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What Are the Different Uses for Dried Plants?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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Many people prefer to use dried plants for decorative purposes, such as dried flower arrangements or wreaths. Potpourri can also be made with fragrant dried plants. Some dried plants, particularly herbs, can be used for food or drinks. Plants with medicinal properties can also be dried. Air drying is one of the easiest way to dry plants, but they can also be dried with the help of a drying agent, known as a desiccant.

Dried floral arrangements can be made using a variety of dried plants and flowers. The plants and flowers in these arrangements are usually chosen for their visual appeal. Brittle stems are usually removed and replaced with wire. They can then be arranged in vases, with the help of floral foam. Some dried floral arrangements may last for a couple of years.

Decorative wreaths can also be made from dried plants. Frames for these wreaths can be made easily by bending wire coat hangers into circles. The hooks on the coat hangers can be left on, so the wreaths can be hung up easily. Various dried plants can then be arranged around the perimeter of the coat hangers and secured with wire.

Potpourri is a mixture of dried plants. The plants that are used to make potpourri are usually chosen for their visual appeal as well as their fragrance. Some popular additions to potpourri include fragrant herbs, like chamomile, and dried flower petals, like rose petals.

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A number of dried plants can also be used to make food and drink items. Herbs are an excellent example of plants that can be used in food. These are usually used to season other food items, like meat. Teas can also be made from dried leaves, flowers, and roots. These can be steeped in hot water for several minutes.

Some plants that have medicinal properties can be preserved by drying. Either different parts or the plants can be dried, or the whole plant can be dried. Ginseng, St. John's wort, and Queen Anne's lace are some medicinal plants that can be dried. They can be sprinkled on food, added to capsules, or brewed as a tea.

One of the easiest ways to dry plants is to air dry them. They can be hung up singly or in small bunches. Desiccants, or drying agents, can also be used to dry plants that are used for decorative uses. Silica gel is one of the most effective drying agents. The desiccant can be poured into a container and the dried plants can then be laid on top before being covered with more of the desiccant.

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