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Sometimes it’s hard to give up a beautiful bouquet you were given on a special day or see those stunning blooms of spring and summer fade away from your garden. But, there is no need to deprive your home of floral arrangements when autumn and fall roll around.

Drying flowers is an age-old art of preserving the colors, shapes, and textures of summer and celebrating the enduring beauty of garden flora.

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There are so many projects that make the most of dried flowers, from simple arrangements, cooking, and potpourri to scrapbooking and candle making. Whatever your creative dried-flower endeavor is, you will need a good supply of dried flowers!

If you have the space, time, and inclination, you can grow a garden of flowers, especially for drying. It is essential to know that not all flowers dry equally! Certain flowers are known for holding their shape and color much better than others. As fragile and delicate as dried flowers look, in the end, you need something that won’t disintegrate and the drop of a hat!

Take a look at this list of flowers that make excellent dried flower candidates, and get your gardening gloves on.

1. Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular flowers for dried-flower arrangements with their stunning pink and blue hues. They hold their colors well while giving a vintage, shabby chic look. You can leave the blooms on the bush to mature, or you can dry the flowers that you deadhead throughout the season.

There are many types of hydrangea, but in general, this plant is quite easy to grow and is fairly hardy, being resistant to many kinds of pests. They can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Once established, your bush will need a deep watering once a week during a hot summer.

They can grow in various soils, and amazingly, certain hydrangeas can change color depending on the pH balance of the soil.

2. Strawflower

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Unsurprisingly from their name, strawflowers (Xerochrysum bracteatum) are the ideal candidate for drying. When alive and in full bloom, these flowers already have a dry and papery texture. The papery petals aren’t petals at all rather they are modified leaves.

Whatever the case, strawflowers come in a variety of colors and dry beautifully without much effort or issue. They are a perennial in zones 8-11 and act as a stunning annual in warmer zones. For prolific blooms, grow your strawflowers in full sun. However, they will tolerate partial shade. These are drought-tolerant plants, but they wouldn’t mind if you gave them a drink once a week during a dry summer.

3. Cockscomb

Cockscomb (Celosia cristata) has a striking, fluted, and ruffled flower that is named for its resemblance to a cockerel’s comb! The flowers are usually a bright magenta-pink color and hold their color with almost no fading when dried. When dried, they shed tiny black seeds, so you will need to shake these out before using the dried flowers in a project, or you will have a bit of a mess on your hands.

This is an annual plant that varies in height. It is a prolific self-seeder, so be prepared for spreading in the right conditions. Though it is somewhat drought tolerant, it needs warm soil and is not favorable to cold snaps. The flowers last a long time in the garden but will last a lifetime once clipped and dried.

4. Lavender

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It is hard to leave lavender (Lavendula spp.) off the list of superstar dried flowers. Dried lavender has many uses and is commonly used for cottage-style flower arrangements and for making your house smell heavenly.

Lavender is a hardy and incredibly fragrant perennial that comes in many different varieties.   In general, lavender will thrive in well-draining soil and a full-sun spot in your garden. They are drought-resistant once fully established. Your plants should be hardy to zones 5-9 but will not enjoy an exceptionally wet summer or cold winter. Good mulching over the winter may help to protect your plants from frost.

5. Globe Amaranth

Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) works beautifully as a dried flower and adds a splash of color and unusual texture to a dried-flower arrangement. This plant is straightforward to grow, is a favorite of garden pollinators, and grows well as an annual in most zones. It will reseed itself in a heartbeat, so be ready to have it around for years to come.

The plants grow to between 6-and 12 inches. The flowers may bloom from June to October and are reminiscent of red clover. Globe amaranth enjoys full sun and is not too fussy on soil type. However, it does not like soil that is too alkaline.

Keep things colorful all winter with this list of flowers that you can enjoy long after their mother plant has gone away for the season.

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