The 15 Best Flowers to Grow for Dried Arrangements

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pink strawflower in garden
Photo: Peter Krumhardt

If you haven't seen them already, dried flowers are making a huge comeback in home decor. Creating your own dried flower arrangements is easy to do and can be inexpensive, especially when you grow the best flowers for drying yourself. The blooms on these plants will look gorgeous while they're growing in your garden and make colorful, long-lasting dried flowers, too.

01 of 15

Amaranth

Purple amaranth A. cruentus prince’s feather pink spires plant
Marty Baldwin

Make a bold statement with amaranth in your flower display. Commonly called love-lies-bleeding or tassel flower, this easy-to-grow annual has brightly colored upright plumes or long dangling ropes of tiny flowers in late summer. The tassels look especially eye-catching cascading over the sides of a large container. Amaranth flowers retain their color when dried for everlasting arrangements.

Name: Amaranthus
Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 4 feet tall
Zones: 10-11
Buy It: Love Lies Bleeding Amaranthus Seeds ($8, Amazon)

02 of 15

Floss Flower

pink Ageratum flowers in garden
Denny Schrock

One of the best annuals to grow in your cutting garden is floss flower. Also called ageratum, its clusters of fuzzy little blue, pink, or white flowers are heat-tolerant and bloom all summer long. The airy flowers and heart-shape leaves are often used to fill gaps in an arrangement and provide indoor displays with a finished, unified look.

Name: Ageratum houstonianum
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 30 inches tall
Zones: Annual
Buy It: Ageratum Seeds ($11, Walmart)

03 of 15

Mealycup Sage

Blue Salvia farinacea
Lynn Karlin

Give your dried flower arrangement some strong vertical elements with spikes of mealycup sage. The blooms resemble those of lavender, making it one of the prettiest salvias to grow in your garden. Though this plant is perennial in milder climates, it's usually grown as an annual. Count on it to bloom all summer long, taking heat, humidity, and drought in stride.

Name: Salvia farinacea
Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall
Zones: 8-10
Buy It: Victoria Blue - Mealy Cup Sage ($5, Etsy)

04 of 15

Globe Amaranth

globe amaranth
Peter Krumhardt

Add seasonal color to your garden and vases with globe amaranth. Its rounded flowerheads have a stiff, straw-like texture and look like clover flowers dipped in Easter egg dye. The heat-tolerant annual blooms in white, ivory, peach, orange, pink, and magenta from early summer to fall. For your fresh and dried arrangements, cut these beauties in the morning or evening when half the tiny florets in the flowerheads have opened.

Name: Gomphrena globosa
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 2 feet tall
Zones: Annual

05 of 15

Celosia

'Flamingo Feather' Celosia
Peter Krumhardt

An excellent focal point or filler for fresh or dried flower arrangements, celosia has striking flower heads that bloom from summer to fall. There are three types: plume, cockscomb, and wheat celosia, which offer different-shape blooms. Varieties come in bright shades of orange, red, purple, yellow, and cream. This is one of the easiest annual flowers to grow from seed and will often reseed itself. It's also perfect for a low-maintenance cottage garden.

Name: Celosia argentea
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 18 inches tall
Zones: 10-11
Buy It: Pastel Mix Celosia Seed ($4, Etsy)

06 of 15

Globe Thistle

globe thistle detail shot
Rob Cardillo

The beautiful spherical flower heads of globe thistle make stunning, dried blue flowers. These long-lasting flowers start as spiky balls atop long stems and transform into spheres covered in star-shaped, sky-blue blossoms. When they are fully open, these blossoms attract all sorts of pollinators. The best time to cut them for drying is just before the blossoms open.

Name: Echinops bannaticus
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 4 feet tall
Zones: 3-8

07 of 15

Strawflower

pink strawflower in garden
Peter Krumhardt

For decorating your home year-round with flowers from your garden, strawflower is a must-have plant. This annual blooms from late spring to frost and retains its color and shape when dried so it's perfect for a floral craft project that calls for sturdy everlasting flowers. It performs so well as a dried flower that it's widely grown for the commercial dried flower market.

