You’re lacking out should you haven’t tried drying your home-grown flowers but. They might solely final per week or two in a vase when reduce contemporary, however when dried and preserved, they’ll final months and even years, permitting you to benefit from the fruits of your labor effectively past the season.
Relying on your chosen flowers and what you wish to use them for, there are a number of drying strategies to attempt. Some are additionally extra pricey than others however usually ship higher outcomes. Weigh up your choices to determine which of those strategies works greatest for you, or higher but, attempt all of them for your self.
When you’ve completed drying your flowers, you need to use Modge Podge, spray sealant, and even hairspray to increase their lifespan or show or use them as they’re.
If you wish to protect your backyard blooms to make use of in dried flower bouquets, air drying is the strategy to decide on.
This is likely one of the commonest drying strategies for each effectiveness and accessibility. You don’t want fancy devices or costly merchandise – only a dry and darkish room to hold your blooms.
Air drying retains the stems intact, excellent for standing up in a vase or including to different preparations. It does take a number of weeks for the flowers to dry utterly, but it surely preserves coloration and form effectively, making it definitely worth the wait in comparison with faster however much less efficient strategies.
It’s greatest to select blooms with skinny petals and low moisture content material, together with within the stems. Increased moisture ranges imply they are going to take for much longer to dry out and will rot earlier than they’ll dry successfully.
Hydrangea, lavender, and strawflowers are nice choices for air drying. It’s additionally nice for conserving extra delicate varieties, like roses, intact should you don’t plan to take away the petals for issues like potpourri.
How To Air Dry
Profitable air drying begins with selecting the flowers on the proper time. Some are greatest picked early for the strongest coloration, whereas others should open absolutely to enhance form and drying time. It’s typically higher to choose earlier relatively than later to cease them from browning.
Trim a protracted sufficient part of the stem to make hanging a breeze. Bunch them collectively and tie the stems with string or a rubber band. Then, grasp them the wrong way up to maintain the stems robust and the flowers upright.
The room you grasp in must be dry and darkish. This helps protect coloration and pace up the drying course of. Preserve them distant from direct daylight, which can shortly flip the petals brown.
The time it takes for the blooms to utterly dry will rely on the kinds and the time you chop them. On common, you may take them down and use them after about two to 4 weeks.
Silica gel delivers even higher outcomes than air drying, with much less lack of petals or whole blooms. It does require a number of extra instruments to get began, however should you plan on repeatedly drying or are preserving a particular bouquet (like your marriage ceremony bouquet), that is the route I’d go for.
Silica gel absorbs moisture from the petals over time, drying them with minimal coloration and form change. It’s the identical substance from the small packages used to maintain gadgets like baggage or sneakers dry throughout transportation and storage, simply on a bigger scale.
So long as you’ve gotten sufficient silica gel to cowl the flowers you wish to dry, you need to use this technique with any blooms from the backyard. It’s supreme for brighter blooms with vibrant colours you wish to protect.
Sadly, silica gel could be expensive. It’s one of the costly strategies on this record (bar the home equipment should you don’t have them already). It’s essential to additionally put on a masks when coping with the gel to forestall inhalation. However it’s value a attempt should you’re keen to get previous these cons.
With the assistance of a microwave, you may also flip this into the quickest drying technique obtainable, however that step is non-obligatory.
How To Dry With Silica Gel
To get began, you’ll want an hermetic container, a masks and gloves, a paintbrush, and sufficient silica gel to cowl your chosen blooms. Trim early within the morning to protect the form of the flowers, drying off any moisture gently with a paper towel.
Put your masks and gloves on earlier than opening the silica gel packet. Fill the underside of your container with a layer of silica gel, inserting the flowers gently on prime. Use a brush to mud extra silica gel across the petals and within the heart of the flower till it’s frivolously however utterly lined.
Seal the container and go away for a number of days to permit the petals to dry out. Thinner blooms will solely take two or three days, whereas dense blooms like zinnias want a little bit extra time to dry out utterly. Pull them out once you’re completed, and gently mud off any extra gel earlier than displaying.
To cut back the drying time from a number of days to minutes, you may also place the container within the microwave (so long as it’s microwave-safe). Preserve the lid off and warmth within the microwave for one to 2 minutes. Watch out when eradicating because the silica gel shall be sizzling. Nonetheless, it’s greatest to err on the aspect of much less time than extra, as you’re not attempting to cook dinner your flowers!
For individuals who don’t wish to fork out the cash for expensive silica gel, you may also use sand to dry your flowers equally. The sand absorbs a number of the extra moisture within the petals, though it does take longer for them to dry this fashion. You can even use a clay-type kitty litter should you don’t have coarse sand.
Whereas it’s cheaper, drying in sand delivers combined outcomes. Sand is kind of heavy and may injury the form of the flower or take away a number of the petals, particularly once you’re attempting to take away them from the sand.
The drying usually seems uneven, and the colour isn’t as well-preserved as it could be with silica gel. However it’s nonetheless barely quicker than air-drying and doesn’t price a lot if you have already got sand accessible to you.
Keep away from utilizing blooms with very delicate petals utilizing this technique, as they are going to be simply pulled off. Bigger varieties with dense petals, like dahlias, work higher than delicate ones like hydrangeas.
