If you have a bouquet of flowers from a special occasion or a bouquet that you just happen to really love, then you can preserve it to enjoy for years to come. There are two basic ways of saving flowers, drying and pressing. Our florists at Billy Heroman’s in Baton Rouge put together this quick guide to decided which flower preservation option is the best for your bouquet.
All about Drying Flowers
All the Fixins
Drying is a method of preserving flowers that works for all types of flowers. We especially recommend drying, if your bouquet has flowers with round, bulbous blooms such as roses, carnations, globe thistle, or peonies because these types of flowers are especially difficult to press. Drying is also the best choice if you want to preserve the shape of your flowers to display them in a vase or use them to make a wreath.
There are a variety of methods for drying flowers, but the best is to hang them upside down in a location without direct sunlight. This will preserve their upright shape and help them maintain a vibrant color. You’ll need to be patient, though, as hanging flowers to dry will take several days before all their moisture has evaporated.
Hanging Dried Flowers
If you’re in a hurry, you can speed up the process, using a heat method, such as drying flowers in the oven or microwaving them. The fastest way is with the microwave, but you’ll need a microwave-safe dish and silica sand. Make sure flowers are completely covered with the silica and the pop them in the microwave with a glass of water. Heat them in 30-second intervals, checking the between each. Most flowers will be totally dry after two or three minutes.
All about Pressing Flowers
Pressing flowers is great if you want to display your blooms in a botanical frame or decoupage them onto a craft project. Pressing works best with flowers that have naturally flat blooms such as pansies, gerbera daisies, and asters. Pressing also works well with pretty much any cone-shaped blooms. If you do press thicker flowers, you’ll want to cut them in half first.
There are a variety of ways to press flowers at home. You can use a traditional flower press which sandwiches flowers between two sheets of absorbent paper, cardboard, and wooden boards. You can also press flowers between heavy books. Drying flowers in these types of presses will usually take about seven to ten days.
If you want your flowers more quickly, you can use a hot iron. First, press your flowers between heavy books to flatten them. Then sandwich them between two sheets of paper and iron them on your ironing board with your iron set on low with the steam turned off.
Bouquet of Dried Pressed Flowers
Helpful Hints for Saving Flowers
The most important aspect of preserving flowers is removing all the moisture. If there’s any water left in your flowers, they will rot. You’ll know your flowers are completely dry when they start to feel like tissue paper. You can also increase their longevity by misting them with a few coats of hairspray. This will strengthen their delicate structures and also protect them from the elements, like humidity in the air. Just be careful to spray your delicate flowers with enough distance that the plume of hairspray doesn’t damage them.
Bouquet of Dried Flowers in Glass Vase
For more advice on drying flowers or bouquet recommendations, we welcome you to stop by Billy Heroman’s any day.