Two Ways To Preserve Flowers

Two Ways To Preserve Flowers

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I don’t keep flowers in my home nearly as much as I should. That cheerful burst of color on a table or at your bedside is the perfect way to brighten up a rainy day or bring a bit of summer inside once the weather turns cool. Mostly, I hold off on purchasing the gorgeous bouquets that tempt me from farmer’s market stalls and grocery store floral departments because I always wish I could keep them alive for just a little while longer. It’s such a shame when a bouquet withers and browns, unless of course, you know how to preserve those gorgeous blooms.

Dried flowers can be a beautiful addition to your home, especially this time of year. In slightly more muted tones than their fresh counterparts, preserved flowers add texture to your decor and can be used in a number of ways. Today I’m sharing two ways to dry your bouquets, so you’re able to enjoy them long into the grey winter months.

Air Drying

The more natural of the two methods I’m sharing today, air drying works best for hearty flowers such as roses, lavender, and some wildflower varieties. Flowers with delicate petals, like daisies and sunflowers, and mature flowers won’t hold up as well and will likely lose their petals in the process.

To air dry a bouquet, select the flowers that will hold up best with this method and display or press the remainder. Remove any excess foliage and any dead petals, and trim the stems to a length no shorter than 6″-inches.

Tie the stems together with twine and hang loosely in a dark, well-ventilated area for two to three weeks until dry.

Silica Drying

The bad news: silica gel isn’t exactly natural. The good news: you can reuse these little beads indefinitely, which means you don’t throw them away. Available at most craft supply stores in the flower aisle, silica gel is the same thing that comes in those little packets in shoe boxes and works by absorbing the moisture content in flowers. The process can take a couple of weeks or a couple of minutes depending on the method you choose to use.

To use the silica beads, carefully follow the directions on the back of the container: pour 1/2″ of silica beads into a microwave-safe bowl that you don’t plan to use for food (ever again), add the flowers, and gently pour over more beads to cover. You can either leave the bowl as-is for two weeks, or place it in a microwave for 2 minutes. If you choose to use the microwave, allow to cool completely before removing the flowers and wash your hands after handling.

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