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How to Dry Flowers in 5 Easy Steps

Looking for ways to preserve a special bouquet or flowers from your garden? Learn how to dry flowers in 5 easy steps. 

Have you ever wanted to preserve a bridal bouquet, an anniversary arrangement, or flowers from the garden?

Drying flowers prolongs their aesthetics and nostalgia. Plus they make beautiful budget-friendly home decor that can be used in many DIY projects.

Did you know there are LOTS of flowers that you are probably growing that are easy to dry?

With all of these summer blooms, it’s a great time to harvest and preserve them.

Wait until you see how easy it is to do!

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Drying Flowers is New For Me

I love flowers. They make me happy.

Because I love flowers so much, I started growing them.

It started with one small garden, then progressed to so many more.

For years, I didn’t cut flowers from the garden because I thought they looked prettier in the borders.

Front yard cottage garden in fall with flowers that are perfect for drying -How to Dry Flowers From Your Garden
My cottage garden in fall has lots of pretty flowers to dry.

I didn’t want to ruin the beds by snipping some to take inside. But I’ve been trying to change that mentality.

Because flowers are meant to be enjoyed both outside and inside our homes.

So I started a new cutting garden with the purpose of cutting the blooms.

Designating one of the beds as a cutting garden made it easier to grow flowers and harvest to bring inside.

Cut hydrangeas for drying in farmhouse kitchen in vintage ball jar glasses -How to Dry a Hydrangea the Easy Way

As the garden blooms and changes throughout the season, I want to preserve some of my colorful blooms to use indoors.

Lately, I’ve been drying hydrangeas and tucking them in some vintage crates around my house. I love the pretty vintage blues and purple they add to my home decor.

Today, I want to preserve this gorgeous bouquet of orange roses to use in some vintage crocks with my fall decor.

Plus, I have some gorgeous dahlias that I’d love to keep around.

close up of bright orange roses with baby's breath - How to dry flowers with orange roses
Bouquet of orange roses with baby’s breath
close up of dahlias - Dahlias are the best fall garden flowers
Dahlias in the fall garden

Whether it’s a beautiful wedding bouquet, corsage, or flowers from the garden, there are a few ways to dry flowers.

The best part?

It’s easy to do! And dried flowers can last a long time. So you can use them in different ways to decorate your home.

Dahlias from the cutting garden - How to Dry Flowers
Fresh cut bouquet of dahlias with beautyberry (callicarpa) in the background
Cutting garden to dry flowers
The cutting garden has an array of gorgeous flowers that are perfect for drying.

Air Dry Flowers Method

Since I prefer to do things the easy way, air drying flowers is the simplest, most budget-friendly way to dry flowers.

Supplies need to dry flowers - How to dry flowers - supplies
Drying flowers supplies

Supplies Needed to Air Dry Flowers

  • Flowers
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Stick, hanger or drying rack
  • Unscented hairspray
Holding a bouquet of orange roses to prepare them for drying -How to dry flowers with orange roses
Gorgeous bright orange roses

How to Air Dry Flowers

  • Remove all of the leaves from the stems
  • Group flowers together and tie them in small bunches
  • Attach to a stick, hanger or drying rack
  • Then hang to dry in a spot with minimal light for 3-4 weeks
  • Spray with unscented hairspray to help them last
removing leaves from orange roses to prepare them for drying -How to dry flowers
Removing leaves from roses before drying

How do you dry flowers and keep their color?

If you want to keep the best color, cut flowers before they are fully open.

Tie and hang them upside down in a dry, but warm, dark spot. The more light it gets, the lighter the color retention.

I am going to hang these in my finished basement to complete the drying process.

tying bunches of sedum autumn joy, dahlias and roses to a stick found in the yard held by twine to dry flowers -How to dry flowers
I just grabbed sticks from the yard to hang and dry flowers.

Do dried flowers last forever?

While we can do our best to make them last, dried flowers don’t last forever.

