When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia in 2020, I began looking into flowers that dry well because it was a challenge to get hold of fresh flowers.
This of course meant that whatever flowers I had, or used in my arrangements, I tried to make those flowers last as long as possible. I then started observing how different flowers age and identifying flowers that dry well. And subsequently experimenting with these dried materials in my creative floral design work.
Plus if these plant materials dry nicely, that also meant they would tend do well in wedding or event arrangements that have to be out of water source for a while, such as wedding bouquets or floral installations.
In Sogetsu ikebana, besides fresh flowers, dried flowers or floral materials such as branches are also used when making arrangements. While as floral designers we try to maintain the freshness of cut flowers as long as possible, I personally feel that if I could use flowers this way, it’s another way of extending the lifecycle of the cut flower.
Moreover dried floral materials can be re-used more than once in different ikebana flower arrangements which makes this a more sustainable approach.
So, the following is a list of flowers that dry nicely when given the right conditions.
Flowers that Dry Well
Australian native flowers – Native flowers are well known to last well and dry beautifully.
Native flowers that dry out well include:
Craspedia (Billy Button)
Other Cut flowers that dry well and beautifully
Globe Amaranth (Bachelor Button)
Limonium (Caspia, Fairy Statice)
Eryngium (Thistle, Sea Holly)
Other flowers known to dry beautifully but I haven’t tried drying these yet or haven’t found the way(s) to dry them well:
Foliage or greenery that dry well
In addition to flowers, I also found some greenery that dry out nicely as well. Examples of foliage that dry out well include:
Fan palm leaf
Strelitzia (Birds of Paradise) leaf
Floral Arrangements using Dried Flowers
Here I share with you 5 ways I’ve used dried flowers and dried materials in my arrangements or floral design work:
- With preserved flowers
- With fresh flowers
- Dried branches with fresh flowers or plants
- As framed art
- Floral artistic display
Flower Arrangement with Dried and Preserved Flowers
I’m not generally a huge fan of artificially dyed imported flowers. When I do, I use them sparingly and only with the intention to inject colour into my arrangements. (What happens with naturally dried flowers is that the colour of the flowers will dull somewhat.)
This arrangement was created for a client as a Mother’s Day gift. The client brief here was to make a colourful arrangement for her mother.
This ikebana inspired arrangement included a mix of naturally dried florals as well as imported dried and preserved flowers.
(There are slight differences between dried and preserved flowers, particularly as a result of the process they have undergone to reach the dried or preserved state. If taken care properly, preserved flowers can last longer than dried flowers, that is up to 30-plus years!)
Arrangement using a mix of Dried and Fresh Flowers
To be environmentally friendly as much as possible, I try and re-use any material I spray-paint more than once.
For instance I used the spray-painted monstera leaf in the above arrangement in another ikebana freestyle arrangement shown below.
PRO TIP: When using dried and fresh materials together in an arrangement, remember to keep the stems of dried materials dry to prevent them from going mush.
Dried branches with Fresh Flowers or Plants
Look for interesting forms in plant materials that can potentially be dried so you can incorporate them in your floral work.
Dried flowers as framed artwork
Place your florals at different depths or heights to add interest to your floral art.
Dried Flowers Artistic Display
This artistic piece pictured below makes a great retail store window display.
Another popular way of artistically displaying dried flowers is as wall hangings.
DRIED FLOWER CARE
4 key tips on caring for dried flowers:
- Keep dried flowers out of direct sun. (Colours will fade more quickly if you keep them in the sun.)
- Keep them dry.
- Place your dried flower arrangement in a dry room with good airflow. For example avoid rooms with high humidity like bathrooms or the kitchen.
- Use a hair dryer (gentle cold air setting) to remove dust.
I hope you found some inspiration from the type of floral work you can create with flowers that dry well.
Have you used dried flowers in other ways? If so, please share in the comments below.
If you are interested to learn more about ikebana, I’ve also shared about how:
If you like these creative dried flower ideas, pin this post and save it for later.