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how to dry flowers. Dried rose flowers.

How to dry flowers?

Drying flowers is a simple yet artistic process that allows you to capture and preserve the fleeting beauty of blooms. The most common method involves air drying, where flowers are hung upside down in a cool, dark space with good ventilation. This traditional technique allows the flowers to naturally dehydrate, resulting in beautifully preserved specimens. Alternatively, for those seeking quicker results, the microwave and oven methods offer a more expedited approach. Microwaving flowers between layers of paper towels in short intervals or placing them in a low-temperature oven can hasten the drying process. Additionally, the silica gel method provides an excellent option for those wanting to maintain the delicate shapes and colors of their favorite blossoms. Whichever method you choose, drying flowers at home is a rewarding and sustainable way to cherish the vibrancy of nature long after the petals have fallen.

How long do dried flowers last?

Fresh flowers, when well-cared-for in a vase, typically endure for approximately 5-10 days. Discover effective floral designer tips in the article for strategies to prolong the freshness of your flowers.

On the other hand, dried flowers can exhibit longevity of 1-3 years or even more with appropriate care. The duration largely hinges on the flower type and the delicacy of its petals. Optimal conditions for prolonged lifespan include low humidity, avoidance of direct sunlight, and minimizing exposure to bright light.


Four methods to dry flowers

Preserving the natural allure of flowers through drying is a versatile endeavor, and four distinct methods offer enthusiasts various options.

How to dry flowers in the air?

Air drying flowers is one of the most traditional, albeit more time-consuming, methods of drying your blooms. This method involves letting nature do most of the work to dry your flowers out over time, with you being able to sit back, relax and wait for the end result. This method works best for bouquets or larger floral arrangements, as well as bigger flowers such as sunflowers. 

  1. Begin by stripping excess foliage from the flowers and trimming stems to the desired length, ensuring they are no shorter than six inches. To preserve the flowers’ color during the drying process, promptly remove them from sunlight after cutting.

  2. Choose to hang flowers individually or bundle stems together using a rubber band to create a bouquet.

  3. Identify a dark and dry area with adequate air circulation, such as an attic or unused closet. Utilize unflavored dental floss to securely fasten the bottom of the flower stems to a hanger, allowing them to hang upside down for optimal drying.

  4. Allow the flowers to air dry for a period of two to three weeks until they are completely dry.

  5. Once the drying process is complete, remove the flowers from the hangers and provide a protective spray with unscented hairspray. This final step helps safeguard the dried flowers.
Flowers dry in the air

How to dry flowers using a microwave?

If you’re looking for a quicker alternative to air-drying, good news: you can have beautifully dried flowers, using an appliance you likely use every day. The microwave method of drying flowers requires silica gel, which you can find in craft stores. The gel preserves the shape of the flowers, and can be used over and over again. Here’s how to microwave dry your flowers:

  1. Select a microwave-safe container that accommodates your flowers and fits comfortably in the microwave, ensuring it is not a dish you plan to use for food in the future.

  2. Line the container’s bottom with approximately one to two inches of silica gel, adjusting the amount for larger blossoms. Arrange the flowers blossom-up in the gel, then gently pour more gel over the petals, being careful to avoid flattening them.

  3. Place the uncovered container in the microwave, noting that the temperature and time settings will vary based on the flower type. Initiate the microwave on a setting one or two levels above defrost for an initial duration of 2-5 minutes. Roses can endure higher temperatures, while daisies benefit from gentler drying at lower temperatures.

  4. Monitor the flower’s progress in the microwave after about a minute, checking every 30 seconds. Adjust the heat and time as necessary.

  5. Once the flowers are thoroughly dried, promptly open the microwave and cover the container immediately.

  6. Take the covered container out of the microwave, slightly crack open the top, and allow it to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

  7. Using a fine-tip brush, delicately remove the silica gel from the petals, and then apply a mist of acrylic spray, available at craft stores, for a finishing touch.

How to dry flowers using an oven?

Drying flowers using an oven is a quick and effective method. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dry flowers using this technique: 1. Preheat your oven Preheat your oven to a low temperature, typically around 200°F (93°C). This low heat helps to gently remove moisture without causing the flowers to burn or lose their colour. 2. Prepare your flowers Start with fresh flowers. Choose flowers that are not fully opened, as they will open further during the drying process. Remove excess leaves and trim the stems to your desired length. 3. Evenly space flowers on the cooling rack Place the flowers on the cooling racks, spreading them out evenly to make sure they don’t overlap. It’s not the end of the world if they touch, but that could lead to greater petal loss, depending on the type of flower. 4. Bake the flowers on low for 1.5 to 2.5 hours Place the racks in the oven and bake for 1.5 to 2.5 hours on the lowest setting. Leave the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to escape. Different types and sizes of flowers will dry at different rates, so it’s important to check the flowers every half hour. Remove those that are dry so they don’t burn. Let them cool and finish drying outside the oven for 8 to 12 hours. Remember that oven drying is a faster method, but it may not be suitable for all flower varieties. Some delicate flowers may lose colour or become overly brittle if exposed to too much heat, so it’s essential to monitor the process carefully.

How to dry flowers using the silica gel method?

Drying flowers in silica gel or another desiccant can preserve a flower’s color better than other methods, but it can take longer than some other methods. 

1. Choose fresh flowers, remove excess foliage, and trim the stems.

Prepare the flowers as you would for other methods by first removing unwanted foliage and trimming the stems, and keep in mind that the stems can be only as long as the plastic airtight container they’ll dry in. Make sure the flowers aren’t damp before working with the silica.

2. Place silica gel and flowers into a dry, airtight plastic container.

Use a dust mask and gloves during this procedure to prevent inhalation of silica dust. Ensure the container is dry before pouring an inch-deep layer of silica gel or sand into it. Place the flowers on top of this layer, face up. Cover completely with additional silica.

3. Seal the container and store in an undisturbed location.

After covering the flowers, seal the container and store it at room temperature in a place where it will remain undisturbed. The drying time varies depending on the flower type, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. Once the flowers are dried, remove them and use a paint brush to gently dust off excess silica.

What types of flowers work well for drying?

There are plenty of flowers that can be dried. Our favourites include: roses, lavender, hydrangeas, eucalyptus, strawflowers, lily, peony and achillea as they hold their colour well. 

How to dry wedding flowers?

Your wedding bouquet is such a beautiful thing on this special day. And we love all the different wedding bouquets that are turned into dried wedding flowers!

The easiest way to dry your wedding flowers is by hanging them upside down using some string in a dry, dark place in your home. You can hang your bouquet as one piece, but if it’s big, it might dry better if you take it apart and group it in smaller bunches.

Shop flowers at Plaza Hollandi

You can send flowers to surprise your family, friends, colleagues or companies. We are happy to help you to make someone happy or bring comfort by delivering beautiful flowers and bouquets. Discover our extensive range of beautiful plants, flowers & luxurious gifts. Your favourite flower shops & Garden Centre in Doha, Qatar. 

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