How to Dry Zinnias Perfect for Dried Flower Wreaths for Under Ten Dollars Using this Kitchen Pantry Staple
Step One: Choose your favorite Zinnias.
Did you know that the more you pick your Zinnia flowers, the more your Zinnias will bloom? So pick away! For every zinnia you pick, you will get 2 new zinnias!
Things to Consider:
- After they dry, your zinnias will shrink to about one half to one third of their original fresh size.
- When dry, the colors of the zinnias will be a few shades darker than they appear when fresh.
- Dried zinnia colors are also duller and more muted tones than when they are just picked
- For best results, do not use the freshly cut zinnias in a bouquet before drying.
- Plan on drying your zinnias immediately after you pick them.
What is the best time to pick Zinnias?
I would recommend picking your Zinnias before 10 am. The earlier, the better.
Things to Consider
- Flowers are least stressed early in the morning.
- Flowers that are not wilted or stressed will look much nicer when they dry.
Step 2: Cut your zinnias.
Things to consider
- Try to cut the stem just above a set of 2 leaves
- If you’d like to have some of your zinnias for fresh cut flower bouquets, cut your zinnias the length you would need them for your vase, to encourage the plant to grow longer stems.
Step 3: Cut the stem off
Things to consider
- Removing the stem at the base exposes the hollow green dome that is the base of the zinnia.
- If you cut it close enough, you will create an opening, and this will help the zinnia to dry more quickly.
- The more quickly the zinnia dries, the more vibrant the dried color will be!
- Tired of cheap flimsy pruners? Try these Felco #2 for right handers, or #9 for left handers. You will never need another pair again. I have had mine for 20 + years.
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Step 4: Gather Supplies
Ready to start drying? Here’s what you need.
With the drying method I use, I can dry 50-100 flowers at a time, depending on their size. Are you ready for the secret ingredient to success with dried zinnias?
- Deep Dish Pizza Pan
- 5 lb bag of White Rice
- Preheat your oven to 175 degrees fahrenheit
- if it’s super hot outside, like in the 80’s or above, you can also use your vehicle as the oven.
Step 5: Arrange the flowers:
Note: if oven is done preheating, turn off now.
- First, put a layer of rice about 1/4 inch thick
- Second, nest each zinnia, face up, into the rice
- Third, once you have a layer as shown to the left, pour rice over each zinnia.
- Fourth, nest another zinnia in the spaces between the first layer of zinnias
- Fifth, cover up the second layer of zinnias with rice until the tray is full.
- Sixth, place the tray in the oven, or in your warm vehicle!
- Flowers are usually dry within a few weeks, depending on your environment. The more even you can keep the temperature, ideally between 100 and 120 degrees fahrenheit, the faster your zinnias will dry.
- I have had similar success burying my zinnias in layers of sand, using a baby pool, out in the driveway on hot days, but this is much messier and takes up a lot more space.
- The most important thing, is to be able to remove the humidity from the air. A hot attic might also work.
- Some people have also tried using a microwave for the drying process, but I have not tried that.
- I think lining a food dehydrator with parchment paper, and then burying a single layer of zinnias in rice would be a great experiment worth trying.