Why do cornflowers fade when you dry them?

I had a go at drying some cornflower stems in my workshop this summer

drying cornflowers

Fresh cornflowers hung up to dry

They were all a lovely intense uniform royal blue when I hung them up to dry, but the results were very mixed! Some of the dried cornflowers colour stayed true, some faded to a pretty pale blue, and some cornflower petals bleached right out. I would guess it might be due to the effect of light as they weren’t in 100% darkness.
If anyone knows the trick to drying cornflowers, please let me know – I tried googling the answer but no luck!

dried cornflowers

Dried cornflowers royal blue and faded pale blue

faded cornflower petals

These dried cornflower petals have faded almost to white but kept a blue centre

Related posts on air drying bunches of flowers

Drying sea lavender
Drying lavender
Drying nigella
Drying poppy seed heads
How to dry flowers

Shopping link – dried cornflower petals

Don’t worry – these are not the ones we sell in our shop! We buy in expertly grown and dried pure royal blue cornflower petals. They are relatively expensive, and now I understand why!
Buy dried cornflower petals

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