Learn how to dry Chinese lanterns to use in fall displays and arrangements. These delicate but colorful flowers have a unique shape and color that’s perfect for autumn!
When we bought our new house, my mom gave me some flowers from her house to fill in this one garden spot we had. I got a bunch of pots of flowers, but had no idea what types or how they would grow. The only one she warned me about were the Chinese Lanterns. They have a pretty shape, color, and design, but man are they hard to control! They grow with these underground shoots that pop up and take over a certain area.
Exhibit A: (top photo April, bottom photo August) They gave me one potted plant that soon spread width wise to all those shoots at the back of the top photo by spring. The bottom photo shows how they took over the joint! There are lots of tall lantern plants under there, which typically I think stand up more but these were laid down more due to a bunch of days of heavy rain we had.
Derek doesn’t like them so close to the house so we decided to move them to a new location next year. In the meantime, I wanted to dry this year’s plants to use as a home decor item this fall. I snipped the stems of the good shoots and stripped the stems of their leaves as shown below. I read that Chinese Lanterns like to be stood upright when drying to I put them in a tall container and allowed the bunch to dry in my garage.
Here is the arrangement I made with my dried stems. I put some loose lanterns on the bottom of the clear glass vase, then tried to arrange the other stems around them. I’m not florist, but I’m pretty happy with my dried flower experience. Since Friday was the first day of fall, the colors are perfect for a fall display at the front entrance to our house!
Besides a few other pumpkin things, this is sadly pretty much the extent of fall decor in my home.
UPDATE: It’s been YEARS this I originally published this post and my mom still grows these Chinese Lanterns! She just gave me some more which I used in this fall mantle in our new house!
Thanks so much for this post! On my walk today, down an alley, someone had thrown out branches of these beauties, and it made me so sad, and I wondered what they were. And to think they would have turned this gorgeous color! How sad that they just threw them away like that!
Lovely photos (I especially like the first one), and I love the final arrangement. Thanks again for posting!