How to Press Plants
Written by: CJ Kazilek

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Herbarium: a collection of dried plants mounted (usually on paper) labeled and arranged for use by scientists... more

Have you ever seen an interesting plant that you wanted to keep? The best way to preserve a plant specimen is to press it and dry it. Dr. Leslie Landrum has many cabinets of dried plants in the Arizona State University herbarium. This collection allows researchers to go back in time to study plants. The Herbarium has plants that were collected as far back as 1877. You can start your own collection of interesting plants by pressing and drying them. Follow the directions below to make your own plant press.

Materials needed:

  • 2 flat pieces of wood
  • 2 pieces of cardboard
  • old newspaper
  • rope or strong twine
  • garden clippers or scissors
  • paper to mount your dried plant onto
  • glue to stick plant to paper
  • paper to create a label

step 1step 1 step 2step 2 step 3step 3

Step one:
You will need to create a press to press your plants flat.

Step two:
Find an interesting plant to press.

Step three:
Pressing the plant.
step fourstep 4 step fivestep 5 step 6step 6

Step four:
Putting the press together.

Step five:
Tying the press together and drying.

Step six:
Mounting your plants.
step 7step 7 Step seven: Labeling your dried plants.  


(Thanks to Dr. Leslie Landrum at Arizona State University for suggesting this experiment).

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Create Your Own Herbarium
  • Author(s): CJ Kazilek
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: December 21, 2009
  • Date accessed: June 12, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

CJ Kazilek. (2009, December 21). Create Your Own Herbarium. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

CJ Kazilek. "Create Your Own Herbarium". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 21 December, 2009.

MLA 2017 Style

CJ Kazilek. "Create Your Own Herbarium". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 21 Dec 2009. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 12 Jun 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see

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