A gorgeous bouquet of flowers — whether you splurge or grab some from the grocery store — can work as an instant mood booster. This was especially the case during a time when we didn't leave our homes much. Our routine got, well, repetitive. Things seemed entirely unpredictable. But at least you could treat yourself to flowers once in a while.
And while fresh blooms are the classic choice, lots of flower lovers and decor enthusiasts alike have been highlighting the beauty of dried bouquets. You can use them on your coffee table but also hang them on any wall that needs a decor moment. And they'll last longer than your average stems.
According to the University of Florida, the idea of drying and preserving flowers has been around for a while now. "Fragrant dried herbs were encased with mummified bodies in Egyptian pyramids. During the Middle Ages, monks dried flowers, foliage, and herbs for use in decorative motifs or for making dyes to color their hand-printed books," Sydney Park Brown, a retired associate professor emeritus in the environmental horticulture department, writes in "Drying and Preserving Plant Materials for Decorative Uses."
On Instagram, you can find plenty of inspiration for dried floral decor – along with shops and makers that carry them. Lala Lopez, founder of vintage and decor brand Mothball Memoirs, says she starts with an intention and a color palette when creating her dried floral bouquets. She then checks what local vendors have available and dries, dyes, and paints everything by hand.
Lopez's florals also include crystals, like an "orange calcite is secured by an eco-friendly suede tie." Her "altar bouquets" are created "to be an arrangement for your sacred space — whether it be a meditation room, altar space or a nook in your home that you use to journal, read, or reflect," she tells Hunker.
Since first debuting her dried florals in March, Lopez has noticed an increase in interest.
"I have a lot of customers that initially buy the bouquets as a gift for a loved one but wind up coming back and buying a bouquet for their own homes," Lopez says. "Dried floral arrangements have been a growing trend on social discovery platforms for the last three years and I can only see it upticking as people are getting more and more intentional about making their homes a sanctuary."
In May, direct-to-consumer plant brand The Sill introduced new dried and preserved options, all "from a family owned and operated farm," according to the company. While becoming a plant parent has been a big trend during the pandemic, the option to buy preserved florals on The Sill indicates consumers wants other options, too. The brand currently carries dried pampas stems or bouquets in neutral or colorful hues.
"They last for years and require almost zero maintenance — outside of the occasional dusting (pro tip: use a hair dryer on low) — which meant when things would open back up, customers wouldn't have to worry about the upkeep of these beauties as they went out and reacquainted themselves with the world," Erin Marino, editorial lead at The Sill, tells Hunker.
Alexandra Scholtz, owner of floral shop Wildflora, says she noticed an interest back in 2018 when the brand started offering large dried arrangement around Thanksgiving. The demand hasn't stopped, and dried pieces are now one of the shop's top sellers. Wildflora creates everything from preserved mini bouquets to individual stems to custom arrangements.
"Once the pandemic hit, it made the trend really catch on," Scholtz tells Hunker. "More people were nesting their spaces and were looking for cost-effective ways to bring nature into their space."
The idea of playing with texture initially drew Courtney Walden, owner of Walden Floral LA and Nashville, to dried florals. Walden started by adding dried pieces into fresh floral arrangements and noticed a "massive interest," with people ordering dried blooms for their homes, hair salons, or gifting needs.
"They just have such a different look and feel than fresh flowers do," Walden tells Hunker. "And now a lot of our brides are wanting all dried flowers for their wedding. So we have some [customers] that are like, "I just want a complete dried wedding flower package." And that way they can give them away as gifts to their guests — or they can keep them for their home as keepsakes to remember their special day."
The company ships nationwide and carries everything from bouquets to arrangements to boutonnières; the brand has a wedding and event portfolio featuring more complex floral creations, too.
The possibilities for these long-lasting florals are many — especially when it comes to incorporating them into your space. "I definitely keep a bouquet in the sacred corner of my home as an anchor for purity and peace," Lopez says. Marino has seen some people rework bouquets into flowers crowns — either to wear on their heads or hang as a dried wreath.
You can also start small. Scholtz suggests using "a bud vase with a mix of dried flowers for your dresser, bathroom sink, or nightstand" to add a natural touch to a room. Walden keeps a wall hanging above her fireplace and a large pampas grass piece in a nook near her dining room.
Fresh flowers come with certain perks but preserved ones are finding plenty of fans, too.
"It just makes the space more inspiring," Walden says.