Top 23 Flowers to Grow for Drying

Top 23 Flowers to Grow for Drying

If you are a gardener or plan to have a garden, you may start wondering what flowers are best for drying, because drying and displaying your flowers is the best way to get the most out of your gardening efforts. Whether you need dried flowers for home decor or personal projects, it’s a great idea to know what flowers make the best dried flowers.

In this article, we'll cover the best flowers to grow and dry. They may not share the same drying process, but they all make a great addition to the stunning arrangement or art project due to their unique color and shape.

 

1. Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)

Sometimes called the fireworks, Globe Amaranth is small, annual amaranth with showy brightly colored bobble-like flower clusters. It looks very much like hot pink pom-poms, which makes for an ideal splash of color in dried arrangements. It’s available in a variety of colors in shades of purple, red, magenta, hot pink, orange, white, and lilac. 

Globe amaranth is easy to grow and it can tolerate heat and drought. To achieve the best results, cut the flowers just after the blooms are completely open. Before bundling them for drying, strip the leaves off of each stem, then group the stems together in bundles of ten to twelve flowers each.

Amaranth flower varieties can be dried vertically. Just place the stems into a glass or a container that stands them upright and keep it in a dark, dry, cool location. For hanging amaranthus flowers, dry them in bundles to straighten their stems. To keep the curvature of hanging amaranthus varieties, dry them by laying them over a curved surface instead of hanging them in bundles. 

2. Strawflower (Helichrysum bracteatum)

Strawflowers are Australian native that loves heat and tolerate drought. They make lovely, long-lived dried flowers. What we love most about strawflowers is that they are long-blooming annuals, easy and fun to grow.

Strawflowers are ideal for dried flower arrangements and artwork thanks to their ability to retain that bright color and shape. The petal has a crisp and papery texture. The flowers sit tall atop the thin stems and are just packed with petals. The flowers come in an array of bright colors and sun-loving blooms from late spring to the first frost.

These flowers really have a wild prairie feel about them. Choosing strawflower to make your dried flower arrangements or wreaths are a great way to add some farmhouse style to your home.

3. Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

Also known as Bachelor’s Button, cornflower blooms for several months and are excellent flowers for cutting and drying

The flower is pretty small. So it’s better to group them together in bundles of about 20 flowers. Hang the large bundles upside down to dry in a dark, cool, dry location that has good air ventilation. Once they are dry, you can either use the full flowers in dried arrangements or strip the petals off of each flowerhead to make flower confetti. Then you can use the flower confetti to decorate your home and office or as a colorful addition to DIY potpourri blends.

4. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender is one of the most well-known flowers for its purple flowers. The word literally means “to wash”. This plant has an incredible aroma and has been used for centuries in cleaning and purifying.

Dried lavender flowers make gorgeous, aromatic home décor, fragrant sachets, and potpourri. Lavender can be used in dried arrangements or cooking, and so much more, such as in teas, baking, making natural home cleaning products or cosmetics.

5. Statice (Linonium sinuatum)

Statice is an annual that makes exceptional dried flowers thanks to its mix of colors and the ability to hold up throughout the drying process.  Growing varieties of colors make it more fun for a robust drying season. The clouds of tiny blooms in shades from a heathery blue-purple through lavender and violet onto indigo. The stems are also well suited to dried arrangements, as they’re sturdy and support the blooms well.

Adding a dozen of static flowers can make a huge difference in the look of arrangement if you are looking for something vibrant and desirable. They bloom from July to September and like warm and dry conditions.

Cut statice for arrangements when the blooms have opened to about three-quarters of their eventual fullness, leaving a stem of 12 to 18 inches. The flowers will continue opening their blossoms as they dry. Be sure to strip any foliage or protruding stems from the lower part of the flowers you cut before drying them so they’ll fit into your arrangements nicely. Hanging upside down in a dry, dark room that provides ventilation, the flowers will have dried in seven to 10 days. 

6. Yarrow (Achillea)

Yarrow is a graceful perennial wildflower that has gorgeous flat flower umbels and makes wonderful additions to your dried flower décor. They are yellow or white perennial wildflowers. They are also available in hot and pale pinks. Yarrow can also be used in medicinal teas.

It is native to Siberia and its surrounding regions. Its tiny flowers make for a great addition to any dried flower bouquet or they can serve as the perfect touch to a card or similar gift. If you want to press yarrow, be sure to take care as the petals are more fragile than others on this list. Use high-quality blotting paper and don’t use too much weight.

7. Globe Thistle (Echinops bannaticus)

Globe thistle is perfectly round with a striking appearance when dried. It is a drought-tolerant perennial plant loved by many pollinating visitors. Furthermore, its unique flowers make an excellent addition to interesting dried floral arrangements.

You can even cut it before the buds have fully opened to watch them slowly open indoors in your own dried bouquet.

