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Turkey Creek Lane · Preserve Your Summer – How to Dry Flowers

Preserve Your Summer – How to Dry Flowers

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My dried rose is still bright and yellow. It looks fresh and alive.

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.

Until now.

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.

dsc00759.JPG This is the gel I used. I got it at Michael’s.

HOW TO PRESERVE FLOWERS WITH SILICA GEL

Conventional Drying Method (This is what I did)

  1. Choose plastic or metal container with tight-fitting lid.
  2. 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.
  3. dsc00722.JPG The stem is cut to 1 1/2″.

  4. 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.
  5. dsc00723.JPG The flower is in the gel. See how yellow and fresh it is.

  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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Carefully pouring off the silica gel.

Microwave Directions

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.

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Fresh-cut snapdragons.

 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

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My dried snapdragon flowers and their foilage kept their color and are ready to be added to an arrangement.

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  1. quickthinker’s avatar

    I might just do this, since there would be an abundance of flowers come November.

    Hi Quickthinker,

    I am preserving mums and snapdragons next. I used the natural method for the rose and liked how it held its color, so I am going to use the same method for them.

    I’ll add pictures to this article of the mums and snapdragons when they are done.

    Reply

  2. ellaella’s avatar

    Just beautiful. I’ve heard the microwave can be used but I never knew how. Maybe I’ll give it a go next year. Thanks!

    Hi ellaella,

    I am getting ready to go over to your site to print out your pie dough recipe with all that butter and cream cheese. It sounded really good.

    I haven’t tried the microwave method. It is a lot faster than having to wait for a week. I might experiment and try that method with my mums. I have LOTS of those.

    Reply

  3. paintingartist’s avatar

    Interesting process and I love your top photo.

    Hi paintingartist,

    Thank you for your kind words. This is the first time I ever tried something like that so I was really happy that it worked!

    Reply

  4. DinKa’s avatar

    amazing. I have a huge thing for dried flowers and have tried several ways to make some but the results don’t seem to turn out well. Due to the unpopularity of dried flowers in Vietnam, it’s kinda hard to find all the materials required (such as the silica gel), so at the moment I am using salt to dry some roses. Can you please tell me an online store that sells the silica gel that you bought? Thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply

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