By pinkrose345 from Otis, OR
Here are the recent answer to this question.
By nana linda07/04/2013
Preserving cattails for longterm use is not complicated as others have posted. However, whether or not they fall out depends on when you pick them: in the gardening zone I live in (East Tennessee) they must be picked before the end of July or they will ripen and the seeds will burst out. I prefer the thin green ones and they must be picked by early summer. If sprayed with lacquer they will last indefinitely.
Hair spray is good enough and less expensive, since they get dusty (and probably have dust mites and germs inside)and for allergies sake should be thrown out eventually. Warning: some wetlands in parks and other areas are protected areas and you cannot pick them there - it's illegal. Anyway, it's safer to pick them next to a road right of way because there are fewer snakes, etc.
By Clynn Altemus 09/24/2009
Pick them before they reach the bursting stage. Then put them to one side until they dry and then spray with a hair lacquer or clear shellac.
I also use the hairspray on the plumy grasses to keep them from blowing away. They hold up fairly well, except you cannot dust them.
By Keeper 09/17/2009
Hang them upside down for 1-3 weeks to dry.Then use a lacquer hairspray. Enjoy
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
You mention preserving or drying wild plants. I am interested in how to preserve cattails to keep them from "bursting". I believe years ago I was told that spraying them with hairspray would keep them intact. Do you know it that is true or have any other suggestions?
JoAnn from SD
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