How to Make Potpourri

photo credit: dreamstime.com

Want to make some potpourri? Here is all the information you’ll need to know.

Where to get your ingredients:


Ask at the florist shop for any discarded flowers, or dry out your own flowers.

Harvesting your ingredients

Handle your herbs and flowers carefully to avoid bruising them. Once the have been bruised you will have lost any value in them for their essential oils.

The best time to collect leaves, roots, flowers and seeds is in the early morning after the dew has evaporated.

Choose plants that are clean, free of any pests or diseases. Choose flowers that are newly opened.

*Always collect 4 times the amount you will need for the final potpourri mix as flowers, leaves etc will shrink when dried.

Drying Methods

The drying process usually takes up to 2 weeks in general. There are two processes for drying flowers and herbs. * Keep in a warm dark place that has good air circulation.

Air Drying: Using a window screen works quite well. It allows air circulation around the plant material. Place the flowers and or herbs on a single layer. Do not pack them tightly together or on top of each other or they will decompose. Takes about one week to be completely dried out.

Hanging: Fasten together several small bunches, tie the stems off with elastics or string. Hang them upside down to dry out.

Storing The Potpourri

Store your “New” potpourri in airtight containers or plastic bags. Store in a cool dark place until needed.

Making the potpourri

To make the potpourri you basically need four main ingredients.

Flowers & leaves
Essential oils
Spices and Herbs
Fixative

General Instructions: After Potpourri is made and dried, add 6 drops of your favorite essential oil to every cup of dried potpourri mix. Keep it in a closed container for a few weeks to allow scent to penetrate plant material. Stir the mixture daily.

Purple Haze

Ingredients:

* 1 cup dried Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) (purple)
* 7-8 drops Lavender essential/fragrance oil
* 2 tablespoons dried Orris Root
* 1/2 cup pink Carnation flower heads (Dianthus caryophyllus)
* 1/2 cup (bright yellow) Lemon Marigold flower heads (Tagetes tenifolia)
* 1/4 cup (pale green) Lamb’s Ears leaves (Stachys byzantina)

American Dream

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup (blue) Delphinium blossoms (Delphinium x cultorum)
* 1 cup dried (red) Rose buds (red)
* 1/2 cup (white) Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
* 1/2 cup (blue) Statice (Limonium sinuatum)
* 4-6 drops Rose essential/fragrance oil
* 2 tablespoons dried Orris Root

Citrus Delight

Ingredients:

* 2 tablespoons dried orris root
* 5 tablespoons Bearberry leaves (Arctostaphylos uva ursi)
* 6-8 drops lemon essential/fragrance oil
* 1/2 cup dried Yarrow blossoms (Achillea millefolium)
* 1/2 cup Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla)
* 1/4 cup dried Safflower flowers (Carthamus tinctorius L)
* 1/4 cup orange peels finely sliced & dried

Wild Flower Fields

Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup dried Elder Flowers (Sambucus nigra)
* 2 tablespoons dried Orris Root
* 1/4 cup Chamomile flower heads (Anthemis nobilis L. or Matricaria chamomilla)
* 1/4 cup Bearberry leaves (Arctostaphylos uva ursi)
* 1/2 cup Calendula (Marigold) flower heads (Calendula Officinalis)
* 2 drops Lavender essential/fragrance oil

Editor’s Note:

Orris root helps to preserve the fragrance of the herbs and flowers, it has little scent of its own so it is a good base to use in your potpourri mix. Orris is made from the dried root of the Florentine Iris.
* Use 1-2 tablespoons of the dried orris root per cup of dried potpourri mix.

Author:
– Ingredient for a Simple Life

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