26 August 2013

Summer Harvest - Drying Chinese Lantern Pods

You guys may recall my desperate search for the colorful pods of the Chinese Lantern Plant last year. It was one of my fleeting obsessions. And I was so happy when I found a live plant that I could take advantage of year after year.

Well, I'm pleased to say that my plant reemerged from the pot this year. But with the dark, rainy summer we've had, it didn't produce the copious amounts of pods equal to last year's harvest. It's a bit scant.

Nonetheless, it's now time to harvest my crop.

chinese lantern

Isn't it an ugly plant? I feel bad saying a plant is ugly, but this one truly is... Its only redeeming value are the beautiful seed pods it produces each summer. And that alone makes it a plant I want in my collection. But be warned - not only is it an ugly plant, it's also extremely invasive. Ugly + invasive = potted plant! If you obtain one of these, do keep it in a pot or keep a friend like me who is willing to share!

Drying these colorful pods is easy.

how to dry chinese lantern pods

Simply trim the stems at ground level and remove the leaves.

how to dry chinese lanterns

Keep your stems as long as possible.

drying flowers

To dry, bundle your stems with a twist tie or rubber band. If possible, leave space between the pods so that they get adequate air circulation.

Small bundles are better than large ones for the same reason.

drying seeds

Once you've bundled all your pods, hang them in a dry, dark location for a few weeks. I have my little bundle hung in my garage right beside my kitchen door. This way I get to admire them as I come + go. If you have a larger crop, a string or wire attached to two walls or structures will also do.

This marks the beginning stages of fall. And my pods will be ready just in time for all it's gloriousness!



  1. They're lovely! But keep them in that pot--they are SO invasive and will take over your garden. You might think that sounds fine but it isn't . . .

    1. absolutely!!! i made that mistake years ago and am still battling the wrath. randomly, i'll find a sprout in my beds and it was at least 5 years ago that i planted a tiny sprout! definitely keep them potted!

  2. I'm so glad I read these comments before I planted some! LOL!
    I will make sure to keep them in a flowerpot.
    Years ago I planted some beautiful Goose Neck flowers
    and now I'm continually trying to kill them.

    1. point taken! i've updated the post so that everyone will take heed!


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