by Heather Stone
Preserving the beauty of the flower garden is easily accomplished when you use one of these three techniques for drying flowers. Dried flowers are beautiful in wreaths, as bouquets or just a small reminder of the past growing season or a special moment.
A few things to remember before you begin.
- Cut your flowers in the morning hours, after the dew has dried. Try picking flowers that are not fully open or mature.
- Remove all foliage.
- Group your blossoms into small bundles or dry as individual flowers.
Hanging to dry
The most common and probably the easiest way to dry flowers is by hanging small groupings or individual stems upside down to dry. Hang your flowers in a cool, dark, dry, indoor spot with good air circulation. When flowers are done drying out, they will feel dry and stiff to the touch. Air drying flowers can take several days or even weeks, depending on conditions and the types of flowers you are drying.
The best flowers for pressing are those that are naturally more flat, like daisies, violas, asters and nasturtium. After choosing your flowers, place them between two sheets of plain white paper, newspaper or tissues. Avoid using paper towels. The texture from the paper towel can leave an imprint on the flower. Place the sheets of paper inside a heavy book. Weight the book down with other books, a weight or bricks. This method usually takes a few weeks.
If you want to dry your flowers quickly, microwaving is the technique to use. Place your chosen flowers minus their stems in a microwave-safe container. Cover them in silica sand (available at craft stores) and microwave for one minute on high. Do not cover your container. Continue microwaving at 30-60 sec. intervals until the flowers are dry. Leave the flowers in the mixture for 24 hours to ensure they are fully dry.
You can also preserve your flowers in silica sand without microwaving them. Simply cover flowers with silica sand and leave them to dry. This can take around 2-5 days, depending on the species. Silica sand will help maintain the pristine color of your blossoms.
To keep your dried flowers from fading, it’s best if you place them out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, like stovetops, heater vents and fireplaces.
Use your dried flowers in bouquets, wreaths or framed. Pressed flowers make beautiful note cards, pressed petal paper, candles or even tucked inside a locket or phone case.