Flowers are a beautiful creation of nature and the most preferred for gifting on various occasions. Different flowers are presented for birthdays, weddings, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and more to communicate one’s feelings towards the recipient. However, as you know, cut flowers do not last long. They will fade and eventually die, within a few days. Since you receive flowers many a time because someone wants to convey their love/affection/care for you, obviously you want to have those flowers for a long time. This is why you should know how to preserve flowers.
There are a few things you need to consider before preserving your flowers. There are several methods of preservation of flowers and it is important that you assess them well before choosing a method. Carefully observe the flowers. Are they fully blooming? How are the petals? Are they falling off or becoming dull? Is the stem strong and fresh? Preserve only those that are dry and in good condition.
Once you are confident that the flowers you have can be preserved, identify the purpose for which you will be using the preserved flowers. This is because different preservation methods offer different results. One more thing, keep the flowers away from natural sunlight. The heat may cause your flowers to fade or die. Make sure to place them away from glass doors, windows or any space that receives sunlight.
Preserving Flowers: Tips
Here are some tips if you are getting to know how to preserve flowers. Go through these before starting with the process of preservation.
Purpose of preservation: Why do you want to preserve flowers? Do you plan to gift the preserved flowers to someone dear? Or do you want to keep them simply because you adore the beauty of flowers? Are you looking to frame and hang the dried flowers on your office wall? Identify what you want to do with the flowers before choosing a method of preservation because some methods are truly expensive.
Figure out the space to put the preserved flowers: Where do you plan to place the preserved flowers? Figure out a space in your house or office where they can stay fresh and blooming for a long time. Direct sunlight is not good. Find a location before you jump at the process. The flowers should be visible but away from the rays of the sun.
Be ready with the preservation material: Depending upon the method of preservation, you will need certain materials to preserve the flowers. Some common materials you should have are scissors, wax paper, rubber bands, twine, sand and hooks.
Be ready to let go of some flowers: Even after taking all the extra care, chances are that you may lose some flowers during the process of preservation. Don’t take it too hard on yourself. Some flowers become very brittle and unexpectedly crack.
How to preserve flowers: Methods
Glycerin can amazingly work to preserve flowers. Make a solution with one part glycerin and 2 parts of boiling water. The solution replaces the water content in the flowers and once they are air-dried, glycerin enters and moves through the stem, making your flowers fresh. However, the color of some flowers might change under this method. You can use food colors or dyes to retain their vibrancy. The procedure, in most cases, takes about 5-6 weeks to set. The advantages of this procedure are that it is easy to do and the petals retain their texture. However, it involves a considerable cost, while the color may fade over time.
This is yet another effective method of preserving flowers. But wait! You cannot do this by yourself. Freeze drying will need a professional service. You are recommended to look for a renowned florist in your locality to freeze dry your flowers. If no good florist is available in your neighborhood, we suggest you look online. The procedure removes the water content from the petals and provides a fresh and bright look. What’s more! They even retain their scent! However, they become fragile after undergoing the procedure. You should take care and not touch them often. This process is also a bit expensive.
If you are thinking about how to preserve flowers, air drying is the simplest way. This is a DIY method and you need no special skills. Remove all the leaves and bind with a ribbon. Once you are sure the ribbon does not come off and the flowers are in place, hang them upside down in a ventilated space but away from sunlight. The process may take several weeks but once the flowers are completely dry, they look beautiful and fresh, with the scent and shape as before. One negative aspect involved in this process is, the flowers become brittle after drying and you need to use a floral spray to add some strength. The pros of this method of preservation are easiness and low cost. The cons are, it takes a long time to dry and the flowers become too brittle.
Have you seen pressed flowers? If so, you might have noticed they become flat. If you are looking to preserve flowers for art work, Pressing should be your choice. Simply remove the stems, trim up to the flower heads and place the bud/flowers inside your book pages, which are covered with wax paper. The paper absorbs the moisture and dries your flowers. You should check them once a week, however, the wax paper may sometimes need to be replaced. Note that the book you use should be thick and heavy. This is the cheapest method of preserving flowers.
If you lack patience and want a quick solution to preserving flowers, your kitchen appliance might provide the right solution -The Microwave. When you place the flowers in the microwave, the radiation heats up the flowers and the water evaporates. This will leave behind dried blooms. Remember, use only microwave-safe ceramic plates and keep checking every minute while heating, just like you do with your leftovers. Microwaving is cheap and you can have control over the process but it might be hard to analyze the dryness.
If you are looking for a way to preserve flowers so you can use them to make a memento or something cool like a paperweight, well, resin is the answer. First, be sure about the shape of the mold since you cannot change it later. Use epoxy resin to half fill the mold, creatively arrange the flowers and then fill up the rest of the mold space with resin. Take out the mold after the resin dries. Your fossilized flowers are ready to be displayed! Cool, don’t you think so? The procedure is quick and simple. You can also make different cool shapes with different molds. However, once the flowers are set, you cannot make changes.
Sand is a good moisture remover. It can thus be used to dry and preserve flowers. Sand is widely and cheaply available. So, if you are thinking about how to preserve flowers affordably, this might just be the option for you. If you are using sand, no doubt your flowers get dried out, but it takes a long time. Moreover, sand can be messy and removing the grains after the drying process can be tedious, especially if you don’t have patience. One idea is to tie your flowers with a thread or ribbon and hanging them upside down. The sand grains fall out, making it easier for you. This is straightforward and cheap, while it gives you control over the entire drying process.
Silica gel works like sand, where its granules can be used to effectively extract moisture from flowers. There are several brands of silica gel and those with blue crystals are widely popular. These blue crystals, after absorbing moisture from the plants and flowers, change their color to pink, indicating that they have fully absorbed the water content. The best thing about Silica gel is that it can be used multiple times. Once their ability has expended, you can bake them and reuse. When using silica gel, ensure to put it in an airtight container to avoid drying your flowers too much. This is a simple method too, but the gel is quite expensive.
The advantage with this method is you can reuse silica gel. This procedure is recommended if you are going to preserve flowers often.
All the above-mentioned methods are effective ways of preserving flowers. The choice depends upon the availability of materials, time, cost, and your purpose.
Flowers are a natural beauty that most of them like and admire. They have the ability to bring an instant smile on the recipient’s face. This is also the reason many people choose to gift flowers. Unfortunately, they wither out and lose their charm over time. This is where the preservation of flowers comes into play.
Try one or more of the discussed methods and preserve your flowers. Some procedures let you have them fresh for months. Make mementos of memories!