How to Dry and Preserve Flowers
Dried flowers have their beauty and uniqueness just like fresh flowers. They provide a different vibe than their fresh counterparts and are a lovely addition to every home. Dried flowers are attractive, playful, a bit quirky, as well as dramatic. They have a special appeal that many people appreciate. Although they are considered dead, they are still romantic and may still look lively. One of the best things about them is that they can make any place better and livelier, regardless of whether it is summer or winter. They are appropriate for any occasion and any season. They are not too vibrant for darker, colder months, but also not too morbid for brighter and shinier months of the year.
The Special Appeal Of Dried Flowers
Dried flower bouquets, flower collections, or single flowers can be purchased both online and in physical flower shops. Many people love them because they have an independent nature and are easy to maintain. They do not require regular watering nor sunlight. They can also be shipped without fear they will get broken or their leaves falling off. The popularity of dried or preserved flowers constantly grows, as people find more and more uses for them. They look beautiful on windows, doors, kitchen tables, or any other place inside and outside homes. They are a perfect addition to the workplace, second home, or rental home. Always inspiring and beautiful, dried flowers are likely to fully take over flower markets soon.
Buying and Caring For Dried Flowers
When comparing dried and fresh flowers and how they affect the environment, we conclude that dried flowers are much more friendly to the environment. Fresh flowers have a short life-span, so they always need to be transported quickly and regularly taken care of. Preserved flowers do not require any special treatment and can last for many months, even years. If you provide proper care, dried blossoms are a less wasteful option in comparison to fresh flowers. Another thing in their favor is that they are completely natural and biodegradable, so if you are all about improving ecology and protecting the environment, dried flowers are a great option for you.
When it comes to where to buy preserved flowers, searching online is the first step. Many quality online stores sell dried flower products. Many florists specialize in making and selling dried flowers, so you can help those independent businesses by buying such products from them. You can also try drying flowers on your own. Online you will find numerous websites, blogs, and forums where people share ideas, tips, and advice regarding dried flowers. You can buy a kit for flower drying with step-by-step instructions on how to create beautiful dried flower bouquets, and how to decorate your home with them.
Regarding care for dried flowers, they only need minimal maintenance. All you need to do is keep them away from direct sunlight and keep them dry at all times. Preserved flowers should not be put in a vase with water because that will make them look moldy and their beauty will diminish. Therefore, keep them out of wet spots and direct sunlight and they will serve you well for a long time.
Drying Flowers At Home – Which Flowers Are The Best For That?
Drying flowers at home is a relatively simple, easy, and straightforward process. The main thing you need to do is to hang them somewhere where they could dry for about two weeks. Find a good dry place in your home where flowers will not be exposed to sunshine. Smaller bunches will dry quicker than large bouquets, so keep that in mind too.
You can experiment with choosing different stems. Roses, wildflowers, and eucalyptus are popular options because they have very nice colors that are pleasant to look at. We will get to more on that later and now let`s go over how to dry them properly in your home. There are a few things you need to do before drying flowers. They are the following:
- If you have a home garden, pick flowers you plan to dry early in the morning. Picking them before they open their blooms is recommended. Also, do not forget to take about five inches of stem together with the flower.
- Strip the stems from foliage.
- Use a rubber band or some kind of tie to secure a bundle of several stems.
- Hang the secured bundle upside down in a dry and dark place with good ventilation, but without sunlight. Any closet, garage, attic, or spare room is a good spot to hang them.
- In about two weeks, flowers will be fully dried. Most flowers will keep their original color, although some flower colors may fade a little.
When it comes to which varieties of flowers are best for drying, there are plenty of them. Generally speaking, flowers that hold their petals strongly and that have a very small calyx usually dry the best. Some good flowers for drying include Artemisia, amaranth, coneflower, celosia, floss flower, globe thistle, hydrangea, lavender, pansies, salvia, rosebuds, sea holly, yarrow, strawflower, and many others.
Pre-Drying Steps To Take
Flowers that are well dried are usually very compact, colorful, and moisture-free. Before going into the drying process, flowers must go through the pre-drying phase which is vital for successful flower drying. These are the necessary measures that should be taken.
- Cleaning the flowers is the first pre-drying step. They must be thoroughly cleaned after being picked from a garden. Cleaning involves washing them, but also peeling and stripping leaves. Their unnecessary parts should be removed so the drying process will be better.
- Providing strong stem support is the next step. Some flower heads can be heavy, which can lead to the breakage of stems when they are hanged to dry. To avoid that, cut the stems short and wire them before you hang the flowers to dry.
- Adding wire stems is the final pre-drying phase. Every flower head needs to be cut so the stem is about an inch long. Cut the wire to your desired length, but allow some extra space for bending, The wire must be hooked around the calyx part of the flower, which the place where the stem and flower head are connected.
Main Techniques For Drying Flowers
There are many methods for preserving flowers. Which one you use largely depends on the type of flower, whether it has delicate or hard nature. The following are the main techniques you should consider.
- Air drying is a simple and easy method for flower preservation. It gives the flowers a very nice look that can last very long. Air-dried flowers can be used as an amazing decoration and will look perfect in any flower arrangement. The air-drying method is the classic hang and dry method. You do not need any equipment for this method. Just tie the stems of flowers together and hung them upside down in a dark, warm space that has good airflow and no direct sunlight. You can also use a hair spray on them when you hang them for them to retain their natural form. Keep in mind that air-drying method is the method that requires the longest time for drying. It usually takes around a couple of weeks for the flowers to be completely dry, but sometimes can take even longer than that.
