There are many ways to dry flowers. One of the best ways is to dry flowers with the use of silica gel. Silica gel is a drying compound (desiccant) for use in drying flowers. Using this method allows one to dry flowers while the flowers its shape and superior color. The silica gel mixture can be used over and over so the initial expense of about $20.00 for a large can is a one- time expense. Other less commercial examples of a desiccant are fine sand, borax powder, alum, finely ground kitty litter, and detergent powder. All these may be used to draw moisture from plant material.
Remove stems from flowers. The flower heads may be wired for extra support before burying in desiccant. Fill a box with at least one inch of silica gel. Place flowers either on their sides or upright. To ensure the same drying time, dry similar flowers together. Do not let flowers touch or overlap one another. Cover flowers gently until flowers are completely covered. Close the box tightly.
Silica gel dries flowers most effectively, because it dries them in 2-6 days retaining beautiful color and shape. This desiccant comes in white crystals or as color-indicator crystals. When the color-indicator crystals are dry, they are blue. While absorbing moisture they are pink. Flowers may also be dried in the microwave in combination with silica gel. To do this pour about an inch of desiccant in a microwave dish. Place flowers and gently cover with more silica gel. Put a small dish of water in the microwave with the flowers. This prevents the flowers from becoming dry and brittle. Set the microwave on medium for about 1-3 minutes. Because the drying takes place so rapidly, experimenting is necessary for different types of flowers. Take the flowers out of the microwave and let cool for 15-30 minutes before trying to reveal the flowers. Take careful notes to denote the drying times on the flowers tried.
Flowers that work well using this method are:
- Peonies, although rather large
- Bachelor buttons
- Mini carnations
Flowers dried using silica gel is perfect to use in dried flower wreaths. Roses, daisies, and all the flowers mentioned above make beautiful and colorful wreaths, creating an old-fashioned look. Pink roses and white daisies with baby’s breath, purple statice, and a touch of heather are beautiful when used together crafting a wreath for the bedroom. Add a raffia bow to bring out the organic look. The dried flowers can also be placed upon Spanish moss decorating the edge of a basket to create a one of a kind piece. Add all natural bath toiletries to the adorned basket. Use your imagination and be creative!!
Debra is a professional florist and consultant. She loves to design flowers, jewelry, and home interiors. She is an avid floral design instructor. Debra aspires to use the art of designing flowers in conjunction with healing from abuse and domestic violence. Debra also has a blog [http://floraldesignandflowershopknowhow.blogspot.com/]Floral Design and would love to hear from all.
Photo. Manfred Heyde