How To Dry With Sand
The method is similar as drying in silica gel. Place a layer of sand in an hermetic container and lay the flowers inside, rigorously protecting them with a layer of sand. Shut the container and go away for a number of days earlier than checking the drying progress.
It’s essential to rigorously take away the flowers as sand is heavier than silica gel. Pull them out gently to maintain the petals hooked up, dismissing any extra sand earlier than use.
Urgent flowers between the pages of books is a standard and basic drying technique that comes with a contact of nostalgia. Pressed blooms are perfect for use in crafts, setting in resin, framing, or, my private favourite – conserving within the books as a bookmark.
Relying in your chosen flowers, this technique takes a few month to finish – presumably longer. It additionally requires loads of persistence and restraint, as you may’t test on them whereas they dry. In the event you open the e book too early, you danger pulling off petals that haven’t utterly dried but.
A e book is the most cost effective technique, utilizing issues you have already got round your house. Your chosen e book must be comparatively heavy (like a textbook or dictionary) or weighed with different objects to shut the pages successfully. Relying on the flower’s form, you may also wrap a belt across the e book to carry the pages in place.
Ink can switch in some books, so it’s greatest to line the pages with watercolor paper to soak up moisture. This makes them simpler to take away with out injury, as pressed blooms are extremely delicate.
How To Press Utilizing Books
When selecting your flowers for urgent, select ones with skinny petals that may look good pressed flat. You may press a variety of blooms efficiently, however not all will look as fairly when flattened. Crops like cosmos or California poppies are supreme, or you may search for smaller blooms like forget-me-not.
Place them between the e book’s pages, manipulating the petals into the specified form when dried. Fastidiously shut the pages and place heavy objects on prime – maybe extra heavy books if in case you have them.
After a few month, take away the books, open the pages, and thoroughly slide the flowers out. Deal with rigorously after elimination to maintain the petals intact.
Those that dry repeatedly could wish to think about investing in a flower press. The mechanism is similar as urgent with a e book, however with a devoted press, you don’t have to fret about weighing books down or unintentionally breaking flowers once you pull them out.
There are a lot of flower presses obtainable to buy on-line or at craft shops. Some use belts or straps to tighten and press, whereas others have bolts to screw in and hold the boards in place. Flower presses are additionally comparatively simple to make utilizing scrap wooden, screws, and cardboard or felt.
Like e book urgent, select flowers that look good when pressed flat. Pale blue and violet daisy-like aster blooms are choice. It’s essential to additionally think about whether or not the crops you wish to dry will match inside your press. Past these issues, you may choose nearly any plant to pop into your press.
How To Dry Utilizing A Flower Press
Choose your chosen flowers early within the morning when the petals are nonetheless robust and upright. You may both trim the stem or go away it, relying on what you wish to use them for. Strip the leaves or hold them on if you need a fuller look (when framing, for instance).
Lay the crops inside your press, shifting till you’ve gotten your required form. In the event you’re drying a number of flowers without delay, go away a little bit area between them so that they don’t stick collectively. Tighten the press and go away for a few month earlier than eradicating your delicate creations.
In the event you’re quick on time and have restricted provides, oven-drying works in a pinch. It’s not a most popular technique due to its influence on the flowers, but it surely’s value a attempt should you’re simply experimenting with blooms out of your backyard.
The issue with oven drying is the influence on coloration and form. Oven-dried blooms don’t retain their coloration effectively, and the petals usually fall off with out warning. It may be useful for blooms the place form is just not a priority – like drying lavender for potpourri – however isn’t supreme for shows.
How To Dry Utilizing The Oven
To keep away from burning, set your oven to the bottom doable temperature. Line a tray with baking paper to forestall sticking and lay the flowers on the tray, leaving a little bit of area between every one.
Go away the tray within the oven for a few hours with the door open very barely to permit the moisture to flee. Examine on them usually to guarantee they don’t burn or flip too brown. Smaller varieties will take round six to eight hours to utterly dry.
Lastly, if you have already got a meals dehydrator, you may also use it to dry your flowers. This technique preserves coloration significantly better than drying within the oven, however the crops develop into fairly brittle and have to be dealt with rigorously.
You may dehydrate any sort of flowers in the event that they match simply into your dehydrator. It really works effectively for these with thinner petals, like carnations or daisies. You can even dry particular person petals for crafts or potpourri because the flowers maintain their scent comparatively effectively.
How To Dry Utilizing A Dehydrator
Place your flowers within the dehydrator, leaving a little bit of area between them to cease them from sticking collectively. Don’t overload the dehydrator – dry fewer without delay relatively than too many to make sure they hold their form and don’t get broken.
Set your dehydrator to 90F and dry for a few hours. You may go as excessive as 120F, however don’t go above this warmth stage as it may possibly trigger discoloration. Smaller flowers will dry faster than bigger ones, so occasions will fluctuate. It might solely take an hour or two for small and delicate blooms, however test progress repeatedly to find out one of the best time to take away them. Drying for too lengthy will make the petals crisp.
Though air drying is probably the most generally really useful technique, it’s actually not the one one. Every of those strategies works effectively for drying, and the one you select ought to rely on how a lot time you’ve gotten, what you need the flowers to seem like, and what you wish to use them for.