- Flowers are dry when petals feel stiff and papery and stems snap off easily when bent.
- After drying, flowers to be used in arrangements can be strengthened by spraying with clear lacquer or craft spray. Potpourri materials should not be sprayed.
- Store dried flowers in airtight containers or plastic bags.