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Everlasting flowers: flowers that dry out beautifully

by Beth Abood |

It’s no secret that dried and preserved flowers have become a major interior trend over the last couple of years and may even have just hit their peak. Once having a really bad rap and often associated with other dust collecting objects in grandparents' homes, they are now having a huge renaissance thanks to a combination of people and businesses demonstrating their sustainability values and also new coloured, preserved varieties entering the flower markets.

At Floreat we use a little bit of both naturally dried and preserved flowers, but we especially love watching the natural ageing process of natives and other varieties – it’s just one added bonus of buying a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers. So, we thought we’d bring you up to speed so that the next time you receive a lovely bouquet of flowers, you’ll know which flowers will dry out well. That way you can keep them aside and enjoy them well after your fresh flower bouquet has gone to the bin.   

  1. Hydrangea

Hydrangea is one of those flowers where many varieties pretty much dry themselves out. The best time to watch this is toward the end of the growing season, around Autumn when the petals start to change from vivid colours, to more muted and faded Autumnal tones - earlier than this and the heads are likely too full of moisture, so will droop and shrivel rather than hold their shape. They take around two weeks to dry out, and can stay that way for a year or more. 

 

Image Source: Canva

  1. Babies Breathe

Like hydrangea, babies breathe will dry out beautifully without any help. If left sitting in a vase, its little white fluffy ball flowers will eventually shrivel up and turn to a golden brown. But if you’d rather skip the fresh part (and potentially smelly vase water as the flowers age), try hanging a few stems upside down in a dark ventilated room. After about 5 days they should be dried out and feel papery to touch. 

  

Image Source: Pinterest

  1. Banksias

In our studio we have SO many different varieties of banksias that we have specially dried. We simply leave them out of water to dry, and over the course of a next week their leaves and heads change colour and they are fully dried. Unlike flowers that carry more moisture in their stems and have a bit of a curl to them, the thick woody stems of banksias means that you don’t need to hang them upside down to dry out – they will hold their shape as is.  

 

Image Source: @airy.flower Instagram

  1. Mulla Mulla 

Often when we think of naturally dried flowers we think of flowers in natural beige and brown tones. But Mulla Mulla is one of a small handful of flowers that retain their beautiful colour when they dry out. Mulla Mulla is such a beautiful and interesting Australian native flower, and it can be left in a vase or hung upside down to hold its shape.

  1. Paper Daisy

Paper Daisy also belongs to the naturally colourful dried flower family. When fresh, their paper-like bracts start off tight, and their heads open up over the course of about 5-7 days to reveal different colours in the centre. They hold their pink, red, orange yellow or white colour beautifully, and are best dried out by hanging them upside down for a bit over a week so that their soft stems dry straight. One of our favourite varieties to dry out is Ammobium Paper Daisy – their bright yellow centres turn a dark brown when dried and they look incredible en masse!

 

Image Source: Canva

Ammobium Paper Daisy, Image Source: Pinterest

  1. Eucalyptus Gum

Eucalyptus Gum is one of those dried flowers that a lot of people seem to know about! It’s probably the most common dried foliage we’ve seen in people’s homes (especially Silver Dollar gum), and has never really lost it’s popularity over the years – it survived the “country style” interior trends of the 90s, rustic trends of the early 00’s and is now bathing in this current native and dried flower renaissance. Just leave in a vase without water to dry out over the course of a week to two weeks.

 

 

 

Image Source: @lycheesandtealeaves Instagram 
  1. Phylica

Phylica is a South African native flower which has a beautiful soft golden colour. It’s available in Winter and Spring, which is when we stock up to use it in dried arrangements throughout the rest of the year. It’s got big fluffy heads so it looks great on it’s own in a vase and is pretty versatile – it looks great in a modern, neutral homes with but also blends right in somewhere with a vintage feel. Also it lasts pretty much forever - Beth kept a bunch of dried out Phylica in her home for almost the entire 2 years she lived there.

 

Image Source: @filmandfoliage Instagram   

  1. Zig Zag Wattle

Wattle is having a bit of a moment right now! There are a lot of different types of Wattle foliage, in different colours, shapes and textures, but the ones that dry out best (in our experience) are Zig Zag Wattle and Queensland Silver wattle, which both hold their colour and shape so nicely – another bright coloured flower that dries out well.

 

Queensland Silver Wattle, Image Source: @rose_city_farmhouse_ Instagram 

  1. Palm Leaves

If you’ve been to or seen pictures of a wedding in the last couple of years then it’s highly likely you’ve witnessed the dried flower trend, which almost always includes really big, beautiful, naturally dried palm leaves. Their large size means that not all flower shops or studios will constantly have them in stock, but you can definitely put in a request for some! Ask for fresh if you want to watch them change from a vivid forest green to light brown. Leave out of water standing or laying to let dry. And if you’re not a fan of how the leaf ends dry a bit curly/droopy just cut them off with scissors to leave a nice neat edge.

 

Naturally Dried Palm, Image Source: Pinterest  

Dried Palm with Cut Edge, Image Source: Pinterest

And then of course, there are so many other gorgeous dried flowers that are picked dried and stay that way until you’re tired of them! Here are a few of our favourites that are bought just like this: 

Billy Buttons

 

Image Source: Pinterest

South Australian Daisy

Image Source: @greendalewildflowers Instagram 

Phragmite Spear Grass

 

Image Source: @filmandfoliage Instagram 

Dried Bracken Fern 

Image Source: @jonimaflowers Instagram

Teasal

 

Image Source: Pinterest

Bunny Tails

 

Image Source: Pinterest 

Read about how we embraced the dried flower trend at the start of Covid-19 in this Sydney Morning herald piece. Or, if you'd like some dried flowers of your own browse our everlasting bouquet selection which we create from both dried and preserved flowers.

If you'd like to learn in more depth how to dry and preserve flowers well, this book is a wonderful resource, sold in our online store: Everlastings by Bex Partridge.

 

 

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