Annual Ornamental Grasses That Can Be Preserved

Preserve the beauty of your annual ornamental grasses by drying them. The plants may only survive a season, but their graceful forms can adorn arrangements, wreaths and other items for many years. Grasses add texture and filler material when used with other preserved plants, but they can also be used on their own.

Fountain Grass

Available in a range of colors from green to purple, fountain grass grows in mounds throughout summer and later produces large seed heads. The full seed heads appear soft once dried. Preserve fountain grass by air drying, though the grass may fade to a straw color. Glycerin preservation keeps much of the color in the grass, and also keeps the blades soft and bendable. Seed heads do not preserve well with glycerin, so it should only be used for blades harvested prior to seed formation.


Foxtail dries to a deep brown or rich gold color, depending on the drying method and type of foxtail preserved. Foxtail earns its name for its long, fluffy seed heads that droop and resemble the tail of a fox. Preserving the tails when they are green provides a spiny texture to arrangements. Once the seeds finish forming and the grass begins to dry outdoors, the tails develop a white feathery growth that preserves well. Air drying methods produce a lighter colored grass, while preserving foxtail with a desiccate such as silica crystals preserves more of the foxtail's original color.

Quaking Grass

Quaking grass produce wide blades, which provide a suitable filler material when preserved in a glycerin bath. Unlike other annual grasses, quaking grass also produces attractive blooms in late summer. The flowers form drooping, papery cones that dry to a white or cream color. Hang-drying preserves both the flowers and the grass blades. Preserved quaking grass is full, so works best when used alone or in large arrangements.

Keywords: preserving annual grass, drying ornamental grasses, annual grass preservation

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.