Preserve Your Summer – How to Dry Flowers
When I opened my garage refrigerator door, the forgotten rose was the first thing I saw. It was as bright a yellow and as beautiful as the day I left it.
That was September 8, the day my father was buried.
At the gravesite, my mother and I each took a yellow rose from the spray on my father’s casket. When I got home, I put the rose in a small vase in our spare refrigerator and forgot about it.
It was exquisite, delicately tinted…deserving of care and preservation.
Which is what DH and I did. It came out perfect.
Besides roses, chrysanthemums (which are at their peak now) also are easily preserved.
HOW TO PRESERVE FLOWERS WITH SILICA GEL
Conventional Drying Method (This is what I did)
- Choose plastic or metal container with tight-fitting lid.
- Pour silica gel into container to a depth o 1 1/2 inches to cover the bottom. Cut flower stems to about 1 1/2 “. Space flowers so they do not touch each other. Original stems may be dried and reattached with floral wire and tape after drying.
- Slowly sprinkle silica get around base of flowers, adding it to the top and sides of the flowers. Be careful to support fragile petals with the silica gel before covering the top of the blossom. Make sure all parts of the flowers are covered with a generous layer of silica gel.
- Cover container with airtight lid and put away in a dry place. Drying times vary from 2 to 7 days, depending on the number of flowers in a container and the moisture content of the flowers. Thin petals will dry faster than heavier flower centers.
- To remove the flowers, slowly pour off silica gel until blossoms are uncovered. Gently brush away silica gel that may be on the petals using a soft artist’s brush. A few grains of silica gel may be left in the center of heavy flowers to aid in preserving them from room humidity.
Prepare flowers as above but DO NOT COVER the container. Place in the microwave (in a microwave-safe dish) with a glass of water and heat on medium power until dry.
Suggested Flowers to Preserve
Pansies, violas, baby’s breath, buttercup, feverfew, heather, ferns, azalea, calendula, daisy, aster, bachelor button, larkspur, delphinium, foxglove, roses, carnations, gardenia, marigold, hydangea, hyacinth, chrysanthemum, orchid, snapdragon, stock, peony