Tips On How To Dry Flowers Homemade potpourri is a wonderful way to enjoy the flowers grown in your garden all the year round. To make potpourri you first have to dry the flowers, it’s not difficult, there are several ways that you can do it, today we will talk about air drying. Here are a few tips first: Gather your flowers right after the dew is gone in the morning and wait at least two days after a rain. When you cut the flowers, handle them carefully so they don’t bruise. Select blooms that are the peak of their perfection, ones that have yet to fade or turn brown on the edges. Select flowers that have not had any chemicals applied to them. If you can’t start the drying process right away, the flowers will stay fresh in water for up to 24 hours. Depending on which of the methods of air drying you choose, now is the time to remove the stems or strip the leaves off the stems. Air method: You can use a cookie sheet with a wire rack laid on it or a window screen. The idea is to allow for plenty of air circulation. Remove the stems about 1” from the base of the bloom, lay them in a single layer on the screen or rack. Make sure they are not stacked one on another and no petals are touching. Set this aside for 10-20 days in a warm, dark place. Petals: If you just want to preserve the petals use either of the methods noted above or just lay paper toweling on a cookie sheet and arrange the petals in a single layer. Leave them until done in a warm, dark place. Hanging method: Leave the stems on but remove the leaves. Cut the stems at different lengths so the blooms don’t all bunch together. Take 6 or 7 stems, align the bottom and fasten with a rubber band. As the stems shrink as they dry, the rubber band will contract and continue to hold them together. Hang each bunch upside down in a warm, dark place. This may take 2 to 4 weeks to properly dry. A neat way to keep them from getting dusty is to put each bundle in a paper bag, tied loosely at the top with a few holes punched in the sides for air circulation. This also works well if you don’t have a dark place that you can stay away from for a month.