Where to buy, best varieties and ordering tips

Where to buy, best varieties and ordering tips

The dried flower trend is still going strong two years after it came back into fashion — and it's not hard to see why. Aside from looking great on your kitchen counter or windowsill, these low-maintenance flowers offer a lot of perks. “Because they don’t need light or water, they’re perfect for rooms with little natural light, second homes, rentals and workplaces,” says florist Catherine Whitchurch, who set up her preserved flower company, Sheda, in 2018.

They're also much better for the environment than your weekly fresh batch. “A lot of the cut flowers we buy were grown abroad,” Catherine continues. “Their short lifespan means that they must be transported quickly by air in temperature-controlled conditions. Preserved and dried stems do not need this special treatment, and they last much longer, too.”

In fact, dried flowers can last for years with care, making them a much less wasteful option. Unlike artificial stems, they are 100% natural and biodegradable, so if you are concerned about your carbon footprint, they are a very good option.

Best dried flowers to buy

A quick Google search should help you find some beautiful bouquets, but we recommend looking at places like Trouva, Not On The High Street or Etsy, where you'll find plenty of small, independent florists who specialize in dried flowers. Many of them sell a range of varieties by stem so you can mix and match.

If you don't want to arrange your own bouquets, Sheda has a range of dried and preserved bouquets, seasonal floral decor boxes as well as letter box bouquets that make great gifts.

Alternatively, there are plenty of kits available online with detailed instructions on how to create your own dried flower wreath, as well as providing everything you need to make your own dried flower wreath for your kitchen.

Bloom & Wild Party Dried Flowers
Achillea yarrow natural yellow dried stems
Little Natural Yellow Deer Achillea Yarrow Dried Stems
Natural brown young cortaderia pampas grass
Natural brown small deer wide cortaderia pampas grass
Natural Dried Blue Globe Thistle Echinops
Natural dried small blue deer Echinops thistle
A set of 3 dried palm kernels
Beautiful set of 3 dried palm trees by Lucy
Dried yellow gypsophila
Maison du Monde dried yellow gypsophila

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A handful of dried bubbly
Natural flowering cloud grass
Small deer of natural flowering cloud grass
Natural dried lavender bouquet
Little Deer Dried Natural Lavender Scented Collection
Natural Dried Pink Rabbit Tail - Lagurus
Small Deer Natural Dried Pink Rabbit Tail – Lagurus
Dried natural cotton stalks
House of Coco Dried Natural Cotton Stems

How to care for dried flowers

Fortunately, there is no trick to caring for dried flowers, they're pretty much foolproof. All you have to remember is to keep it out of direct sunlight and not get it wet. Preserved flowers may look fresh, but they will deteriorate quickly if you place them in a vase of water.

“If you put dried flowers anywhere that is damp, they will rot,” says Penny Hemming, head gardener at Riverford, who has resumed running dried wreath workshops at the farm. “To clean it, just give it a good blast with a hair dryer.”

How to dry flowers at home

Drying your flowers is simple. Keep them dry and out of the sun, and you should have plenty to enjoy for the foreseeable future in just a week to 10 days. “I hang them upside down on a string in my house,” Benny says. “Keep the group small, as if you have a big, huge group of stems, it will take longer.”

When it comes to choosing stems, it's fun to experiment. Wildflowers, roses and eucalyptus work well, but you don't have to stick to traditional options. “I'm a big fan of drying seed heads and weeds,” says Penny. “Once they go to seed, even the tub leaves become amazing red and brown colors that look really nice. The dried herbs also have a lovely scent.”

How to arrange dried flowers

Unlike traditional bouquets, Penny recommends being more selective with dried arrangements. She says the flower arrangements all look a bit unnatural, mixing flowers with seed heads like poppies, which look great all year round. “It's a good idea to add something green that smells nice, too, like dried oregano,” says Penny.

Keep sharp scissors or garden shears handy to cut your stems to the height you need as you arrange them. “Put the less delicate foliage in the vase first to create the structure and shape of your arrangement,” says Katherine.

Avoid using horticultural foam to help position the stems – it has recently fallen out of favor due to its lack of environmental credentials and has been banned by the RHS at all its flower shows from 2021. Look for a more sustainable option such as gravel, sand or supporting branches.

If growing flowers isn't really your strong point, use a minimal selection of single stems. “A big pitcher of poppy seed heads will always look beautiful,” says Penny. “You really can't go wrong.”

Dried hydrangea bouquet
Hearty from Anthropologie dried hydrangea bouquet

Now 25% discount

Small bunch of dried gypsophila
Small dried bouquet of provender gypsophila flowers
Biometa dried flowers
Dried flowers Dried flowers Biometa
Orange bunny tails
Sirrahflowers orange bunny tails
A handful of dried echinops
That is, a handful of dried goose
Billy Buttons, 10 pcs
Perlon Billy Buttons, 10 pcs
A handful of natural dried poppy seeds
Little Deer Natural Dried Poppy Seed Head Collection
Rainbow dried flowers with vase
Catkin & Pussy Willow Rainbow Dried Flowers with Vase
Dried flower bouquet
Dried flower bouquet from Bombon Bazaar
Dried flower bouquet
Botanic Dried Flowers Bouquet
Preserved eucalyptus
PrefleurMoss Preserved Eucalyptus
Short stem pampas grass
Woodoco Pampas Grass Short Stem

What are preserved flowers?

If you're struggling with the idea of ​​giving up fresh flowers altogether, don't panic. First, there are ethical options available, so you don't have to stop buying them (after all, a beautiful bouquet will always make a great last-minute gift). But if you're interested, you could consider investing in some preserved flowers instead.

“Preserved flowers are basically dried flowers where the sap has been replaced with glycerine, giving them a fresh look and flexible stems, petals and leaves,” says Catherine, who was inspired to start her company because she didn't want to have to. Use non-sustainable plastic flowers for long-lasting arrangements. “With care, the fresh look can last for a year or more, after which time the flowers will slowly dry out.”

For a personal recommendation, I have this collection of preserved eucalyptus from Dowsing & Reynolds. It's actually much larger than it looks in the photo and makes a lovely centerpiece on my bedroom dresser in a large vase. Unlike fake options, it retains that wonderful scent for a good while too, for a refreshing boost as you walk into the room.

Eucalyptus cinerea
Dowsing and Reynolds Eucalyptus cinerea
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Head shot of Charlie Ward

Charlie is the former e-commerce editor at Homes. During her time at Hearst UK, Charlie has written over 300 buying and review guides, and has her hands on as many new releases as possible to help you find the best products for your home.

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