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
After drying, can you then press?
Could a litter box that has a built in sifting system be used!
For silica? It’s not air tight. I think it said as long as the room has good air flow, but I just bought a few cheap bins that locked and placed saran wrap in between the top and the lid to make sure no air would get through. I don’t think I’d use a litter bix. Smart thinking if it would work though.
After you dry them they will be hard. If you press them, they will most likely crush depending on what flowers you are using. If you want to press them I’d do that at first and it will also dry them. I hope I helped you.
I have had roses drying for 3 weeks. I’m in school and don’t have a lot of time or space to arrange my flowers. School is fixing to end. Is there such a thing as drying your rises for to long? The original directions I read said, ” leave the roses in the silica for two weeks”. I’ve left them for 3 weeks and 2 days. I pulled one out to see and it’s beautiful, but I’m worried they will fall apart when I’m arranging them. Does it stop drying after a while? Thanks for your help -Amber
Hi all, so I have used silica gel and the flowers are looking very pretty and brittle. What is the best way to store them. Do they shave to be kept in an air tight container? or can they be put in a shadow box. I guess my question is, will moisture in the air affect the colour and presence of the flowers after they are dried. Thank you
Do you have to take the wedding bouquet apart before doing this to preserve them?
What can you paint the flowers with once they come out? To enhance their color for years to come?