Although many gardeners find thistles a nuisance, consider a different approach to thistles when they grow in your lawn or garden areas. Whether you seek to dry thistle for medicinal benefits or crafting projects, thistle is a simple plant to preserve by air-drying. Thistles with fuzzy lavender blossoms are ideal for preserving because the flowers keep their shape after the stems dry.
Use the scissors to remove the leaves from the thistle stems. Discard the leaves.
Make small bunches of thistles by placing three to four stems together.
Secure the thistle bunches together with rubber bands.
Attach 6-inch-long lengths of string to the rubber bands, and tie the thistle bunches upside down in a warm and dark location.
Leave the hanging thistle stems undisturbed for at least one week and up to three weeks. The thistles are sufficiently dry when the flowers are stiff and bristly, and the stems are brittle.
Remove the thistle stems from their hanging location, and remove the rubber bands.
Place the dried thistles into an airtight container, and seal the lid tightly. Store the dried thistles in the airtight container until you need them. Dried thistles will keep indefinitely in the sealed container.