How to Make Drying Racks for Plants

Overview

There are multiple reasons to dry plants, from preserving herbs to saving flowers for dried arrangements and crafts. A drying rack provides a permanent place to dry plants that also supplies the constant airflow necessary for proper drying. Weak airflow may lead to mold and mildew, which drying racks help prevent. There are two main styles of plant drying racks. Flat racks are used for leaves and other flat plant matter. Hanging racks provide a drying location for stemmed flowers and sprigs of leaves.

Hanging Rack

Step 1

Lay two 4-foot-tall, 2-by-2 inch boards on a flat surface. Place them parallel to each other and space them 20 inches apart. These provide the sides for the rack.

Step 2

Set a 2-foot-long 2-by-2 inch board on top the side pieces. Line up the board with the top edges of the sides and nail it into place with each side board.

Step 3

Attach a second 2-foot-long 2-by-2 board 1 foot below the first one, then attach a third board 1 foot below the second board. The rack now resembles a ladder that is missing its bottom rung.

Step 4

Screw five cup hooks into the top cross-board. Space the hooks 4 inches apart. Repeat for each cross-board for a total of 15 cup hooks.

Step 5

Lean the drying rack against a wall or window. Tie together bunches of plants upside down by the stems. Loop the ties over the cup hooks and leave the plants to dry.

Flat Racks

Step 1

Remove the glass and backings from four same-size picture frames. Use wooden frames.

Step 2

Cut a piece of nylon or plastic screening to fit the picture frame, making it large enough to overlap the edges of the frame. Cut a piece of screening for each of the four frames.

Step 3

Stretch the screening tightly over the picture frame and staple it in place. Repeat this for each picture frame, so that you have four drying racks.

Step 4

Cut a 1-inch diameter wooden dowel into ½ inch lengths with a handsaw. Cut a total of 12 dowel pieces.

Step 5

Glue a dowel piece to each of the four corners on four of the picture frames, using wood glue. The dowel provides a spacer so air flows around all sides of each frame in the rack.

Step 6

Place plant material on the screen. Set the racks on top of each other, with the rack that has no dowel pieces on the top. Set in a well-ventilated area and allow the plants to dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Boards
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Cup hooks
  • Picture frames
  • Nylon screen
  • Stapler
  • Dowel
  • Handsaw
  • Wood glue

References

  • University of Florida Extension: Drying and Preserving Plant Material
Keywords: plant drying racks, homemade drying racks, preserving plant material

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.