For the best results when drying globe thistle flowers for your dried flowers projects, cut the stems right after the morning dew evaporates, and just prior to the plant’s flowers reaching full maturity. You can even cut it before the buds have fully opened to watch them slowly open indoors in your own dried bouquet.

Take your cuttings early when drying globe thistles, as they will continue to develop and open up after being cut. Dry globe thistles like most flowers, their stems tied up together and hung in small to medium sized bundles of about five to seven flowers per bundle.

8. Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)

As one of the most popular flowers for florists, a baby’s breath can make perfect additions to the dried flower arrangements. Their small, yet willowy stems and billowy yet delicate petals are perfect for things like corsages.

When harvesting Baby’s Breath flowers for drying, be sure to choose the stems that are half-open and half-closed. Make a final cut on the stems while running them under warm water. Then make bundles of five to seven flower stems each. Tie them up by their stems with a rubber band or piece of string and keep them in a cool, dark, dry location.  

9. Poppy (Papaver commutatum ‘Ladybird’)

Depending on the variety, poppies can be perennial or annual. It comes in a rich variety and all add brilliant color to any floral arrangement. 

The best types of poppies to dry are bread seed poppies, also called rattle poppies (Papaver somniferum), and Shirley poppies (Papaver rhoeas). In addition to drying the blooms, poppies also have attractive seed pods that can be dried for a completely different look than the blooms. It’s sold as “poppy pods” in florist shops or craft stores. The circular, rattly pods sit atop long stems and make good additions to wildflower-style arrangements. They can even be used on their own for a more sculptural look.

The ladybird poppy is especially beautiful due to its brilliant crimson flowers and unique large black spot. This flower typically blooms for several months throughout late spring and into midsummer. During the midsummer peak, the flowers will give way to ornamental seed pods so you want to cut and dry before then.

10. Queen Anne’S Lace (Ammi Majus)

As a classic addition in all kinds of flower arrangements, Queen Anne's lace can be used both fresh and dried. Similar to the baby’s breath, the circular clusters of white blooms can fill in between background foliage and the featured blooms with a foamy white spray. These blossoms are especially good for a way to quickly diversify the texture of an arrangement.

Cut blossoms that are either in the middle of their prime or about to reach their peak. Remove the leaves before you dry them, as they do not dry successfully. If you try to remove them once the flower has been dried, it can cause damage. You can dry Queen Anne’s lace hanging upside down in bundles of two or three blooms for two to three weeks. For faster drying, place the prepared cut flowers in a cardboard box and fill the box with a combination of equal portions of white cornmeal and borax, covering the blooms. 

11. Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses have gorgeous blooms and make outstanding additions to dried flower crafts. The seed heads of many varieties can be dried the same way more traditional flowers are used. They can soften, add texture, and create drama.

Great options for dried ornamental grasses include Pampas Grass, Feather Reed Grass, Bunny Tails or Fountain Grass. Besides, many other grains make fantastic additions to dried arrangements such as wheat, millet, and oat.

12. Rose (Rosa)

From dried rose petals, dried rosebuds, to whole dried flowers, the rose has incredible versatility. From rose petal jelly, rose oil, rosebud topiary, to luxurious giant table centerpieces, the potential uses for dried roses are nearly endless!

The Cream Veranda variety seems to have been made for dried arrangement, even though all kinds of roses are beautiful. The blooms measure between two and two and a half inches across, and each one is stacked and piled with so many petals. It looks as if several rose blossoms have clustered together to make one impressive bloom. The Cream Veranda rose looks more like a luscious, petal-heavy peony than it does a rose. The creamy pale pink of the blossoms also works well in dried arrangements, whether it’s adding contrast with more vibrant colors or being combined with other pale shades for a cloudy, dreamlike arrangement.

13.Pompom Dahlias (Dahlia Pompom)

Pompon dahlias dry better than other types of dahlias, so if you know you’ll be using your flowers in dried arrangements, it makes sense to choose to grow the pompon variety. Dahlias also turn out better when dried with a desiccant than when they are simply left hanging upside down to dry.

Silica gel is the recommended desiccant to use for drying pompon dahlias. You just need to prepare a plastic container with an inch of silica gel crystals, using a container with a sealable, airtight lid. Place the flowers on top of the one-inch bed of silica gel crystals, arranging them so that no part of any flower is touching another or the container itself. Then use the scoop that is provided with the silica gel to carefully bury the blooms in the crystals. Work slowly so the flower does not become squashed or distorted as you bury it. Once the blooms are buried, seal the container, and the flowers will dry within two to seven days.

14. SILVER MOUND/WORMWOOD (ARTEMISIA SCHMIDTIANA)

Even though the silver mound plant is smaller than many used in floral arrangements, it’s used in fresh and dried arrangements so frequently because the silver-gray feathery foliage makes such a beautiful contrast to the green foliage of other plants and their vibrant blooms. Silver Mound blossoms in August, but the yellow flowers are small and are not normally included in arrangements like the foliage of the plant is.

