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How to Preserve Cattails


Does anyone know how to preserve cattails so they last longer? Thank you.

By pinkrose345 from Otis, OR


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By Keeper 58 1,056 09/17/2009

Hang them upside down for 1-3 weeks to dry.Then use a lacquer hairspray. Enjoy

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By Clynn Altemus 30 67 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.

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By nana linda 1 07/04/2013

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.

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By Designer2000 1 08/07/2015

I have used a flat laquer for years to preserve the cattails and the leaves. That way they can be dusted. Hair spray works well to keep the cattails intact however, they cannot be dusted.

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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 comments that were provided then.

Archive: How to Preserve Cattails

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


RE: How to Preserve Cattails

I have been cutting cattails in the fall and have preserved them by using hair spray which must be done right away and have never had them open. I have had them in my home for years. (02/02/2005)

By Mary

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