How To: PRESERVE FLOWERS
How to Preserve Flowers
Fresh flowers are often a part of happy moments, whether you’re given them after a special performance or walking down the aisle with them on your wedding day. As beautiful as they are, fresh flowers don’t last forever. However, there are many ways to preserve their beauty after they’ve lost their freshness. Preserve your flowers by air drying them, pressing them, or drying them in silica gel.
Air Drying Your Flowers
Cut and trim the flowers.Trim the leaves off of each flower’s stem and then cut the stems to whatever length you desire. It’s best to keep the stems at least 6 inches (15 cm) long.
Find a dark location to store the flowers.Remove the flowers from sunlight as soon as possible and choose a dark location, such as a closet or attic, to keep them while they dry out. Try to find a location that’s also dry and well-ventilated.
- Keeping your flowers in this type of environment will help their coloring stay as authentic as possible.
Secure the stems together and hang them upside down.Wrap a rubberband or two around all of the stems to keep them securely held together. Then tie a couple of long pieces of flavorless dental floss tightly around the bottom of the group of stems. Tie the ends to a hanger so that the flowers hang upside down.This will ensure that the flowers keep their shape and that the stems won’t bend under their weight.
- If you have a lot of flowers, it’s best to secure them together in groups of 6 or less. The dental floss may not be strong enough to hold the weight of more flowers than this.
Remove the flowers after two weeks.Let the flowers hang upside down from the hanger for about 2 weeks. They should be completely dried out at this point. Spray the flowers lightly and carefully with hairspray to keep them protected, detach them from the hanger, and put them on display rightside up in an empty vase.
Pressing Your Flowers
Select a book for pressing.Get the heaviest book you can find that you don’t mind potentially damaging. Phone books and dictionaries are both good options for flower pressing. When choosing a book, keep in mind that because of the moisture absorption involved, some of the pages may get wrinkled.
Lay the flowers out on a sheet of paper.Spread your flowers out on a sheet of paper so that they don’t stick together. When you’ve gotten your flowers arranged how you want them, lay another sheet of paper on top.
Put the sheets in the book.Open your book to a page somewhere near the middle. Then transport the flowers and papers to the open book. Carefully close the book while keeping the flowers as positioned.
- To speed up the process, add weight by stacking more books or a brick on top of the book you’re pressing the flowers in.
- You can press multiple sheets of flowers in the same book at the same time. If you do this, make sure to space them out well so that the moisture from one sheet of flowers doesn’t transfer to another.
Remove the flowers with tweezers after 2-4 weeks.After a few weeks have gone by, your flowers will be completely dry. At this point, open the book and carefully remove the flowers. Because dried flowers can be very delicate, it’s best to use tweezers to remove each flower.
Drying with Silica Gel
Fill a container with a 0.5-0.75 inch (1.3-1.9 cm) layer of silica gel.Silica gel is a sand-like, porous, absorbent form of silicon dioxide that can draw the moisture out of your flowers. Get an airtight storage container and fill the bottom of it evenly with a 1.5-1.75 inch (1.3-1.9 cm) layer of the silica gel.
Trim the leaves and stems.Carefully cut all leaves and stems off of each flower that you plan to preserve. If you’re preserving a bouquet, separate all of the stems before doing this.
Place the flowers in the container and fill them with silica gel.Carefully place each flower upright in the silica gel that’s in the container. Once all of the flowers are in the container, carefully pour some more silica gel into the flower. Make sure that the gel gets in between the petals. This will help the flowers to keep their shape while drying out.
Cover the flowers in silica gel.Sprinkle more silica gel around and in between each flower. Then continue sprinkling evenly over all of the flowers. Do this until the flowers are completely covered.
Put the lid on and check on the flowers every two days.Close the lid to the container and make sure it’s airtight, or else the flowers will not be properly preserved. Check on them every 2 days until they feel completely dry to the touch.
- If you don’t check on them, the flowers may dry out too much, which will cause the petals to become brittle and possibly break.
Remove the flowers and brush off remaining silica gel.Once they feel dry to the touch, carefully remove the flowers from the container and brush any sticky, lingering pieces of gel off with a soft-bristled brush.
- The flowers will take anywhere between a few days and two weeks to dry out, depending on the number of flowers kept in the container and how much moisture they originally contained.
QuestionWhat is a way to preserve flowers without any chemicals?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDrying the flowers upside down or pressing them is a natural way to preserve flowers, though you should be warned that the effect is generally considered less pleasing than using chemicals. Using sand is another method that uses no chemicals.Thanks!
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To preserve flowers, first wrap a rubber band around the stems to keep them together. Then, use dental floss to hang them upside down from a hanger. Put the hanger somewhere dry and dark, like a closet or attic, and wait about 2 weeks for the flowers to dry completely. Finally, spray a little hairspray on the flowers to protect them before you display them. If you don't want to hang the flowers to dry, you can lay them out between 2 pieces of paper, and put the papers in the middle of a heavy book. Give the flowers 2-4 weeks to dry out, then remove them carefully.
- Also consider preserve your flowers by dipping them in wax.
- Many absorbent materials can be used to dry and preserve flowers. Consider using kitty litter, blotter paper, cornmeal, or borax.
- If you’d prefer to hire a professional to preserve your flowers for you, consider having your flowers freeze dried.
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