Cut the sprigs you want to dry in late August, then remove any unattractive or dead foliage from the bottom of the stems before drying upside down in a dark, dry spot with good ventilation. 

15. EUCALYPTUS (EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS)

Eucalyptus is another great choice for adding some greens for filler to provide some contrast to the colorful flowers in your dried arrangements. Eucalyptus will also add a nice minty aroma to your dried arrangements. Eucalyptus should be air-dried in bundles like most of your other dried flowers and greens. Tie together eucalyptus stems in bundles of five to ten stems per bundle.

16. Hydrangea (Hydrangea Macrophylla)

Drying Hydrangea flowers is different from drying most flower types, which are cut once they reach peak color on the vine. For hydrangeas, it’s important to let them dry out more before clipping their stems. As hydrangeas dry out a bit, their colors shift, picking up secondary colors. Oakleaf cultivars like Tara, adopt hints of coral or rose, while big-leaf hydrangeas add hints of purple, aqua, or burgundy to their already brilliant blooms. Once the colors shift and the petals start to become more stiff and brittle, break out the scissors.

Cut hydrangea stems at an angle, taking between one foot and 18 inches of stem, along with the flowerheads. Strip the leaves and submerge the cuttings in freshwater. Next, arrange your hydrangea cuttings in a vase with fresh water to finish the drying process, allowing the bottom three inches of stem to be submerged under the waterline. Do not overcrowd the vases, as hydrangeas need good air circulation to dry correctly. Replace the water when it evaporates and allow two weeks for flowers to fully dry. Once petals are stiff and dry and stems are easy to snap, your dried hydrangeas are ready to use in dried arrangements, wreaths, and more.

17. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is a wonderful annual. It may even spread its seed and grow year after year in favorable conditions. Its gorgeous petals hold their color excellently when dried. Dried Calendula has many uses in décor as well as many culinary, cosmetic, and herbal medicine uses.

18. Pinks (Dianthus)

Dianthus is a large genus of flowering plants that include carnations, pinks, and sweet williams. Most Dianthus grow as herbaceous perennials, blooming prolifically from Summer through Fall. Their dried flowers make a fantastic addition to artful crafts. Excitingly, many varieties are also edible with a clove-like aroma and taste.

19. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purple Coneflower also has many uses as a dried flower. It has a unique shape and lovely rose-purple petals that dry well and are useful in dried flower arrangements, crafts, and for use in herbal teas as well.

Because of the flatter shape of coneflower’s lovely blooms, do not put them in bundles and hang them upside down to dry them. Instead, coneflowers should be dried by spreading them out, flowers, stems, leaves and all, on drying screens in a dark, cool, well-ventilated area, like an attic or basement. Coneflowers usually only take five to seven days to dry out in the proper environment as long as they are spaced out appropriately so that each flower is separated from its neighbors so that they do not touch or overlap. 

20. African  Marigold (Tagetes Erecta)

African marigolds will actually dry out on the vine themselves, so wait until they are dry to harvest them and you don’t have to worry about hanging them upside down after harvesting them. Just gather them in bundles to store with the rest, or make them into arrangements right after harvesting. 

21. Sea Holly/Alpine Thistle (Eryngium)

With its unusual color and shape, sea holly makes a natural choice for dried flower arrangements. The thistle-like blooms come in powdery blues that dry to a blue-gray color. The architectural, geometric shape of the sea holly holds up well when dried, with jagged-edged petals sticking out from behind every thistle-like bloom. Mix sea holly with other blue and purple flowers, and add some silvery gray or white foliage as a contrast.

Cut the blossoms you want to dry in the morning before the flowers have opened completely. Make bundles of eight to 10 flowers each, and tie them together at the end with a twist tie or rubber band. Let them dry upside down in a spot that is dark and dry with plenty of ventilation. 

22. Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum)

Anise Hyssop flowers can be dried in bundles by hanging them upside down and keeping them in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight. Alternatively, these flowers can be dried quickly in the microwave by nuking them on high for one to three minutes. Check leaves for dryness after each minute and stop when the leaves have dried.

23. Cress (Lepidium Sativum)

Though it is not actually a flower, the cress holds together really well when dried. Every good bouquet, whether dried or fresh, can benefit from some greens to add as filler and to mix things up a bit. Cress is perfect for this role. If you want to grow more greens that will help diversify your dried bouquets, look into ornamental grasses, as there are multiple types of grass that are dry-looking fresh, and young, just like cress. 

 

Drying flowers can make you enjoy their presence by bringing real flowers indoors. But remember, regardless of the chosen method for drying flowers, they need to be in a dark place for protection. The flowers’ delicate colors will be faded by any source of light. Also, keep them in a dry environment, which means not in the bathroom or kitchen. Otherwise, it may lead to mold problems. When necessary,  introduce fans or a dehumidifier to the drying area. Hope your days go brighter than ever with these beautiful natural beauties for years to come!

 

Back to blog