dried lavender

SheeshareeIIJuly 24, 2014

I've been wanting dried lavender for some time now and bought three large bunches today. I'm actually shocked at just how fragile it is! Are all dried flowers this delicate? I have them in a pitcher right now, but don't want to even touch it. I've been wanting dried hydrangeas too, but perhaps I should pass. That or plant my own!

Where and how do you store your dried flowers?

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Yes, most real dried flowers and plants are quite delicate. I'm getting ready to cut some of my hydrangea blooms to dry--I had an arrangement from past years, but a few renovations meant they got tucked into a corner of the storage room where they've taken a beating.

As your lavender crumbles, keep the "crumbs" to make sachets--the leaves on my lavender are every bit as fragrant as the flowers.

I grow both lavender and hydrangeas, and so I will just dry them as needed each year. I recommend planting your own, if you have the space and are in a conducive zone. If not, then, yes, arrange and then leave alone. :-)

One plant that isn't so fragile when dried is boxwood. Last December, I cut and placed around a candle chandelier in my DR. After the holidays, as I was removing the other greenery around my home that had starting making a mess, the boxwood was still green and intact. I like a bit of green around the house during the post-holiday winter months, so I kept it. The boxwood still looked nice coming into the spring season... and today, it's hanging in there. I can move it around, shake the dust off, etc., and the branches are fine.

Perhaps someone can recommend a finishing spray of some sorts to keep dried flowers from shedding. I've not used any products on my dried flowers.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:42AM
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How do you dry hydrangeas? Hang them, lay flat, etc? How long does it typically take for them to dry? I attempted it once but only made a mess. I have huge blooms in my yard right now so I'd love to try it again. Thanks.

As for a spray.... When I was in high school I worked on a farm that had a huge fall festival. The farmers wife would decorate the tops of pie pumpkins with dried flowers then spray a clear shallac over they whole thing. The pumpkins were shiny and the flowers held in place a bit better. I assume there is a matte spray that would work too to keep the flowers natural looking.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:14AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm very interested in the answer too as I have successfully dried hydrangeas just by picking them later (too soon and they wilt) and then just putting them in a vase without water...or with water and then never refilling it.

But I've not gotten my blue ones to dry without wilting and I'd love to have a blue dried arrangement in my PR.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:22AM
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My hydrangeas are Annabelles, which have the big, white blooms. As they dry on the plant, they turn lime green, and then brown. I have to wait to cut them until they've begun to dry on the plant--that works for me. My arrangements in the past are mostly lime green with a hint of brown (good for fall arrangement). I cut, remove the leaves and then place in a vase of water. By the time the water evaporates, the flowers are dried, and I just move them to a clean vase (no water).

I just checked on mine, and they are still mostly white. A few are starting to turn lime green, so I need to wait another few weeks to cut them for drying.

Annie, I think perhaps waiting a bit longer to cut your blue hydrangeas is the key. I found this link below that indicates waiting until Sept. to cut blues.

I recall Holly-Kay had a lovely arrangement of blues on her table in a recent photo--perhaps she'll weigh in there, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drying Hydrangeas

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:37AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

If your area supports paniculata hydrangeas (limelight, peegee...)
grow those. They like full sun and bloom on new wood so cold damage is not an issue. Limelights are gorgeous dried and when you grow your own, you can replace them every year.
Before I started growing my own, I did buy dried flowers, but they are very temporary as they get really dusty and don't store well between seasons.

The #1 key to drying hydrangeas is to cut them when the petals feel papery. This can be tricky, but you won't feel any moisture on the petals.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:38PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

The blue ones ( macrophylla's) need to be picked when the petals feel papery, dry and taut. As all hydrangeas.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:41PM
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I've not tried it myself but I've heard hairspray is a method to dry & preserve flowers. My hydrangeas I just put in a jar and lavender I've always used for homemade potpourri so blossoms crumbling wasn't an issue. I did use a silica kit one time to dry rose buds. Worked pretty well but rose buds are firmer than lavender so I'm not sure how that would turn out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hair spray how-to

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 4:45PM
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For DDs wedding i bought half a dozen huge bundles of dried lavender stalks. Th. farmer told me they do drop petals, but there are so many, there will still be full stalks. We used the loose petals for tossing. The stalks have quit shedding as much now that theyre a year along but i dont move them around.

Ive heard of using hairspray, but not sure Id use it on lavender.

I grow it but have yet to harvest it-i like to leave it for the bees. Mom has great luck drying her hydrangeas by hanging them upside down. Ive never been successful.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Dried lavender stems will hold together better if it's picked before the little florets open fully.

Another plant that dries well is delphinium. Here are some delph. stems I dried. I also, that year, dried the florets and had a large jar full of them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:05PM
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Shee, I used to have a large Lavender bed and dried them hanging upside down in bunches. I don't remember the petals ever falling off. Maybe that was the key?

I stopped growing them because they attract every stinging insect Mother Nature ever made. And Butterflies. Very pretty but darn I wouldn't get close to them. lol

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:02AM
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Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions!

I suppose I'll enjoy them until they're dusty! Definitely will be planting some to try and dry myself.

Oak - It looks like whoever dried them did it upside down. Did you arrange them any other way once they were dried?

As many petals that have dropped it doesn't look bare, which is surprising!

I can't imagine trying to ship dried flowers to someone. (Ebay)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:30PM
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