Growing and Decorating with Silver Dollars

Growing and Decorating with Silver Dollars
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Growing and Using Silver DollarsQuite a few years ago I had the pleasure of attending a plant swap where I received a silver dollar plant ‘Lunaria annua’ also known as a money plant.  Even though this plant is considered an annual it does self-seed requiring you to only plant it once. 

In the spring, the silver dollar plant has attractive purple flowers followed by round, silvery/white translucent seed pods that look like coins dangling from the branches.  The stems are very popular in dried floral arrangements.

The silver dollar plant requires minimal care and prefers a well-drained area which receives full or partial sun.  After planting I suggest spreading a layer of mulch to help keep the soil from drying out.  If you are starting your plants from seed the silver dollar plant will not bloom until the second year after planting.

Once the flowers fade, the seed pods will remain on the plant through summer and most of winter.  I recommend cutting the stems as soon as the outside pods start to change yellow usually during mid-summer.  I like to cut them as close to the bottom as possible, for a nice long stalk.

To dry your silver dollars tie a piece of string or twine around the base of your bunch and hang it upside down in a cool, dry area.  Silver dollars dry much better when they have air circulation.  This could take anywhere from several days to a week depending on your climate. 

Once they are completely dry rub the outer part of the pod very gently to expose the shiny disk beneath.  Try not to damage the delicate membrane between them. 

Now is the time to harvest seeds to be planted for the following season by shaking the silver dollar disks to remove them.  If you prefer to only grow silver dollars for one year, cut down the plants in late summer, before the seed pods begin to drop.

Growing and Using Silver Dollars  Growing and Using Silver Dollars

A basket filled with silver dollars makes a wonderful fall arrangement.  You can see I have paired them with some fall grasses.  Tuck them in a wreath or decorate your mantel for Halloween with the stems.  You’ll be sure to receive a compliment or two!  One might even say the silver disks resemble the moon.

Flower image: Wikimedia.org

Seed Pod image: Wikimedia.org

 

About The Author

Donna Heber lives in New York with her husband and Ocicat. She loves to garden, create handmade cards and dabbles in photography. Donna has a blog called Donna’s Designs where she shares her passions with others. She invites you to stop by for a visit!
 
 

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