Sweet Annie often appears dried in craft stores, but you can preserve this decorative plant from your garden with glycerin. After cutting, the natural pigment in the plant will begin to fade, so an optional dye to preserve the plant's color or create a new one can be used. When you preserve your own Sweet Annie, you will have its fresh fragrance around your home even in the cold of winter when the last of the plants have died for the year.
Mix in a bowl one teaspoon of plant dye with ½ cup of hot water until dissolved if you desire to use dye. Preserve Sweet Annie without dye by skipping this step.
Stir the remaining hot water into the vase with 8 ounces (one cup) of liquid glycerin and ½ teaspoon of citric acid.
Optionally add the remaining dye to the preserving solution.
Harvest your Sweet Annie by cutting the stems early in the morning or in the evening during the middle of the growing season when growth slows.
Weigh your Sweet Annie for preservation to determine the amount of solution to use.
Add one tablespoon of preserving solution per ounce of weight of the Sweet Annie to a tall vase.
Stand the Sweet Annie with the bases of their stems in the liquid and store in a cool place with moderate humidity levels for five to seven days or until all of the preserving solution has been absorbed.
Rinse the wet end of the stems with water and lay the Sweet Annie in a single layer to sun-dry the plants in a well-ventilated area for three to five days.
Move the Sweet Annie to a dark, warm and dry location for at least two to three weeks until ready to use.
Things You Will Need
- Up to 3 tablespoons plant-preserving dye (optional)
- 3 cups hot water
- 8 ounces liquid glycerin
- ½ teaspoon citric acid (sour salt)
- Sharp knife
- Tall vase
- Look for glycerin at pharmacies, dyes at craft stores and citric acid, also known as sour salt, at grocery stores.