- Press drying is a popular method used by many florists. Flowers are dried by being put under heavy pressure, which squeezes the moisture out. Pressing does not damage the structure or the flower color, so dried flowers look beautiful. You have several methods available when it comes to pressing flowers. The easiest is probably using heavy books, phone books, or other objects over the flowers and leaving them like that for some time. Flowers pressed with this method are ideally used as decorations to gift cards, notes, or framed pictures.
- Water drying is a way of preserving flowers where the leaves are stripped from the flower and the stems are placed in water. The water gets absorbed by the stems and as it evaporates the flower gets dry. Certain flowers are ideal for this method, such as hydrangeas, acacia, yarrow, or gypsophila.
- Freeze drying is a method of drying when the temperature of the flower is lowered to a freezing level, and then a vacuum is used for extracting the moisture out of them. It is one of the most advanced techniques used for drying and also very effective. However, it takes about a whole month before flowers are completely dried. Again, this depends on the type of flower. The water is removed from the frozen dried flowers as vapor straight from the ice. The ice does not go through the liquid phase, which is why this method is very effective for complete drying. This process of extracting water as vapor from ice is called sublimation, while all other methods use evaporation. The freezing method is conducted with freeze-drying machines. First, the temperature drops below zero, then it is slowly gets increased day by day until it reaches room temperature in four weeks. By using this slow preservation method, the dried flowers retain their natural form and their colors stay vivid too.
- Glycerine drying method is a process when the moisture in the flowers is replaced with glycerine. That preserves the flower and it retains its flexibility, color, and natural shape. Glycerine-dried and preserved flowers can last for a very long time. After that, they only require minimal maintenance, like wiping them with a soft cloth.
- Desiccant drying is a process when flowers are put together with certain substances such as silicone gels that have an affinity to absorb water. Many use this drying method at home because silica gels are widely available and proved to be very effective in drying. Besides silica gel, borax can also be used in this method. Usually, flowers are placed in a metal, air-tight container, where they are covered with desiccants. The container must be closed for at least two weeks, after which period the flowers will be dry.
- Microwave drying is a simple and fast process of flower drying. Only a few minutes are enough for the flowers to be dry. After they are taken out of the microwave oven they will look colorful and even fresher than before. However, only certain flower types are good to be used in this method. Flowers that have thick petals should never be used for microwave drying because they will not dry properly. Remember that all flowers have different moisture content. They also have different densities and different textures, so it is best to use the same flowers suitable for this method. Some good flower types to use for microwave drying include roses, dahlias, lilies, and violets. A thing to know regarding microwave drying is that you must follow some important precautions. Always start with the lowest settings and gradually increase the temperature. Using different temperature settings will produce a variety of color variations. Use a microwave-friendly container where flowers will be stored during this method. Finally, never use wired flowers in a microwave oven to avoid significant damage.
- Bleaching and dyeing methods are used to give a better visual appeal to the dried flower arrangements. With bleaching, flowers get decolorized, while dyeing is the opposite process. Bleaching is a chemical process where discoloration is removed during the dehydration phase of flower drying. Hydrogen peroxide is the most commonly used substance in this phase, but sodium chloride and sodium hypochlorite are also used. For dyeing, common colors, enamel paints, tube paints, interior paints, or any other paint can be used in this process.
Arranging Dried Flowers
The beauty of dried flowers is that they can be arranged in hundreds of different ways. You can find professionally dried flowers and already arranged ones at many reputable sellers such as Flowers Delight. Dried flower options are much wider in comparison to standard floral bouquets made of fresh flowers. You can mix or match many different flowers and they will look great in any period of the year. It is advisable to experiment, try different things, and get creative with dried floral arrangements. It is always a good idea to mix some flowers and herbs that provide a nice scent. Dried flower arrangements, bouquets, and single flowers can be used in potpourri, on gift boxes, as home decoration in any room, or as a gift to your loved ones.
Preserved Or Fresh Flowers?
This is a common dilemma for many people, but it can be easily solved. You do not have to give up fresh flowers entirely. However, preserved flowers are an environmental-friendly option worth considering. Preserved flowers are dried flowers where glycerine replaces the sap. That gives preserved flowers a fresher look, beautiful leaves and petals, as well as flexible stems. They are as closest to fresh flowers as they can get. If you care well for them, they can last for many months and keep their great look until they slowly start fading away.
Hopefully, you have learned a lot about dried and preserved flowers with the information provided here. You can use this as a general guide for flower drying, caring, and arranging. Dried flowers are getting more and more popular every day, and they are likely to become a top choice in the future. The process of drying is interesting, there are many techniques available, so anyone can try doing it. Flower lovers will certainly love dry flowers because their beauty is lasting and their scent stays for a long time.
If you do not want to dry flowers by yourself, there are countless options online. Contact some of the quality floral stores online and order preserved flowers and bouquets of your choice. They are a nice gift for every person and any occasion. You can also use them as a decoration for your home and to make it more beautiful. Even just looking at a dried flower will give you a nice feeling. Consider the information provided here and go for the best dry flower arrangements you can find for your pleasure.