Ornamental grasses enhance fall floral displays and create visual interest. The distinctive sprays of dried foliage make them an excellent base for holiday wreaths and centerpieces and create contrast for other decorative items like ribbons and bows. Drying your own ornamental grass provides you with a supply of natural materials for all your decorating needs.
Cut ornamental grass when the characteristic spray appears in full bloom. Allowing the bloom to go to seed results in heads that fall apart easily as they drop seed.
Harvest grass on a clear dry day when foliage is dry. Cut to the desired length. Keep in mind that you can shorten stems when you are ready to use them so longer is actually better.
Gather the grass into loose 2-inch diameter bundles of stems. Secure the bundles with twine or rubber bands. As the stems shrink in drying, rubber bands will hold the bundle securely. If you use twine, you may need to tighten the bundle after a few days.
Hang the bundles upside down in a dry well-ventilated area. A garage, workshop or attic works well, as long as there is adequate air circulation.
Check bundles every few days for any signs of mold or mildew and remove any affected stems. Turn the bundles for even drying if necessary.
Allow to dry for 7 to 14 days, until the stems are brittle and snap easily. Stems that bend are not dry enough and should be left for an additional 5 to 7 days for thorough drying.