Spring showers bring fresh flowers, only for them to die a few months later. If you’re planning on adding some floral decor to your home this season, can we tempt you to consider dried flowers? Watching your favorite blooms slowly wither away is arguably the worst part about decorating with live plants.
“Dried flowers were really trendy back in the ’80s and then they dipped in the ’90s,” says Megan Callahan, brand manager of Afloral. For a long time these arrangements had a distinctly dated vibe.“A couple of years ago, the boho style was really coming back into trend, and that definitely has more of a wild, organic, whimsical look to it,” Callahan explains.
“There’s been a super big resurgence in dried flowers the last five to seven years,” she adds. “We’ve really seen the traffic and interest peak since then.” There’s no denying dried flowers are huge right now—and for good reason. They’re pretty, creative, generally cost-effective, and an extremely sustainable way to cover your home in color and blooms. Best of all, they’re easy to grow and dry yourself. But don’t just take our word for it: We spoke to two of the best florists in the field to learn how to do it in five easy steps.
“If you’ve got the space, and if you’re interested in doing so, it’s cheaper, better for the environment, and more sustainable to grow your flowers yourself,” says Carolyn Dunster, florist and author of Cut & Dry: The Modern Guide to Dried Flowers from Growing to Styling.
Dunster suggests starting with annuals, which are flowers that germinate, grow, flower, set seed, and die all within one season. They don’t typically need much room to grow and are low-maintenance, making them great for apartments or homes without much outdoor space and for first-time florists. Cosmos, begonia, petunias, chrysanthemum, primrose, and pansies are all examples of annuals that could look beautiful in your arrangements.
Callahan insists that “looking up color theory is always super helpful.” So, give the color wheel a spin and find hues that are complementary, analogous, or any other scheme you particularly like. You can apply the theory to the arrangement itself and find flowers that match those hues or even think about how the flowers will fit into the rest of the room or space you plan to put them in. You could also pay a visit to your local flower shop to find things that you gravitate toward.
There’s a little more to the craft than just waiting until your bouquet withers away. It’s best to have somewhat of a game plan with your flowers because there are a few factors that will come into play.
Whether or not the flowers dry successfully largely comes down to two things: the humidity of the room that you’re drying them in and the timing in the plant’s life cycle. “A warm, dry room is ideal,” Dunster explains, although a cool room would work too if the air can circulate. You just don’t want to keep the flowers in a damp area where they could easily mold.