When you receive a lovely bouquet or want to preserve flowers from a special event like a wedding or anniversary, it’s only natural to want to hold onto the beauty and memories for longer. There are two main ways to preserve flowers. Our florists at Conklyn’s in Alexandria recommend either drying or pressing them, depending on the type of flowers and how you want to display them.
Bouquet of Dried Roses
When Pressing Flowers Is Best and How to Do It
If you want to use the pressed flowers as decoupage decoration on furniture or another object or if you want to display them in a botanical frame, then pressing is the best choice for preservation. Flowers with naturally flat blooms such as daisies, pansies, and asters turn out the best when pressed, but other types of blooms such as snapdragons and coneflowers will turn out wonderful, too.
There are a variety of techniques for pressing flowers. The classic method is to use a flower press, but you can also press flowers in wax or parchment paper between heavy books. If you want to speed up the process, try ironing your flowers. To iron flowers, you’ll first need to flatten them beneath a heavy book or brick. Set your iron on low and dry heat. Then iron the flower between two sheets of paper on your ironing board.
When We Recommend Drying Flowers and How to Do It
If you want to preserve the shape and volume of your bouquet, use the flowers to make a floral wreath, or if your bouquet features lots of flowers with thick, round blooms such as roses, peonies, or carnations, then we recommend drying the flowers. While you can press these types of robust blooms, they’ll need to be split in half to do so in an attractive way. The best way to dry flowers, by far, is to hang them upside down in a dry place that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. This will preserve the flowers’ shape and vibrant colors, as they dry. It does, however, require several days.
Dried Pink Roses
You can also dry flowers by baking them on low heat in the oven (with the door cracked open) for eight to twelve hours, in a kitchen dehydrator, or in the microwave. To dry flowers in the microwave, you’ll need a microwave safe dish and enough silica sand to cover your blooms. Blast them in 30-second intervals, until completely dry, about two to three minutes.
Prolong the Beauty of Your Preserved Flowers
To ensure your dried or pressed flowers withstand the test of time, make sure they’re completely dry before completing the drying or pressing process. Any leftover moisture will lead them to rot and decompose. You can also try spritzing them with a few coats of hairspray (from a safe distance) to protect them from the elements, strengthen their delicate structures, and help keep the flowers inside nice and dry.
Bouquet of Dried Flowers in Glass Vase
For more information about the best flowers to dry or to view our full selection of floral bouquets and arrangements, we welcome you to stop by Conklyn’s to speak with a professional florist.