Flowers can be dried using a number of methods. Each one has its own pros and cons. Silica gel, pressing, and hanging upside down are all popular methods. However, if you want to try something faster and even more effective, you should try freeze drying flowers!
Freeze drying flowers requires special equipment that causes the liquid particles inside the flowers to freeze before they evaporate from the flower and result in perfectly dried blooms. This means that your flowers maintain their perfect form and you will have dried flowers faster than any other method.
Air drying flowers means that you need to let them stand or hang them upside down for several days or even weeks. The flowers will become more brittle with time and they can even gather dust while drying out. They will also change colour significantly. If you want to use silica gel, be aware that this substance can cause breathing problems in the long run. The silica gel can also burn the flowers and this gel is not biodegradable. Another option would be to press your flowers. This usually works well but your flowers will obviously be flat. Some flowers do not press very well and you might only be able to dry them using the other methods mentioned above.
When flowers dry out in nature, they slowly decompose. When using the freeze dry method, however, you actually preserve the flowers through the process. They will not decay when drying out because the moisture is extracted far faster than if they were left to dry out on their own. These dried blooms can then be enjoyed for many months or even years.
The one drawback of freeze drying flowers is the cost of the equipment and the fact that you will need to set aside some space in your home for this equipment. For this reason, freeze drying flowers is usually done by those who wish to start their own business selling perfectly dried blooms. If you simply want a dried bouquet for your home, you could use the hanging method or you could shop around for freeze dried flower bouquets.