5 Popular Dried Stems | Preserved Flowers

One of our favorite areas in the shop is our dried flower bar featuring a rainbow of flowers, greenery, and more that has been carefully preserved. It's an instant mood booster to look at and showcases the versatility of flowers and how else they can be used. 

Among our dried flowers, we have a myriad of textures and hues in every color of the rainbow from bright yellow strawflower to purple Italian ruscus. Since dried flowers can come in such a large variety of colors, it makes them the perfect addition to even our fresh flower arrangements. We love adding dried stems to arrangements when we need a punch of color such in our Groovy Gorgeous arrangement. We added billy balls to this one for a whimsical flair but also because it heightens the vibrancy of the palette. Then there are creations that are made entirely with dried flowers that can be found in our preserved flowers collection

In this collection, we have wreaths, dried arrangements, and framed pressed flowers. All of these make ideal gifts for anyone looking for something low maintenance and who loves flowers but is worried about their longevity. To care for dried flowers is super easy since they don't require any water or sunlight, as a matter of fact, our only rule is that you keep them out of direct sunlight. While they will not wilt and die like fresh flowers, dried flowers will lose their color in direct and bright indirect sun. 

Since they can't stand up to bright light, dried flowers are perfect for anyone who doesn't have a lot of light in their home but still wants a touch of nature. Their long lifespans and the variety of creations we make with them make them great gifts for any occasion from birthdays, anniversaries, congratulatory gifts, and more. We've even used them in wedding bouquets and boutonnieres and the best part is that the couple was able to enjoy them as keepsakes for years after. 

There are some dried stems that preserve so perfectly making them ideal to work with, while some more fragile stems are reserved for special projects. Hardy stems such as eucalyptus, billy balls, bunny tails, etc. are some of the most frequently used dried stems in our shop because they hold up the best in everyday creations. 

Here are five other dried stems that we love to use: 

1. Pampas Grass

In the last two years, we've seen pampas grass having a major moment and for good reason. This neutral toned grass has a feathery, plump appearance that instantly gives a boho vibe and is great for adding in arrangements for height and drama. 

It normally comes in a sandy color but can also be found in off-white making it easy to mix into any color palette and occasion. These are the more common colors however these days you can find them in various other colors such as blue and pink. 

We like to use pampas grass as an accent especially when we need something fluffy and dramatic. Below you'll see an example of where we used pampas grass in the Boho Wreath. We added pampas to have a contrasting texture against the strawflowers and palm leaves.

In arrangements, we use just a touch of it usually to add height and a subtle filler. The dried arrangement below is our Polly arrangement featuring a palette of mainly dark blue. We were inspired by an ocean theme for this one and needed an accent color. The sandy hue of the pampas adds to that beachy look and gives the arrangement a sort of wind swept look.

2. Italian Ruscus

Dried Italian ruscus is not only a very sturdy stem, but you can find it bleached as well as dyed in lots of colors such as blue, purple, dark blue, hot pink, and many more. 

When used fresh it has a flowy quality that lends itself to bridal bouquets, centerpieces, and other wedding/special events due to its classy, elegant look. However, when its been preserved it becomes stiff with each branch becoming slightly flexible.

Here we've used it minimally in the Aloha Wreath where we have a palette of purple and pink. The almost neon purple of the Italian ruscus keeps the palette from looking too dark and the way they shoot out from the cluster of other dried flowers has a nice flow guiding the eye around the wreath. 

Recently, we used Italian ruscus in our newest arrangement called, Under the Sea. Here's a close up of the very light blue ruscus we used for the coral reef feel we were going for. 

3. Dried Mushrooms 

Something totally unusual and vastly different from the other dried stems we collect is our collection of dried mushrooms. We have a few different types from neutral toned to bright red that we often pair with orchids, as well as smaller mushrooms like in the arrangement called Billie.

We used mushrooms in Billie because of the forest theme we were trying to evoke. The way they playfully pop up from the larger dried elements is reminiscent to the kinds of mushrooms you'll find while on a forest stroll. Dried mushrooms usually are sold in neutral tones like this making them easy to pair with other dried stems. 

If you are looking for color you may find dried mushrooms in bold reds and yellows. Last holiday season we were lucky enough to get our hands on bright red dried mushrooms that we used in our Merry Little Christmas fresh flower arrangement alongside red roses. We loved this unusual spin on the traditional holiday arrangement and it turned out to be among our popular picks for the holidays.


4. Strawflower 

Nearly all of our dried arrangements and wreaths have strawflower. Not only are can we purchase a large bunch in a variety of colors, but they tend to keep their appearance and vibrancy even when dried. Our favorite colors of strawflowers are yellow, orange, and pink. Their stems are tough enough to even be used in fresh flower arrangements without them growing soggy. 


This little unicorn's name is Lucille and she has been adorned with strawflowers. We often use these as the main stars of arrangements but since their heads are small we like to surround them with other dried flowers such as hydrangea. They look best when paired with contrasting colors and textures. 

Here Comes the Sun, another equally vibrant dried flower arrangement also features strawflowers. The bright pink strawflowers in this arrangement give this already colorful palette of sunshine yellow, a bright pop. (If you look closely you can even see a yellow mushroom like we've mentioned previously.)


5. Marigolds 

We first began preserving marigolds last fall and quickly fell in love with these sturdy blooms. Marigolds are mainly found in bright orange but can come in other like colors such as yellow and red. Our favorite color for them is hands down orange because its one of the most versatile colors to work with and looks great in any palette. 

Come late October we have gotten orders for Day of the Dead inspired arrangements and since marigolds are a staple flower for the holiday, we always have at least a couple of bunches in the cooler.

One of our favorite creations that we've done with dried marigolds is the California Wreath featuring a palette of purple and orange with a touch of yellow.

We used mainly dyed babies breath in bright purple, followed by bursts of orange marigolds. Notice how vibrant the marigolds are even though they've been preserved! They keep their pigment beautifully. 

Marigolds also make an excellent choice for summer creations such as the Palm Wreath which features a few stems of orange marigolds alongside strawflowers.

Other Favorites That Didn't Make it Into the Top Five...

When choosing dried stems to work with we are always faced with such a large selection that besides our top five, we can't forget to mention billy balls, bunny tails, and hydrangea. These three types of stems all come in gorgeous colors and add so much to any design. Scroll back up and you can spot the bright yellow billy balls in Here Comes the Sun, as well as blue hydrangea in Lucille The Rainbow Unicorn, and check out the yellow bunny tails in the Palm Wreath.

Dried stems are simply the best when it comes to flowers that are not only long lasting, but still look good despite not being fresh. That is perhaps the only tragedy with flowers is their inability to stay fresh and pristine forever, but at least with dried flowers you can enjoy them for years.

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