Flower preservation techniques
There are few things more satisfying than receiving a fresh bunch of flowers. Of course, the one thing we all know when flowers arrive is that they will inevitably perish. As much as we are filled with joy when the bouquet arrives, we are equally filled with sadness when they start to wilt. No matter how well you take care of your cut flowers, they will only ever last a couple of weeks. Fortunately, there are a number of techniques that can be used should you wish to hold on to their beauty for a bit longer.
Pressing and drying flowers are the two most popular methods due to their simplicity. It’s important to note that some flowers are best suited for hanging while others are perfect for pressing. Flowers that are particularly delicate might not work well for hanging or pressing but you can still pluck the petals and press them individually. When you use your pressed flowers, simply reconstruct your flower. When hanging flowers to dry, make sure that you split the bunch up so that they can dry quickly. You should also make sure that they are hung upside down so that your flowers don’t bend. Once they are dry, they will then stand up straight in a vase or however you wish to use them. Other important things to remember about drying is that you need to avoid direct sunlight, wind, air conditioners, and heaters. If you notice any bruised or damaged plant material, remove them before you dry them. Some flowers, like hydrangeas can be dried in an upright position provided they are placed in a suitable vase for added support.
Pressing flowers generally works a bit faster than hanging them because these flowers are usually thinner and they are forced flat which encourages faster drying. Remember to place your flowers between two pieces of tissue paper and add a few layers of paper towels to absorb any moisture. Leave your flowers to dry in a flower press or under a heavy stack of books for at least two weeks before checking on them. If they are not completely dry and pressed when you check on them, press them again and check every few days until you reach the desired result.
Another way of preserving flowers is by using glycerin. While your flowers are hanging, they can become dry and brittle. This means that they can break quite easily. If you like, you can add glycerin to the vase water (as per the instructions on the package) and allow your flowers to soak up the glycerin for up to 30 days. Once this part is complete, it’s time to let your bunch hang upside down for about one week to dry out completely. This method requires more time and effort but the results are certainly worthwhile.
If you have silica, you can use these granules to dry flowers. Simply place them in a container with your flowers for 36 hours. Some flowers take a bit longer and if you’re not happy with the results, you can leave them in for longer until the desired results are achieved. Once you are done using you silica granules, you can dry them in the microwave and store them for later use. If you dry flowers on a regular basis, this is certainly a worthwhile investment.