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Thompson & Morgan®: Seed Germination Guide

Everlasting Flowers
There are four popular ways of drying flowers: Air drying, glycerine, moist drying and by using a desiccant. In the chart below we have listed the most usual treatment for each subject. They will probably also respond to other treatments. Also there are doubtless many other plants in our catalog which can be dried for their flowers or foliage which haven't been mentioned here.


Air Drying

Air drying is the simplest method, pick the flowers with as long a stem as possible when they are just fully out. Strip off the leaves and hang them upside down in bunches of 3-6 stems in a cool, dark, airy place until fully dry.

Glycerine is helpful in giving grasses a lovely silken sheen or to retain a plant's suppleness. Dilute I part glycerine in 2 parts hot (boiled) water, mix together well and stand the plant in a jar containing 2-3in of the mixture. Leave for 4-5 days until they change colour.


Moist Drying

Leave on the plant until the flowers are fully mature then cut, remove all the foliage and stand in a jar containing 2in of water. Once this has been used up they should be left to dry naturally. If the petals show signs of withering once the water is used up then add a little more.


Desiccant

This method is useful for the more fleshy flowers which don't dry easily by any other method. Use a cardboard shoe box or similar and cover the bottom with ½-¾ inch of desiccant (silica gel or similar). Place the flowers on this and work the desiccant carefully in among the petals until they are full covered and only the stem shows. For a first attempt it's best to start with daisy like flowers which should be placed face downwards on the desiccant. Seal the lid on the box with sellotape and place in a WARM, DRY place until dry. The time taken will depend on the size and texture of the flowers, but it usually takes around 2 weeks. Lift the flowers out with extreme care and brush off any surplus desiccant with a soft paint brush.


Seed Heads and Gourds

Leave the seed heads on the plant until fully ripe and bring in and air dry for several weeks. Gourds should be harvested when fully ripe, this can be seen by the fruit changing colour and becoming hard. Leave them on the vine a little longer if you are doubtful. Cut the gourd with a small piece of stem attached and bring in to room temperature to dry. After several weeks when fully dry they can be given a coat of clear varnish if required. Luffa Gourds turn brown and become lighter in weight at maturity, bring indoors, wash in a mild non-bleaching disinfectant and hang in a warm, dry, airy place. When ready you will be able to remove the dry outer skin. The inner fruit body must then be soaked in clean water for a few days to help remove the soft inner tissue and seeds and then dried and bleached in the sun or with Hydrogen Peroxide.



Name           Type      Method 
Acanthus       HP        Air Drying 
Achillea       HP        Air Drying 
Aconitum       HP        Desiccant 
Alchemilla     HP        Air Drying or Glycerine or Moisture 
Allium         HP        Dried Seed Head 
Amaranthus     HHA       Air Drying or Glycerine or Moisture 
Ambrosinia     HHA       Air Drying 
Ammobium       HHA       Air Drying 
Anaphalis      HP        Air Drying 
Anemone        HP        Desiccant 
Anthemis       HP        Desiccant 
Asclepias      HP        Dried Seed Head 
Astilbe        HP        Desiccant 
Astrantia      HP        Glycerine 
Belarncanda    HP        Dried Seed Head 
Bellis         HB        Desiccant 
Calendula      HA        Air Drying 
Carlina        HP        Air Drying 
Catananche     HP        Air Drying 
Celosia        HHA       Air Drying 
Centaurea      HA        Desiccant 
Cephalaria     HP        Dried Seed Head 
Cephalipterum  HHA       Air Drying 
Chrysanthemum  HP        Desiccant 
Clary          HA        Desiccant 
C[or]taderia   HP        Air Drying or Glycerine 
Craspedia      HHA       Air Drying 
Crocosmia      HP        Desiccant 
Dahlia         HHA       Desiccant 
Delphinium     HP        Desiccant 
Digitalis      HB        Dried Seed Head 
Dipsacus       HB        Dried Seed Head 
Echinacea      HP        Dried Seed Head 
Echinops       HP        Air Drying 
Emilia         HHA       Air Drying 
Erigeron       HP        Desiccant 
Eryngium       HP        Air Drying or Desiccant 
Euph[or]bia    HP        Glycerine 
Feverfew       HP        Desiccant 
Gentian        HP        Desiccant 
Glaucium       HB        Dried Seed Head 
Gnaphalium     HP        Air Drying 
Godetia        HA        Desiccant 
Gomphrena      HHA       Air Drying 
Gourds         HHA       Dried Seed Head 
Grasses        HP/HA     Air Drying 
Gypsophila     HP        Air Drying 
Helichrysum    HP/HHA    Air Drying 
Helipterum     HA        Air Drying 
Helleb[or]us   HP        Desiccant 
Heuchera       HP        Desiccant 
Hollyhock      HHA       Desiccant 
Iberis         HA        Dried Seed Head 
Larkspur       HA        Air Drying 
Lavender       HSH       Dried Seed Head 
Lawrencellia   HHA       Air Drying 
Limonium       HHA       Air Drying 
Lonas          HA        Air Drying 
Lunaria        HB        Dried Seed Head 
Matricaria     HA        Air Drying 
Molucella      HHA       Air Drying or Desiccant or Glycerine 
Myosotis       HB        Desiccant 
Nicandra       HA        Dried Seed Head 
Nigella        HA        Dried Seed Head 
Papaver        HA        Dried Seed Head 
Phlomis        HP        Air Drying 
Physalis       HP        Dried Seed Head 
Podolepis      HHA       Air Drying 
Psilostrophe   HP        Air Drying 
Pulsatilla     HP        Dried Seed Head 
Rhodanthe      HHA       Air Drying 
Scabiosa       HA        Air Drying
(Drumstick) 
Sedum          HP        Moisture 
Stachys        HP        Air Drying 
Tagetes        HHA       Desiccant 
Verbascum      HP        Dried Seed Head 
Xeranthemum    HA        Air Drying 



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