How to Dry Flowers: The 4 Simplest Ways
Few things in the world express love and sophistication like a beautiful flower bouquet. Flowers have long been identified with affection, adoration, and unrivaled beauty. No matter if they’re featured in a wedding ceremony or prom corsages, flowers add to the beauty of the event and make it memorable.
As the crisp petals begin to wilt, have you ever found yourself wishing that you could preserve that beauty for just a little while longer?
Traditional store-bought flowers generally last for little more than a week. In just a few days’ time, the vibrant colors and entrancing smells begin to fade.
At Venus ET Fleur®, we want to help you preserve your flowers for as long as possible. Here are the four simplest ways to dry flowers and keep them around for the long run.
1. Air Drying Flowers
Air drying is the best and easiest method to dry flowers, particularly when they have just bloomed or are about to bloom. You will need a string, scissors, and a hanger to air dry flowers. This method takes 2-3 weeks to complete.
- Remove leaves and extra foliage from below the head of flowers and then cut stems to desired lengths.
- Don’t expose the flowers to sunlight after cutting. Sunlight fades their color.
- Now, split the flowers into bunches of the same species – no more than 6-10 flowers per bunch. Large flowers such as roses, peonies, and hydrangeas should be dried individually.
- Tie each bunch with an elastic band. Don’t use string as stems shrink while drying. The rubber band will stay firm around the stem and keep the bunch tight.
- Hang these bunches upside down on a hanger, nail, or hook in a dark, dry, and warm room. (No direct sunlight). Air circulation plays a role in drying flowers and preventing molding. Make sure the room has ample space for good air movement.
- Leave the flowers hanging for two to three weeks. When the petals are rigid and firm to the touch, remove them carefully. Some flowers may take up to four weeks to dry completely, depending on the size of the bunch.
- Stems of dried flowers are straight, but you can give them any natural shape by submerging them in warm water until they are soft and bending them to the desired shape.
- You can increase the life of dried flowers by spraying them with a burst of aerosol hairspray. It will give them shape, a fresh and shining look, and makes them less prone to breaking.
- If you plan to display them as décor, keep the wall art of dried flowers in a location that doesn’t get direct sunlight.
This strategy to dry flowers has been in practice for centuries, and it is best used for small and robust flowers.
2. Pressing Flowers Using an Iron
This strategy is best for those who don’t want to wait for weeks to dry flowers. You can use an iron to dry all species of flowers.
- First, place the flower on a dry paper such as newspaper, cardboard, or tissue paper in a single layer and cover them with another layer of the same paper. If you have more than one flower, leave sufficient space between them so they won’t touch each other.
- Try to use more absorbent paper to dry the flower well. Then, flatten the flower using a heavy book or brick.
- Heat the iron on a low setting and press it on the top sheet of paper for 10-15 seconds. You don’t need to move the iron as you do when pressing a shirt. Instead, remove it from a spot and place it somewhere else.
- You will hear the flowers sizzling. This is a sign that moisture is coming out.
- Let the paper cool down in-between and again repeat the process.
- Now, remove the paper and check if the flower is dry and stiff. If not, repeat the process.
- Once the flower is dried, carefully remove it from the paper.
- Lastly, spray the flowers with hairspray to minimize the chances of breaking.
Remember, if you overheat them or apply too much pressure, some of the flowers might be damaged by this process.
3. Book Method – The Low Risk Method
If you are looking for an effective method to dry flowers and minimize the risk of messing any of them up, then press any type of flowers in a book. This method takes at least a month to dry flowers, but it reduces your efforts upfront.
Remember, the moisture from the flowers will wrinkle the pages and may damage the book, so use a book that you don’t read or need anymore.
This method works best when you cut the stems and use a heavy book like a dictionary or encyclopedia.
- Start the process by removing the stems and trimming the flowers to the heads.
- Now, take a heavy book and cover any center pages with a sheet of paper - preferably waxed paper. Close and open the book several times to make sure the inner layer stays in place.
- Now, place the flower in the center of the waxed pages, press the bud, and close the book.
- Use a heavier book if you want to press more than one flower in one setting. Make sure they are well-spaced to avoid the transfer of moisture from one flower to the other.
- Place the book in a warm and dry place. With time, the page will absorb the moisture, gradually desiccating it. You may place a brick or a couple of more books on it to increase the pressure.
- Check the dryness of the flower regularly and after a week, replace the paper with a dry one and repeat the same process.
- After 4-5 weeks, you will have a dried blossom that will live forever. Use tweezers to remove flowers carefully, as dried flowers are delicate and prone to breaking.
Here, again, spray freshly dried flowers with hairspray and keep them away from sunlight.
4. Using Silica Gel – For Quick Drying
If you want to speed up the drying process, then using silica gel as a drying agent is an ideal solution for you. It takes around 3-5 days to dry flowers but requires extra effort.
Silica gel, a desiccant, is a drying agent made of silicon dioxide that absorbs extra moisture rather quickly. You see small packs of silica gel inside a pair of new shoes. Even though Silica gel is expensive, it can be reused several times.
You will need an airtight container, a cup, and a cleaning brush to dry flowers using silica gel.
- Firstly, get a large plastic container, depending upon the number of flowers, and fill its base with a 1-2 inch of silica gel to create a bed for flowers. If you have a single flower, a coffee can is a perfect option.
- Now, add flowers to the container and keep distance between them. Make sure they are properly placed and stable.
- Ensure the bloom is faced upward except for flat-faced flowers like snapdragons and delphiniums, which are dried best in a horizontal position.
- Now, add more silica gel to cover the flowers and make sure the flower heads are completely covered in it but not squashed.
- If any petal is bent or misplaced after covering, use toothpicks to rearrange them.
- Close the airtight container with a lid and place it in a warm and dry setting away from any exposure of sunlight.
- Leave it there for 3-6 days. Remember, not all flowers dry at the same pace. So, if you are using different flowers, check them regularly, as over-drying damages them. Thick flowers can take up to a week to get dried completely.
- Once the flowers are dried, carefully remove them from the setting, use the brush to shake out the drying agent, and save the Silica gel for another day.
This technique is the best way to dry long and delicate flowers like lilies. You need to be extra careful during placing in and removing the flowers from the Silica gel.
For many people, flowers depict sentiment and emotion. Drying flowers is a terrific way to preserve flowers and turn them from ephemera into timeless mementos. There are many ways to dry flowers, but the aforementioned methods are the simplest techniques to dry your favorite blossoms at home.
So, what are you waiting for! Experiment with all the four methods and find out which one works best for each species of your favorite flowers. Keep their beauty for eternity. If this seems like a little too much work for you, check out Venus ET Fleur’s collection of Eternity® Roses.
The Eternity® Roses from Venus ET Fleur® are the perfect gift for loved ones who appreciate artful beauty. Our stunning arrangements cultivated from our very own flower farm in Ecuador last a year or more, allowing you to enjoy them month after month. Shop our special collections to find the sophisticated arrangement of your dreams.