Did you receive a gorgeous bouquet for Valentine’s Day? Or are you thinking of ways to keep your priceless bridal bouquet alive? Did you wish there was a way to maintain the roses and flowers and keep their memories alive?
Preserving flowers has been an art for ages, and there are a handful of methods that are used depending on the flower chosen and the purpose intended for the drying.
This article provides a step by step guide of five different methods to naturally preserve your flowers and roses.
You will no longer have to get rid of any precious bouquets. You may like to experiment with a couple of different methods to see which one gives your blooms the best results.
This is the classic technique to dry your flowers by hanging them upside down. This method helps preserve the stems of the flowers, and it works best for robust flowers such as roses, or small, long-lasting varieties like lavender.
To experiment with this technique, you will need partially or fully open blooms, twine or ribbon, a hook or hanger, a well-ventilated area, and hairspray.
First, wrap your flowers by their stems using your ribbon. Make sure that they are tightly joined and will not slip out, however they should not be too tightly fastened so the damp stems are not bent down and attract mold.
Then hang your bouquet upside down using a hanger that will support its weight, make sure the drying area used is out of direct sun so the colors of your blooms do not fade (for example, a closet with the door open).
You will need to regularly check on your bouquet while it dries for two to four weeks. Once dry, apply hairspray to your flowers so they do not crumble too easily.
This technique also requires the least amount of effort to put into effect. It can take about a month for the flowers to dry out and you can use this method with any type of flower and it’s likely you get good results every time.
All you need is some absorbent paper, a pair of scissors, a heavy book, and your precious flowers.
Keep in mind that this technique works best if you get rid of the stems, so you will need to trim your flowers down to the heads for this purpose.
Open up your heavy book to the center, and then cover the pages with waxed paper or any kind of absorbent paper you would like to use. Align your buds at the center of the book, press them well, and close the book.
You may need to replace the absorbent paper every week so the petals are allowed a fresh dry surface that will get the moisture out of them. In a couple of weeks (usually 4 to 5), you will have dried blooms that you can keep for a long time.
This technique is perfect for people who are impatient. Results are faster but need closer attention so blooms don’t dry out and become fragile.
In addition to Silica gel (which can be a bit expensive, $21 for five pounds on Amazon), you will also need a flat container that can be sealed.
This gel is efficient because it is a moisture-absorbing desiccant, and this method is perfect for delicate flowers that have exotic colors such as roses, tulips, anemones, and zinnia.
To use this method, spread an inch of silica gel in the bottom of your container. Arrange the flowers on top and then cover with another inch of the gel. Make sure the gel carefully gets in between the petals so they are completely covered, but not damaged or deformed.
Next, secure the lid of the container tightly and allow it to sit for a few days. Check on your flowers every two days until the water has been completely pulled out of your flowers and they feel dry.
When completely dry, handle them with care and use a soft brush to get rid of any silica gel residues. Save the leftover silica gel for the future.
Microwaving is a cheap and quick way to dry your flowers; even though it requires more attention to get the desired results. This unusual technique is possible through the pressing of flowers using heat and vaporizing the moisture they hold.
To try it, you will need several coffee filters, ceramic plates that are safe for microwaves, and of course a functioning microwave.
Layer the materials in this order for the best results: the ceramic plate face up, coffee filter, flower, coffee filter and face up the plate. Then you will need to place this flower sandwich in the microwave for one minute on a moderate setting.
When ready, get it out and check the dryness of the blooms. You will need to replace the coffee filters with new ones until your flowers are as dry as desired.
Sand-drying can be used to dry different flowers such as roses, tulips, dahlias, and marigolds. For this method, you will need an empty box, white sand, and your blooms. Start by pouring a half-inch layer of sand in a box.
This box should be sturdy and placed away from the sun. Then cut the stems of the flowers and gently place them upright in the box of sand. Next, slowly pour sand over the flowers to fully cover them.
Allow your flowers to sit for one to three weeks. When the blooms are fully dry, gently brush off all of the grains of sand paying attention to not damage them.
- When drying different containers of flowers, you may want to date them so you don’t accidentally open a box and mess with the drying times. For the sand drying technique, you may want to be extra careful while shifting them so you do not damage the flowers.
- Keep in mind that when blooms are fully mature, they are more prone to losing their blooms in the drying process.
- The cost of Silica gel can be high when first purchased, but it can be regularly for many years. However, if its color changes from white to pink, you will need to stop using it as that’s when it loses its moisture-absorbing abilities.
- When sand drying your flowers, Cup-shaped or rose-shaped ones should be dried face-up, while daisy-type one should be dried face down.
- To preserve their color and structure, Individual gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, and tulips are great candidates for the microwave drying method.