Many annuals are beautiful when dried. Among the best flowers for drying are hollyhock blossoms, zinnias, and cosmos dried in sand or silica gel (found at craft and hobby stores); love-lies-bleeding, prince's-feather (Amaranthus hybridus var. erythrostachys), cockscomb, and plumed celosia hung upside down and air-dried; and snapdragons dried in silica gel. Most of the ornamental grasses, including hare's-tail grass (Lagurus ovatus), quaking grass (Briza maxima and B. minor), foxtail millet (Setaria italica), and squirreltail grass (Hordeum jubatum) dry perfectly by hanging bunches upside down in a dry room, but they must be picked when fresh. Don't forget the leaves of dusty-millers, which are elegant when pressed and dried.
Many annuals can be air-dried by gathering them in bunches and hanging them upside down in a well-ventilated place. Hanging them on a coat hanger works well.
1. The classic way to dry flowers is to gather them in small bunches and hang them upside down in a dry, airy place out of direct sun. You might try suspending the flowers from coat hangers.
2. Many-petaled flowers such as zinnias and marigolds often dry best in a desiccant powder like silica gel. Lay the flower heads on a layer of desiccant, then sprinkle more powder over the flowers to cover.
Timesaving Tip: Some annuals will dry perfectly when simply stuck in a bottle. Flowers to dry this way include starflower, statice, globe amaranth, and love-in-a-mist.
Continued on page 3: More Methods