A step by step guide on how to dry flowers

A step by step guide on how to dry flowers

Table of Contents

Perhaps it’s a wedding bouquet, a floral birthday gift, or just an exceptionally beautiful bunch of wildflowers freshly plucked from the garden. Whatever the occasion, we all know that feeling of wanting to preserve the beauty of a special bouquet and protect the sentiment or occasion it might symbolize. This is why drying bouquets or drying wildflowers is such an excellent option.

Drying and preserving flowers means that you never have to let go of that first, fresh blush of joy. Instead, dried up flowers can last for an eternity, adding a delicate and sentimental touch to your home décor.

How to dry flowers? The good news is it couldn’t be easier! What is the best way to dry flowers? Well, turns out there are many great ways to dry flowers - all of them easily achieved at home. In this article we will look at how to properly dry flowers using the easiest and most popular techniques - read on to find out how!

What to use to dry flowers

In this article, we will look at four popular methods of drying blooms. These are:

  • Air drying
  • Desiccant drying
  • Microwave drying
  • Dehydrator drying

Each method favors some plant types over others, and is best suited to creating certain decorations. Let’s go through them step-by-step.

Air drying

A great way to DIY dried flowers is an air-dry method. If you have time on your hands and want a more natural, environmentally-friendly way to dry bouquets, air drying is one of the best ways to dry out flowers.

To begin, choose the arrangement you want to dry. This method works best for robust blooms like roses, or long-lasting plants like lavender. Bouquets also work best and leave you with a readymade wall hanging at the end of the drying process.

Remove excess leaves off each blooms’ stems, keeping only the amount of greenery you would like in your dried bouquet. Arrange your blossoms as desired and then hold them in place by tying string around the base of the stems. 

Attach the other end of your string to a stick, clothes hanger, or hook. Hang your flowers somewhere that is dark – direct light fades the petals’ colors – and out of the way so the petals won’t get damaged as they dry. 

After three to four weeks, your bouquet should be completely dry and ready to be displayed! To preserve it further, spray with unscented hair spray and, if you decide to continue hanging your dried flowers, remember to keep away from strong sunlight.

Drying fresh flowers using the desiccant method

This method uses silica gel to dry your blooms. Silica is a sand-like substance that consists of small silica beads that soak up incredible amounts of moisture, making them perfect for floral drying.

Take an airtight container that your flowers can lie flat in and fill the bottom of it with silica gel (which can be bought online or found in craft shops). Leave some gel for later.

Taking care to keep your flowers separated, place them on top of the gel in the container. Using the remaining silica, dust the flower heads but don’t cover them entirely. Put the lid on the container and leave them away from direct sunlight for three to five days.

Once you’ve checked on your flowers and are happy that they’ve properly dried, take them out of the box and carefully clean them with a soft brush – a makeup brush can be used for this (but be sure not to use it again as silica can cause irritation!) Once cleaned, you can again spray with some hairspray before arranging as you wish.

How to make dried flowers using a microwave

For a faster process, follow the same steps as the desiccant method but this time adding the rapid power of a microwave. This method is best-suited for individual flowers or smaller plants rather than full bouquets. Roses, tulips, gerbera daisies, and chrysanthemums are ideal plants for microwave drying, which is better at preserving flower color and structure than other methods like air drying.

Having dusted your flowers which are blossom-up in your container with the remaining silica gel, put your container, uncovered, into the microwave. Start the microwave on a low heat for 2-5 minutes. Check your flowers progress after roughly a minute and then at 30 second intervals, adjusting the heat and time as needed.

Once your blooms are sufficiently dry, cover the container before removing from the microwave. Once removed, open the top about a quarter of a centimeter to allow ventilation and leave it for 24 hours. From there, you can remove your flowers and clean them as above, finishing with hairspray to keep them pristine.

Can you dry flowers in a dehydrator?

Yes, if you are lucky enough to own a food dehydrator, these appliances work well for drying blossoms. These are best used for small or medium-sized flowers, particularly pom type plants like zinnias, or marigolds.

Cut your stems close to the petals before placing each bloom right side up on the dehydrator tray. Make sure they are not touching each other. Leave them in the dehydrator for several hours, until they appear thoroughly dried out. This method, which is relatively quick and easy, is best for making potpourri or dried petals.

Dried flowers decor ideas

Now that you have an abundance of perfectly preserved individual blooms and bouquets, the only remaining question is what to do with them? Truly, the opportunities are endless. 

Blend petals in a bowl with a fragrance of your choosing for some homemade potpourri.Hang them tastefully around your house for some interesting and long-lasting wall decorations. Dried flower bouquets offer a modern alternative to fresh flower arrangements and have the benefit of lasting far longer.

Place them in a frame for naturalistic and striking artworks throughout your home. Get creative in your crafts and add dried flowers to homemade flower crowns bath bombs, candles, cards, bookmarks, and soaps.

Drying flowers is such a beautiful and, as you now know, simple way to preserve the joy and beauty a stunning arrangement can bring us. Keep their sweet sentiment precious with any one of the above drying methods. 

Looking to buy flowers to begin your own flower-drying DIY experience? Order some blooming showstoppers at any one of these great flower delivery services. Happy drying!

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