DIY: Drying Flowers24 May, 2021
Flowers are a garden favorite, bringing beauty and color into our landscapes and homes. But seasonality, short life-span, and changing weather conditions can leave gardeners with fewer flowers in their season than anticipated. Drying flowers is a great way to preserve their beauty. Dried flowers can be used in bouquets, craft projects, and even made into edible treats and teas!
Drying flowers is a simple and fun way to preserve floral beauty from your garden and add it to your home. There are so many flowers that can be dried including amaranth, baby’s breath, globe amaranth, eucalyptus, hydrangea, lavender, statice, strawflower, verbena, and yarrow. What makes a good drying flower is its ability to retain its form, petals, and color after being dried. While many flowers can be dried, some will be too frail and brittle to be used in arrangements or crafts.
The easiest method of drying is hanging the flower stems upside down in a dark room. In this method, hanging the flowers by their stems upside down allows airflow to whisk away the plant’s moisture and dehydrates the flower. This method will work for all flower types and gives the most consistent results. It is important to store drying flowers in a dark area because the sun can bleach out your flowers giving them a faded coloration. Since this method will take a few weeks, be sure to be patient as partially dried flowers can be prone to mold. Drying upside down is great for those who want to preserve the stem of the flower, have consistent drying results, and want to dry larger quantities of flowers at the same time.
Flower pressing is another method of preserving flowers. In this method, flower heads are placed between two pieces of wax paper and then inserted into the pages of a heavy book. The wax paper over time is able to absorb the flowers moisture and leave you with a dried flower. Pressing flowers can be great for those who want to make crafts or have flatter flower heads; however, a downside is that the stem is usually removed in this method so it is not ideal for those who want to make bouquets out of their dried flowers.
Another method is using the microwave to rapidly dehydrate your flowers. This method involves placing your flower between two coffee filters, place the coffee filter sandwich on a ceramic plate, then place another ceramic plate on top of the coffee filters. This will create a flower press in the microwave that will allow the coffee filters to absorb the moisture from the flowers. Place in the microwave for about a minute and repeat until the flower is completely dry; you may need to replace the coffee filters after each time for especially large or succulent flowers. This method is best if you want to dry your flowers fast. The downsides are that the results can be more temperamental than the other two drying methods.