Dried Flower Bouquets: Best Plants & DIY Tips
We don’t know if you’ve noticed, but dried flower bouquets are having a moment. While they’ve never really gone out of style, sometimes garden trends heat up, and for whatever the reason, we’re glad this one is a thing right now! There are a surprising number of plants and flowers that are ideal for drying and preserving beyond the traditional roses and lavender, and we’re going to show you which ones and how to do it.
Note: We’re using the word “bouquets” liberally here. You can use dried botanicals for floral arrangements, hanging swags, smudge sticks, and more.
What Plants and Flowers Are Good for Drying?
In theory, you can dry nearly any flower or plant, but they won’t all look great, hold their color, or feature a cool texture. And because we want to mostly dry flowers and other plants to include in arrangements, the goal is to use the ones that have staying power. When you’re planning your garden for this purpose, keep in mind that it’s not only flowers that are ideal for drying, but some evergreens, ornamental grasses, and other plants that feature seed pods, textural branches, and interesting bark.
First, check out our list on Easy to Grow Bulbs here—it includes a wide range of plants suitable for drying and using in both arrangements and the kitchen. Then reference this list for additional plants for use in dried flower bouquets, finish with our how-to tips, and you’re ready to go!
Flowers Evergreens & Grasses Herbs
Ageratum Boxwood Lavender
Amaranth Eucalyptus Rosemary
Astilbe Holly Oregano
Bee Balm Juniper Sage
Delphinium Pampas Grass
Gomphrena Fountain Grass
Passionflower (seed pod)
Flower Drying Tips
While there are general guidelines for harvesting and gathering your botanicals, the actual method of drying varies from plant type to plant type. There’s air-drying, pressing, drying with desiccants, microwaving or dehydrating, sun-drying, and freeze-drying. You’ll want to look up specific drying tips for the flowers and plants you’re using, but for our time together here, we’ll talk about the most common: air-drying.
- Pick/harvest close to primetime. Look for the most perfect plants without blemish or disease, and with flowers that have not fully opened.
- Collect more than you think you need. You’ll need plenty to choose from, and some will get bent or broken during the collection or preparation process.
- Place stems in water while you’re gathering. A 5-gallon bucket is perfect for this.
- Remove foliage from stems (optional depending upon what kind of plant you’re drying).
- Group the stems into small bunches and tie with a rubber band. Be gentle, but tie it kind of tightly, as the stems shrink a bit as they dry.
- Hang upside down in a warm, dark, and dry area like an attic or closet.
- Provide good air circulation and avoid direct sunlight.
- Allow to hang until the plants are thoroughly dried (about 2–3 weeks).
- Arrange carefully according to your project.
If you use something from your garden to dry and make into any kind of arrangement, we’d love it if you tagged us on Instagram @easytogrowbulbsca so we can fawn over it! And go ahead and give us a follow; we always want more friends.
- Jenny Peterson