You can do your best to extend their life, but I recommend replacing them when they don’t look as good.

When I got married, I kept my wedding bouquet for several years.

They looked really good for a long time, but over time they started looking shabby.

Limelight Hydrangeas and Beautyberry are the best fall garden flowers
Limelight hydrangea flowers with beautyberry (callicarpa)

How long do dried flowers last?

In general, dried flowers roughly last about 1-3 years.

For best results, handle with the most care.

And try to keep them out of direct sunlight, wind, and humidity.

Drying sedum autumn joy, dahlias and roses  hung by twine on a branch -How to Dry Flowers
Drying sedum autumn joy, dahlias and roses

What are the best flowers to dry?

There’s a pretty big list, but I have successfully dried the following blooms.

  • roses
  • globe thistle
  • hydrangeas
  • strawflower
  • yarrow
  • sedum
  • herbs
  • celosia
  • lavender
  • ageratum
  • russian sage
  • salvia

I recently dried dahlias and they looked so pretty!

As an aside, I don’t dry hydrangeas like I do other flowers.

If you want to dry hydrangeas, this is the easiest way to do it.

fresh cut dahlias in bud vases on granite countertop in farmhouse kitchen with white painted cabinetsHow to Dry Flowers
Cafe Au Lait Dahlias from the Cutting Garden in these adorable bud vases. I love them so much I’m getting another set!

What are dried flowers good for?

There are lots of great ways to use dried flowers in your home. Here are a few ideas:

  • wreaths
  • centerpieces
  • arrangements
  • potpourri
  • candle-making projects
  • gifts
  • sachets
  • baths
  • cooking (some are edible in desserts or teas)
  • home-made cleaning products
goldenrod in the cottage garden
Goldenrod in the cottage garden

Should you spray dried flowers with hairspray?

To keep dried flowers in the best condition, hairspray can be applied to delicate dried flowers.

I recommend using it on wedding bouquets or corsages that have sentimental value to help them last longer.

Also, hairspray helps retain the shape better when moved around and prevents color fade over time.

closeup of fresh flower arrangement with dahlias and zinnias
How to Keep Fresh Flowers Longer

Where can I buy dried flowers?

If you’d rather skip the step of drying flowers, there are a few retailers that sell gorgeous dried flowers as well as other boho home decor.

Here are some of my GREAT go-to sources for dried flowers.

If you want to make your own arrangements but don’t want to dry flowers yourself, these dried flowers are incredibly beautiful.

And there are so many options to choose from.

Where can I buy dried flower home decor?

To get the boho look without the work, check out these gorgeous pre-made options.

Looking for More Flower Garden Ideas?

If you love flowers and want to grow more in your garden, here are some posts that will get you on your way.

From tucking in flowering plants that are deer-resistant or ones that attract more butterflies and hummingbirds, to shade-loving flowers like the lenten rose, these posts will get you on your way to growing a garden that will bring joy for years to come.

Here are more cut flower and cottage garden growing tips, tricks, and design inspiration.

view of the front porch cottage garden with sugar pumpkins, sedum autumn joy, rudbeckia, celosia and snapdragons

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close up of cafe au lait dahlias
close up of red dahlias and other flowers for drying -How to Dry Flowers in 5 Easy Steps

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  1. You have so many beautiful flowers to choose from! I just preserved flowers from my girlfriend’s wedding using silica…I’m amazed at how well they turned out! ( I still haven’t gotten to the project I want to make for her yet though!!)

  2. I’ve always liked dried flowers and love that it extends the life of those cut flowers. Also those wreaths are gorgeous!

  3. Stacy, great post! You just reminded me to use hairspray on these gorgeous pink roses I dried a few months ago! Your garden is so beautiful. I really need to set up a separate cutting garden. Like you, I don’t want to cut them as they look so beautiful in the garden. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s so hard right??? I enjoy them so much outdoors but have really been working on myself to cut more and bring them in!