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Drying Plants

Dry the flowers from an artichoke for a variety of uses.

How to Dry Artichoke Flowers

While there are many ways to dry flowers, air drying is the method recommended for artichoke flowers, according to "Preserving Flowers and Foliage", on the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture's website. The artichoke flower is actually the artichoke fruit that has be left on the plant and allowed to come to full flower. The dried artichoke flower can be used in floral arrangements or craft projects.

Cut the flower from the plant using gardening shears, leaving as much of the stem as possible attached to the flower. Don't use a flower if it looks wilted, faded or limp. An immature flower or one at its prime is the best for drying.

Remove any foliage by cutting at its end near the stem.

Secure one end of the twine to the flower by tying a knot around the stem.

Tie the other end of the twine to a hook in the ceiling or doorway, or another area so that the flower will hang upside down from the string. Choose a dry, warm, ventilated area that is not in the direct sunlight.

Leave hanging for two to three weeks or until dry. Drying times vary, depending on humidity factors.

How to Dry the Flowers From an Artichoke

Let artichokes grow into flowers. Each artichoke head will become a round, purple flower.

Cut the artichoke flowers near the base of the plant using pruning shears when white, fluffy seeds are visible in the flower's center. Keeping the stems long enables you to tie them together for drying.

Gather two or three stems and secure them together tightly near the base with a rubber band.

Tie a 6-inch length of string to the rubber band and hang the artichoke flowers upside down in a warm, dry environment. Ample air circulation is also important for suitable drying.

Leave the artichoke flowers hanging until they feel brittle to the touch. Drying time can take up to two or three weeks, depending upon the humidity level.

How to Store Dried Flowers

Lay a sheet of newspaper on a flat surface. If you have a large bouquet of flowers, you'll need another piece of newspaper or two.

Place the flowers on the newspaper and roll them up into it.

Fold the ends over so that the flowers are completely wrapped in the newspaper. Use tape to secure loose edges of newspaper.

Place the wrapped flowers gently into a box. Make sure that the box is big enough as you don’t want to have to force them into the box and destroy them.

Place the box in a cool, dry place and make sure not to set anything on top of them.

How to Dry Stinging Nettles

Step 1

Pick nettles during the early part of the season, generally in April or May. You want to harvest them while they are young and definitely before flowering.

Step 2

Wear a long-sleeved shirt and gardening gloves. Break the top four to six inches off of the plant above or below a leaf bract and place in a harvesting basket or bag.

Step 3

Lay the harvested plants out on a drying rack or a cookie sheet. Keep them separated so they dry evenly. You can keep the leaves on the stems or remove them if you like.

Step 4

Keep the drying rack in a warm part of the house near a radiator or stove. If it’s a warm, sunny day, you can dry them in the sun but you may need to create a windbreak to keep the plants from blowing away.

Step 5

Turn the plants occasionally for even drying.

Step 6

Dry the nettles for at least 12 hours; this should be enough time in a warm, dry environment. You can wait a full 24 hours to be absolutely sure the entire sting is gone.

Step 7

Crumble the dried leaves, chop the dried stems and place in an airtight container for future use.

How to Store Dehydrated Apples

Remove dried apple slices from the dehydrator or oven and allow to cool. P. Kendall and J. Sofos of the Colorado State University Extension recommend conditioning dried fruit before storage. Fill glass jars half to two-thirds full with dried apple slices. Cover loosely and place in a warm, dry well-ventilated area for 10 days to allow any excess moisture to evaporate.

Place the dried apple slices in an airtight container, such as a glass jar or zippered food storage bag. Label the container with the date.

Store in a cool, dry, dark area for up to 12 months. Dried fruit can also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until used.

How to Mount Dried Flowers

Select a shadowbox for mounting the dried flowers. Use one that will be large enough to hold the flowers and other items if you choose to do a collage of flowers and other special items with them. A shadowbox is a deep frame that can be purchased at most craft stores.

Remove the glass cover from the shadowbox and lay aside. If desired, you do not have to use the glass cover, although it will help to protect the dried flowers from getting dusty and dirty.

Decide on which flowers you want to mount. The flowers can be arranged into a small bouquet with a piece of ribbon tied around the stems, or flowers can be placed individually into the frame. If needed, cut the stems to the appropriate length to fit into the shadowbox.

Hot glue the dried flowers into the shadowbox and let dry well.

Replace the glass onto the front of the shadowbox. Hang on a wall or place on a table using a stand to support it.

How to Dry Persian Limes

Fill a pot with enough water to completely cover the limes.

Add salt to the water. For each cup of water you use, add 1 tbsp. of salt. For example, if you use 8 cups of water, add 8 tbsp. of salt.

Set the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Add the limes and let them boil for five minutes.

Pour the limes into a strainer and place it under running lukewarm water.

Put the limes on a drying rack in a sunny spot outdoors. Let them dry in the sun until they feel hard and hollow. The entire process generally takes about a week.

How to Preserve Dried Roses

Give the dried roses added protection.

Separate your dried roses from other dried flowers or foliage. When storing your flowers, keep the roses separate from other flower types.

Place the dried roses in an opaque, airtight container.

Store the container in a cool, dark, dry location.

Spray the dried rose with an even coating of hair spray or a clear lacquer spray to help preserve the rose before using in your projects. Suitable clear lacquer spay is available at the craft store.