Six Flowers That Will Dry Beautifully
Our expert says ranunculus, hydrangea, and French lavender are some of the many flowers that age perfectly.
Fresh flowers are lovely, but dried flowers are lovely, too. Even better, they can last forever. However, not all flowers dry well; before you bring any garden-variety bloom in to dry, check it against this list. These are six flowers that dry particularly well, according to our experts.
Unlike many other blooms, ranunculus won't wilt when it dries, despite the fact that it's a very delicate flower, says Melanie Fernandez, founder and CEO of House of Lilac. As Fernandez describes, as ranunculus dries, "the delicate petals surrounding the center will stay upright and the colors will mute into a lighter shade." To dry ranunculus, keep it in water for about a week, then hang it upside down, says Fernandez, who likes adding it into wreaths.
Yarrow may be a medicinal plant, but its flowers are "phenomenally pretty," describes Kate Karam, landscape architect and editorial director at Monrovia Nursery. Its sturdy stems are what makes yarrow an ideal flower to dry. (Plus, its petals won't change colors, Karam adds.) "To dry, gather yarrow when the blooms are open but before they begin wilt or turn brown," she instructs. Then hang them in a "dry, dark, ventilated place" that also has good circulation, Karam says. Check on them regularly, but yarrow should be dry in two weeks.
Statice might be the easiest flower to dry. "We constantly purchase fresh statice and leave them out to dry on their own, letting them preserve into their natural dried state," says Fernandez. "This works because it is a pretty straw-like flower that has a tendency to stay intact." To dry statice quicker, you can take them out of water and hang them upside down.
"With its huge mop-head blooms and woody stems, hydrangea is a classic candidate for dried flower enjoyment," says Karam. Be sure to cut fresh hydrangea when they still have color remaining; otherwise, they'll dry with a dull hue. To dry hydrangea, "remove leaves and put stem in a vase with an inch or two of water," Karam says. "Place in a cool area, away from direct sunlight. Once the water is gone, hydrangea blooms will be dried."
While not strictly a flower, eucalyptus is a fantastic green option to add to any dried floral arrangement. "First off, it's the most likely green to maintain a beautiful shape," Fernandez says. "And, with good air circulation, it can dry either upright or hanging upside down." In fact, you don't even need to take it out of a vase to dry it, Fernandez says. "It's also scented and is the perfect bathroom accent," she adds. "Place it by a sink or toilet for a fresh scent."
"Because lavender maintains its color upon drying-as well as keeps its soothing scent-it's a must-have dried floral plant throughout the year," says Karam. She recommends waiting to harvest lavender until it's full open. Cut lavender low on the stem, tie with a string, and hang in a dark and dry place. "Within 10 days the flowers should be completely dry and ready for storage or use," Karam describes. "They're great in an infused room oil, an addition to handmade candles, or simply as a pretty dried arrangement in a vase."