How best to dry flowers: simple ways to preserve color
Picking up a fresh bouquet in a summer field is the easiest way to decorate your home (and lift your spirits), but flowers fade over time. Even the most perfect ones. However, there is a way to preserve that beauty. It requires learning how to dry flowers so that they retain their shape and color.
Prevention has collected several ways to do this. It is possible to cope at home and without the use of special equipment. As a result, you will be able to preserve a memorable bouquet for weeks, months or even years.
The key to preserving color is to dry the flower completely. But the right method depends on the species and age of each plant, as well as the desired effect. Some methods are almost effortless, while others are more difficult but can still produce better results.
Hang a bouquet
This is the most traditional and one of the most effective methods. All you have to do is leave the flowers or leaves hanging in the air. Plants for this storage should be cut before they reach their peak bloom and then tied into bundles with rubber bands or twine and hung upside down in a warm, dark and dry place. The blue and yellow shades are particularly well preserved in this way. Red and pink flowers, on the other hand, will pale when dried in this way.
Dry in a vase
Some flowers can be dried directly in the vase. This method is suitable for hydrangea, lavender, gypsophila and heather, for example - plants that are semi-dry by nature. Place the bouquet in a container with a little water and let it evaporate naturally. As with the upside-down method, the flowers should be dried in a warm, dry and dark place.
Use a microwave oven
Microwave heating effectively removes moisture from the tissue of the flower, so it can be preserved in this way. Cut the plants just before they are fully bloomed. Next, pour any desiccant (such as cleaned sand or silica gel cat litter) into a dish suitable for the microwave and place the flower in it. Place the vessel in the oven without covering it with the lid, and place a cup of water nearby - this will help prevent over-drying. Turn on the oven.
Small flowers such as violets, daffodils and orchids may only need one or two minutes. Peonies, chrysanthemums or dahlias will have to be dried this way for three to four minutes. You don't necessarily have to strive to dry the plants in one approach. You can dry the flowers several times at one-minute intervals until they are completely dry.
Take advantage of dehumidifiers
Moisture-absorbing materials such as silica, borax and sand can preserve almost any flower. This method will be especially effective with rapidly fading flowers such as roses, violets or carnations. Silica gel and sand (especially oolite sand) are best for this method. A mixture of borax and sand or cornmeal will also be effective. The convenience of this method is that the drying agents can be reused.
Take the flower that you want to save, cut off almost the entire stem from it, and then place it petals up in a container with a layer of desiccant 1-2 centimeters thick. Then add more desiccant little by little, shaking the container in the process so that the substance gets between the petals. If you are working with particularly delicate flowers, pour the product in at the edge and tap the container until it covers the entire flower. This way it will retain its natural shape rather than looking like it's been crushed.
The drying process in this way will take several weeks. Check the condition of the flowers every few days to make sure they have not dried out.
Place the flower under a press
If you are not looking to preserve the natural shape of the flower, you can dry it by pressing it down with a weight. The easiest way to do this is to place the flower or leaf between the pages of a book. You can also wrap the plant in newspaper, paper towels or other absorbent paper and press it down with some heavy object. After a few weeks or even months, it will dry naturally and still retain its natural color.
Try wax paper
The technique of drying flowers with wax paper is similar to the pressing method described above, but includes an additional step that speeds up the process considerably. Place the flower between two sheets of wax paper and cover it with a cloth. Then take an iron and set it to low or medium heat and press the wrapped flower with it for a few minutes. The dried plant will soon be ready.
Previously, OBOZREVATEL told how to dry lavender to keep not only the color, but also the aroma.