Name: Xerochrysum bracteatum
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 5 feet tall
Zones: 8-10
Buy It: Blushing Bride Silver Rose Strawflower Seeds ($7, Walmart)

08 of 15

Baby's Breath

white Baby's Breath (Gypsophila Elegans)
Denny Schrock

Count on sprays of baby's breath to fill in your dried flower arrangement's empty spots and give your floral displays a finished look. The tiny yet plentiful flowers also can stand on their own in soft, cloudlike bouquets. This drought-tolerant perennial blooms from summer to fall. Snip stems to bring indoors around midday when some flowers on its branches have opened.

Name: Gypsophila paniculata
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall
Zones: 3-9
Buy It: Gypsophila Elegans Flower Seeds ($3, Etsy)

09 of 15

Hydrangea

endless summer bloomstruck hydrangea
Kritsada Panichgul

The large round blooms of hydrangeas make gorgeous cut flowers, but they're also wonderful for creating dried floral arrangements. Both mophead and lacecap varieties produce beautiful blooms from summer to fall that dry well. Besides white flowers, several colorful options are available, including blue, pink, and purple are available.

Name: Hydrangea
Growing Conditions: Part shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 5 feet tall
Zones: 3-9
Buy It: Bobo Hardy Hydrangea ($30, The Home Depot)

10 of 15

Rose

just joey rose
Doug Hetherington

Beloved by gardeners and florists, the rose is among the most popular flowers to grow and display. In fact, a recent survey revealed that the rose is the most common flower grown in 16 states. Plan on growing the easiest roses for the most abundant flowers throughout the summer and into the fall. It's easy to dry and arrange these colorful blooms so they'll look almost as good as the day they were cut.

Name: Rosa
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 4 feet tall
Zones: 5-9
Buy It: At Last Rose Live Shrub ($36, The Home Depot)

11 of 15

Lavender

lavender patch
David Patterson

The best lavenders for drying will also fill your garden with color and fragrance in summer. Harvest lavender for drying when the blossoms have just opened. Make sure to use the fresh individual blooms and discard the little brown or green caps that hold the blooms to the stems. Growing lavender is an easy way to keep yourself well supplied with the pretty, edible blooms.

Name: Lavandula
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall
Zones: 5-8
Buy It: English Lavender Plant ($34, The Home Depot)

12 of 15

Statice

Limonium sinuatum Forever Gold
Peter Krumhardt

Easy-to-grow statice is a classic filler plant for dried flower arrangements. Its flower clusters are actually made up of colorful, funnel-shape calyces with a tiny white bloom in their center. The dried papery calyces are what remain long after the flowers have faded away. Cut this showy flower during dry weather when nearly all the calyces show color.

Name: Limonium sinuatum
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 18 inches tall
Zones: 8-10

13 of 15

Pansy

Genus Viola pansies
Peter Krumhardt

Enjoy beautiful pansy flowers anytime by preserving them. They dry best when pressed with materials you have around your house. You'll just need to choose and grow the prettiest pansies for cool-season color. Use these flowers to brighten up containers and garden beds during the cooler months in spring and fall.

Name: Viola × wittrockiana
Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 9 inches tall
Zones: 6-10
Buy It: Pansy with Multi-Colored Blooms ($13, The Home Depot)

14 of 15

Yarrow

Yarrow
Bob Stefko

The flat-topped clusters of yarrow make for ideal dried flowers. This drought-tolerant perennial comes in a number of varieties with yellow, orange, red, pink, or white blooms, so you can choose which ones best fit with your garden's color scheme. It's a tough plant that will even grow well in heavy clay soil. Harvest yarrow flowers for drying in the morning or evening and when 80 percent of the flowers are open on a stem.

Name: Achillea millefolium
Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall
Zones: 3-9
Buy It: Sunny Seduction Yarrow ($10, Walmart)

15 of 15

Peony

punk bubbles peony blooms with bee
Blaine Moats

Few flowers can compete with the billowy, ruffled blooms of the peony. This long-living perennial flower makes a stunning focal point in both fresh and dried flower arrangements. It's easy to dry peonies so you can enjoy their pink, red, white, or yellow petals year-round. Plant peony varieties that are known performers and you're sure to have plenty of showy blooms to add color to your spring garden.

Name: Paeonia lactiflora
Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil
Size: To 3 feet tall
Zones: 3-8
Buy It: Peonies Bulbs Sarah Bernhardt ($60, The Home Depot)

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