Cutting Gardens: How to dry your cut flowers

If you have a cutting garden or a lot of cut flower varieties in your garden you will have additional flowers that you can dry or use in crafts. I use a lot of the flowers that are not quite good enough to put in a bouquet but still pretty and can be dried for arrangements, crafts or potpourri.

There are two ways to dry flowers and both are quite easy.

This is the Hanging Method.

Pick the flowers when their blossoms are half-open, and leave the flowers on their stems. Try to pick nice looking flowers with no dames for drying. If the leaves are not perfect that’s ok. Strip the lower leaves from the stems but do not remove the leaves closest to the flower on the stem.

Gather 8 to 10 stems together, and tie them with string or secure them with rubber bands. I use rubber bands because as the bundle dries the string will become loose and the flowers may drop. If by chance I do use string I use the knot that will tighten like a noose. * Please make sure not to make you bundles too big. You need air for the bundles to dry quickly and with out molding and smashing each other and damaging the flowers.

Hang the bundle upside down in a well-ventilated area. I use the barn. It’s a dry location and is dark. Some people use a closet or even have a drying cabinet. After 10 days, in warm weather, the flowers should be dry.

When drying multiple bundles of flowers you need to leave space between the bundles to ensure thorough drying. I leave two feet.

Drying herbs is one of my favorite plants to dry. They have such a nice aroma while drying and dry so nicely. Besides I use the dried herbs as seasonings too.

There is nothing prettier than a bunch of flowers and herbs hanging to dry. I have often had up to 100 bunches of plants drying in the barn at one time.

You can also use a Box Method to the dry the flowers. The box method requires you to buy supplies so is more expensive particularly at first.

Supplies you will need

Boxes
Fine Sand
Fresh-cut Flowers
Gardening Gloves
Pruning Shears
Rubber Bands
Silica Gel Packs
String
Steps

First you will need to line a box with borax, sand or silica gel. A few inches will do.

Next place the whole heads of the flowers face down in the box. Dahlias, roses and zinnias dry well using this method. Be sure to place the flowers in a way that you do not crush or misshape the leaves. Also do not put to many flowers in one box. I make sure they do not touch and have room to breath around each flower. I would rather do another box that put the flowers too close together,

Carefully sift more sand or borax onto the flower heads until they are covered. This is a very important step because you need to get all areas of the flowers near the sand or borax. These materials take the moisture out of the flower and preserve the color. If they are not properly covered your dried flowers will not be as pretty.

Place the box in a warm, dry area for two weeks and pretty much ignore them. At the end of two weeks carefully uncover one of the flowers and take a look. If it’s dry you will be able to tell.

Now comes the fun part. Using them to make dried flower bouquets or in crafts or potpourri.

I also like to press flowers. They make great decorations on handmade cards, handmade paper and other natural craft projects.

If you are interested in more information on a cutting garden and what plants to grow check out my article about cutting gardens:
http://thegardenersrake.com/cutting-gardens-theme-garden-with-a-purpose

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Denise

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