How to Preserve Ornamental Grasses

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Ornamental grasses are a natural way to beautify your property. Drying and preserving flowers and ornamental grasses was a popular part of home décor during Victorian times. Dried plant arrangements are making a comeback today, as many interior decorators encourage their clients to enjoy an element of the outdoors inside their homes. Drying and preserving ornamental grasses is a great way to allow nature to inspire your own creativity as you decorate your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruner or sharp knife
  • Gardening gloves
  • Boxes or airtight containers
  • Twine
  • Warm, dark, dry place for drying
  • Hairspray, or spray lacquer or shellac
  • Mild detergent

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Select healthy portions of the plants, free of insect infestation.

Cut the grasses with a pruner or sharp knife. Put the stems in water as you are cutting more stems.

Cut more plants than you want, in case any portions should become damaged.

Wash any cones or pods with water and mild detergent, as needed.

Tie the plants in small bundles at the stem ends and hang upside-down in a warm, dark, dry place.

Spray hairspray, spray lacquer or shellac onto parts such as cattails or fragile seed heads once the plants have dried, to maintain their appearance and prevent breakage.

Store dried grasses in boxes or airtight containers until you are ready to use them (airtight containers offer protection against rodents and insects).

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the plants are dry and free of dew when you collect them.
  • Some people use acrylic spray paint to add color to their dried grasses.
  • Cut grass only from permitted areas, and watch out for endangered grasses.
  • Wear garden gloves to avoid being bitten or stung by insects.

References

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