Want to make your garden’s summer flowers last all year? Ok, the easiest way is to bring your garden flowers indoor and dry them.
* First: Harvesting Flowers
It is best to cut your Roses flowers in the morning hours after the dew has evaporated from the plants. Once cut, group stems into bunches using rubber bands (pure rubber rubber bands work best) and remove them from the sunlight as soon as possible.
There are definite developmental times which are best for cutting flowers for drying. This can be very specific for different plants or even different cultivators of the same plant. In general, it is best to pick immature flowers (ones that are not completely open) since flowers continue to open during the drying process. If you pick a flower at the time that it looks perfect, it will continue to open while drying, leaving you with a flower past that ‘perfect stage’. Most people pick flowers too late. For example, have you ever seen a pretty dried rose? If you really look at it, the flower is still fairly closed. Avoid harvesting flowers too mature in development. Such flowers will generally shed upon drying and will not hold up well in arrangements.
We offer specific picking and growing recommendations for each flower we grow. Just click on any dried flower name on any of our lists to obtain a wealth of specific information including pictures!
* Second: Preserving Flowers
With only a few exceptions, we air dry all our flowers. We simple hang flower bunches upside down on wire (over two miles of it is stretched in our circa 1860 barns). The barns offer ideal conditions: 1) darkness; 2) very good airflow; 3) cool updrafts; 4) perfect (usually) humidity levels. Once you have cut your flowers, it is important to remove them from the sunlight as soon as possible. This, along with drying in the dark, is the most important factor in maintaining good color.
1)How to Hang Flower Bunches
Suspend a 1/2-inch-diameter horizontal pole or pipe from the ceiling. If fastening hooks into your ceiling or walls is not an option, use tripods or two high-backed chairs to support the pole. A bent paper clip makes a perfect hanger for your bunches. Put newspaper or a drop cloth on the floor under the hanging bunches to catch fallen leaves, seeds, and petals. Hang bunches far enough apart to allow good air circulation.
2) How Long to Hang Flowers to Dry
The drying process takes from 10 to 20 days, depending on the plant. When dried, the stems should snap. You must test the flowers for dryness. Dissect one or two, and make sure the flowers” insides are thoroughly dry.
Some flowers, such as delphiniums, keep their color better if dried quickly near sources of warm air such as a heater. Large, many-flowered blooms such as dill, fluffy grasses, and Queen Anne”s lace, should be dried upright, not hanging upside down.