How to Preserve Ornamental Grasses


Planting ornamental grasses has become an increasingly popular garden trend, particularly in areas like Southern California, where lengthy droughts have prompted landscapers to look toward more water-wise plants than the lush tropicals they previously had been enamored with. Ornamental grasses typically get a drastic "haircut" once a year, and what comes off easily can serve double duty inside the home.

Step 1

Select stalks of ornamental grass for drying. Pick a mixture of tall, medium and short stalks, to give your arrangement some depth.

Step 2

Cut the stalks off at the base with your garden clippers. Immediately stick the chosen stalks into a vase filled with water.

Step 3

Wash stalks in water and mild detergent, to get rid of any small insects that might call your stalk home.

Step 4

Tie a cluster of stalks together with string and hang upside down in a warm, dry place to let them dry. Keep them in the warm, dry place for one to three weeks to dry completely.

Step 5

Spray any brand of hairspray lightly over your dried ornamental grasses to minimize the chance of breakage. Consider a coat of hairspray an invisible shield of armor that will protect your ornamental grasses, which are typically fragile.

Step 6

Let dry overnight. Then you're ready to start arranging in vases or urns.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid collecting stalks when they are wet or moist from dew.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers
  • Vase
  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • String
  • Hairspray


  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Drying and Preserving Flowers and Plant Materials for Decorative Use
  • In the Garden Radio: The Splendor of Ornamental Grasses
Keywords: preserving ornamental grasses, ornamental grasses in the home, drying grasses for home use

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.