The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

August 27, 2013

Start thinking now about drying flowers

MADISON COUNTY —

Although there is still plenty of time left in the growing season, why not start thinking about saving your flowers now?

This can easily be done by drying them.

Flowers are not the only thing worth saving. Also consider any appealing foliage, seed pods, and ornamental grasses.

When choosing the plant material, consider only the best. The drying process can make any imperfections really show up more clearly.

Pick the plant material in late morning, when the dew has burned off the plant but before any wilting from the heat of the day can affect the blossom or foliage.

It is important to remember that flowers will change color as they dry. Reds and purples will darken or even turn blue. Yellows and greens will fade, while white will darken to a cream or beige color. The best colors to use are blues, oranges, and pinks since they retain their color the best.

Flowers picked past their prime will turn brown.

Probably the easiest way to preserve flowers is by air drying.

Choose a spot that is warm and dry with good air circulation. A dark area such as a closet will work best so that the colors will not fade in the sunlight.

Hang the material upside down in bunches. Leaves should be removed unless they too will be nice when dried. Use a rubber band to tie the plants together. As the plants dry and constrict, so will the rubber bands and the stems will not fall loose.

Some plants, such as baby’s breath that are not so top heavy, may do better upright during the drying process.

You will know when the plants are dry when the stems will snap easily.

To store the dried flowers, place them somewhere safe like an old shoebox, lined and padded with tissue paper.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

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