How To Preserve and Dry Out Fresh Flower Bouquets
Preserving flowers is a popular pastime, but due to flowers’ delicate nature, messing up the process can be all too easy. Flowers require a deft touch, and preserving them and drying them out can be a long process—one that may end with ruined flowers if you’re not careful. However, there are some ways to ensure you do not end up crumpling or wilting your bouquet, guaranteeing that it survives for years to come.
Whether they serve as reminders of fond memories or are mementos from loved ones, it’s always useful to know how to preserve and dry out fresh flower bouquets. Make sure you have the necessary space and supplies to properly dry out your bouquets in order to keep them in pristine condition long after their time.
The Drying Process
The key to preserving your flowers is knowing how to safely dry them out. The moisture locked inside the flowers will eventually wilt your bouquets, and that’s something you want to avoid. There are several different ways to ensure you properly dry out your flowers; here are the steps for one of the most common and reliable methods you’ll find.
Remove Any Excess Leaves and Cut the Stems
The first step is to clear off any excess leaves. You’ll want the stems as barren as possible for the drying process. This lowers the chance of excess moisture remaining in the flower. You can leave on a few leaves if you enjoy the look, but you’ll want to limit how many you keep.
After that, you must clip the stems, cutting them down to about 6 inches or so.
Find the Best Room for Drying Your Flowers
You’ll need to find an adequate drying room for your bouquets to get the process going. This should be a dark, dry space with good air circulation. The room should also have little to no foot traffic; disturbing a flower’s drying room can interrupt the process and result in less-than-ideal flowers. You’ll also need to make sure that no direct sunlight reaches your flowers; the sun’s rays can wash out your flowers’ colors, altering them in ways you may not like.
Tie Your Flowers Together and Hang Them
Once you have removed your flowers’ leaves, cut down the stems to the right size, and chosen a suitable drying space, hang the bouquets from a suspended area and let them dangle upside down, with the petals facing the ground. Don’t allow the petals to rest on any object, as this could damage them.
Give Your Flowers Enough Time To Dry Out Completely
With your flowers safely hanging upside down in your drying room, the next step is simple: you must play the waiting game. Flowers can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to dry out, so you’ll need to periodically check in on them to gauge their progress.
Don’t be afraid to visit the drying room every once in a blue moon; an occasional disturbance won’t derail the entire drying process. But keep the visits to a minimum just to be safe.
Add a Protective Spray for Good Measure
After letting your flowers sit for several weeks, it’s time to take them down and view the results. When the drying process is complete, the petals should be completely free of moisture. They’re no longer at risk of decay, but they’re still not invulnerable. The petals, in their dry state, are very fragile and can crumble with the wrong touch.
To avoid this, spray the petals with a floral preserving agent, which will ensure they maintain a good amount of sturdiness. They won’t be as strong as steel, of course, but this step will make sure they can withstand more handling than they would be able to otherwise. If you don’t have access to floral spray, many people use hair spray as an alternative with similar results.
Drying Flowers with a Microwave
For people who don’t have the extra space or time to dry out their flowers the long way, there’s a faster method for drying them out. For this, you’ll need a microwave, a large microwave-safe container, silica gel, a fine-tip brush, acrylic spray, and about 24 hours of your time.
Use Silica Gel
To begin the process, pour about 2 inches of the silica gel into your microwave-safe container. Then, place your flowers in the gel, with the stems poking through the gel and the petals pointing upward. Once the flowers are in place, gently pour some more gel over the petals; make sure to do it slowly, or else you’ll ruin the petals.
Heat in the Microwave
With the flowers covered, place the uncovered container in the microwave and set the timer between 2 and 5 minutes. Occasionally stop the microwave and check on the flowers; some types of flowers may dry out more quickly than others. You should check on the flowers about every 30 seconds; doing so more frequently than that can ruin the drying process.
Cover and Wait
Once you see that the flowers are dry, immediately cover the container and take it out of the microwave. Open the lid about a quarter of a centimeter and allow it to air out for a full 24 hours.
Brush Off the Gel
The final step is to gently brush the gel off the petals with the fine-tip brush, taking special care not to scuff the flowers. After you completely remove the gel, spray down the flowers with acrylic spray to fully preserve them.
Safeguard Your Flowers
By knowing how to preserve and dry your flowers, you’ll be able to keep them for years longer and display them around the home as you see fit. Keep and display your flowers for years to come, whether they hold sentimental value or you simply love their look.
At Cultivate and Bloom, we specialize in hand-tied bouquet delivery, making sure you have fresh flowers to complement your preserved ones. Fill your home with the beauty and aromas of fresh, live floral arrangements.