Drying Strawflower...it didn't work, help.

Valley_Mermaid(z8 Ca)June 18, 2004

I have never had any success with drying anything, ever. Everything I have ever tried to dry, shrivels. I always hear how easy drying Hydrangeas are, "just turn them upside down and they dry so easy" yea right, mine don't, but anyway, my question is about H. bracteatum, (Straflower). I thought it would be near impossible for these to go wrong since they seem to already be dry before they are even clipped. I cut about 4 of them and they seemed to be doing great, but then after about a week, all the seeds had fallen out everywhere and it looked like my kids were blowing dandelions all over the room. How do I dry these without making a mess and keeping the cute orange center?

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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

Try picking them earlier. Many people pick them before they even open up all the way, and say they think the center is unattractive. My wife and I pick them both ways -- when come of the colored outer bracts are still covering the center and when they've opened to the point where you can see the actual flowers. You're right that the flower heads themselves need practically no drying -- it's the stem that takes a while. Here again we disagree with many other people who dry strawflowers. We find the stems are plenty stiff and strong if they're well dried. Others discard the stems and use artificial ones.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 11:19AM
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Valley_Mermaid(z8 Ca)

Oh, the center of the Stawflower, the bright orange center, are my favorite part of the flower :). I will give both suggestions a try. Thanks Neil_allen, for the help.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 12:16PM
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