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Drying Flowers Can Prolong Beauty of Blooms Indefinitely

December 22, 1990|JULIE BAWDEN DAVIS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If silk plants are not your style, but you want your flower arrangements to stick around, try drying your favorite flowers and prolonging their beauty indefinitely.

Top picks for drying include roses, hydrangeas, lavender, baby's breath, daisies, German statice, yarrow and strawflowers, says Susan Jacklin, owner of Susan's Flowers in Fountain Valley. "Dry flowers, when they're at their prime, keep their color better and remain firm when they're dried immediately."

Roses must be dried when the buds are just beginning to open. Once they bloom, they tend to lose petals when dried.

"Dry flowers in a cool dark place, which will ensure that they keep their color," says Pat Gosnell, owner of Regal Flowers in Orange. "The sun will discolor and bleach them out."

The best places to dry them is in a closet or a garage that stays dark, cool and free of dust. "Bunch a group of flowers that you want to keep together after drying and tie their ends with a string," Gosnell says. "Then hang them upside down with their blooms downward and leave them to dry for several days."

Make rose potpourri out of roses that have already bloomed. To do so, lay the petals out flat and separate for three to four days while they dry. If you leave them bunched together, they will mildew. Full roses that have bloomed can be pressed in between books, then removed and glued on cards or made into stationery.

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