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How to dry flowers

It is always beautiful to receive flowers as a gift. Unfortunately, fresh flowers do not last long and you lose their beauty in just a few days. If you wish to keep a bouquet that has emotional value or meaning to you, such as your wedding bouquet or a romantic rose bouquet find below easy ways to help you extend the life of these flowers.

 

It's not difficult as long as you follow the small simple tips. But you have to remember that not all kinds of flowers dry out.

 

Dry in the air

 

Upside down bouquets are the most traditional flower drying technique. You may want to dry the flowers from your garden, such as lavender for its scent, or a beautiful big rose flower. The simplest way to achieve this is to simply hang them in a cool, dark room, such as in the attic or in a closet. 

 

  • Remove excess leaves from under the flower heads as they fall off when dry. Cut the stalks to the desired length, but not less than 15 cm. Divide the flowers into smaller bouquets of the same type of flower and try not to have more than six or seven flowers in each.
  • Hang the flowers upside down and let them dry for about three weeks. Look at them regularly after the first week. The petals will dry and become stiff when ready.
  • Spray the flowers with a hairspray as soon as they dry and they have been removed from the hanger as this will protect them more. In a few weeks you will have beautifully dried flowers in vintage shades.

There should be good air circulation in the drying area and the temperature should be around 20-25 C, in order to avoid moisture and mould.

 

Dry with microwave

 

Dry the flowers in minutes instead of weeks. Place one flower at a time in a microwave bowl and cover with about four cups of cat litter. Set the oven to high power for two to three minutes. When the sand has cooled, remove the flower and brush off any remaining sand. Repeat with the rest.

With this method we save time, compared to conventional methods that last for weeks, since it only takes a few minutes.

Ideal flowers are daisies, gerberas, chrysanthemums, dahlias.

 

Drying by pressure

 

Choose a big/heavy book e.g. telephone directories or an encyclopaedia, put a piece of non-stick paper in the middle and place the flowers face down so that they do not overlap. Close the book and leave it for 7 to 10 days. Once all the moisture is gone and they have a papery texture, use your flowers to bookmark or fill in a frame.

If we want to dry several flowers at the same time, we place them on different pages of the same book, following the method we used above.

It is the ideal method to dry petals or a small number of flowers.

 

Dry in a vase (lazy way)

 

Drying flowers in a vase is very easy. Place the stalks in a jar with a few inches of water and leave them. Once all the water has evaporated, the flowers will remain upright and alive, but dried. 

Hydrangeas or gypsophila are good choices for this method, because flowers with more stems can tilt. Just use the vase as a table decoration or take out the flowers, tie them with a ribbon and hang them on the wall.

We do not recommend this method as it has many disadvantages with first and foremost that in most flowers their stalks are crooked during drying and usually does not have the best final result.

 

Drying by the method of silicon - silica gel

 

Take the flowers and cut them, leaving at least 3 cm from their stem. Make sure before drying that they have dried quite well and are free of insects.

Pour the silica gel in the bowl with the flowers gently so as not to wrinkle the petals and cover them completely. Depending on the shape of the flower you can put the flowers upside down or normally as long as the silica gel penetrates everywhere. For example, put the rose with the stalk down while the daisy can be turned upside down.

Seal the container completely. After 2-6 days check the result and then remove them and dust them with a brush.

Tips: Silicon is reused many times and we buy it from specialized gardening shops or hobby shops. It exists in two forms, crystals and powder. We recommend the powder for drying as it penetrates deeper into flowers with folds and dries more evenly. If you do not find dust you can take crystals and powder them in the mixer. 

 

-Be very careful not to inhale the dust

-Choose the silica gel that changes colour when it reaches the moisture absorption limit.

-Suitable flowers for drying with silica gel: roses, daisies, peonies, carnations, etc.

-You can combine this technique with the oven drying technique (microwave or normal) for a really fast result.

It is the most suitable method to remove moisture but also to keep the colours and shape of the flowers vivid.

 

Drying in the oven

 

If you can not wait weeks then this method is for you!

Spread the petals or even the whole flowers on the grill. Bake at a temperature of 150 to 200C for 1.5 - 2 hours. Every half an hour we check the flowers so that we do not burn them. Once the petals have a slight bend, then they are ready. Leave them out of the oven overnight - at least for 10 hours - to make sure to avoid mold.

- Ideal for potpourri

-If the flowers we used have different sizes, the ripening time per flower may differ.

-Suitable for more "mature" flowers

 

General tips

 

-First of all, let's make it clear that not all flowers are equally suitable for drying. Some of the unsuitable are geraniums, violets, chrysanthemums, poppies and lilies.

-Also, we make sure to choose flowers that are still buds or that are just beginning to open their petals and not overripe, in order to maintain their freshness -and be more durable- over time!

-We collect our flowers from morning to early afternoon, in a dry climate without humidity, with sunshine, in order to achieve drying in an even shorter period of time.

-Avoid collecting after watering or rain as the quality and shape of the flowers change during drying.

-In any technique we mentioned, each type and size of flower differs in the times required.

 

Dry herbs

 

The collection of herbs - aromatic plants is vital for the maintenance of available supplies during the winter. To make the most of your garden or even the plants on your balcony during the maintenance process, be careful to collect the plants at the right time and carefully dry their plant stems!

As with the fresh harvest during the growing season, it is best to harvest them in the morning after they have dried from the cool of the night.

 

  • Collect herbs when they still look good and not when the foliage dries or turns brown.
  • In winter, as the first rains and colds approach, be sure to pick any tender or annual plants before they dry out.
  • Check your plants regularly for some diseases so you can have herbs every month of the year.
  • Store dried herbs in glass jars and store them in a cupboard away from the sun and heat.
  • Label all the jars with the name of the herb and the date of harvest, the herbs look like after they are dried.
  • Dry them in a dark, airy place. Make sure they are not in direct sunlight and have good air circulation around them.
  • Tie them with rubber bands and hang them upside down.
  • To remove leaves or flowers from dried stems, simply remove the dried plants from the stems or shake in a paper bag until the stems are clean.
  • Empty the bag into a jar. The leaves and seeds must be kept whole to be crushed when needed.

 

Dried flowers, wherever they are placed, change the atmosphere and the mood, creating a "natural" decoration in our space. Find them in arrangements with aromatic potpourri, on wooden and paper surfaces with decoupage techniques, in vases, in frames, decorated with ribbons, in wreaths, etc.