Flower arrangements brighten up any corner, but they only last for a few cool days and sometimes we don’t have the possibility to collect or buy them often. An alternative is to decorate with dried flowers to enjoy them for longer, as many species retain their shape and color.

From a sustainability point of view, dried flowers are more environmentally friendly due to their durability. Although they add color, it is not as bright as fresh flowers, nor does it offer aroma, but in any case, they are a very good alternative for decorating.

Almost all flowers can be dried, but favorites for these flower arrangements include roses and helichrysums. Other species that do very well with this technique are pansies, hydrangeas, daisies, Chinese lanterns or alquequenjes and lavender. Each of these flowers will be more suitable for making a bouquet or for other crafts.

1. Drying flowers outdoors

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The simplest and most natural way, without wasting energy, is to let the flowers air dry. They shouldn’t be exposed to the sun, it’s best in a dark, warm, dry place like an attic or basement, if any. The process will take a few days, depending on the flower and the climate of the place.

Are needed:

  • Fresh flowers or a bouquet
  • raffia rope or ribbon

This process will only take 10 minutes to prepare, you must add the time it takes to harvest or get the flowers and the variable drying time.

Ideally, the process starts when the flower buds are fully open and the bouquet is still fresh.

How to prepare flowers:

Flowers should be cleaned of dried, damaged or wilted petals. It is also possible to dry them with the rods.

Hang the flowers:

  • Attach the stems to a string or raffia ribbon and hang the bouquet upside down.
  • During the drying process, the string may need to be adjusted as the stems will shrink a little over time as they lose water.
  • Let it dry for about 2 to 4 weeks.

For better preservation of dried flowers in terms of shape and color, specialist florists advise spraying them with hairspray.

2. Drying flowers in the oven

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The drying process in the oven is faster than in the open air, but from a sustainability point of view, it consumes energy.

  • To use this method, take a piece of wire mesh and thread the flower stems through the holes, allowing the flowers to rest on the mesh and the stems to hang freely.
  • Individual flowers can also be spread out on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Prepare the oven at 35 or 40 ºC keeping the door ajar with the help of a wooden spoon, for example. Drying time is about 1-2 hours, but varies by type and quantity.
  • Let the dried flowers cool.
  • Then you can also use lacquer for better preservation.

3. Drying flowers with glycerin

Due to their size, a particularly useful method for drying roses and hydrangeas is glycerin drying.

  • To use this method, mix water and glycerin in a 2:1 ratio. Cut the flowers from the stems at an angle and place them in the mixture.
  • After a few days, the flowers will have absorbed the solution and the remaining water will have evaporated. Meanwhile, the glycerin left the flowers dry. When the preservation process is completed, small drops form on the petals.
  • If you want to keep a whole bouquet, place the flowers in a vase with a mixture of water and glycerin until drops form (about 1-2 days). Then remove the bouquet and dry it with the upside-down natural air technique.

4. Drying flowers with salt or silica gel

Without having to turn on the oven and faster than outdoors, drying with salt or silica gel is suitable for dewatering with good results.

For this drying method, you will need an airtight container, the bottom of which is first covered with a thin layer of drying flower salt or silica gel. The flowers are then placed and completely covered with salt or silica gel. Once covered, close the container.

After about a week, the flowers have dried and are ready. Carefully remove any residue with a brush. The advantage of silica gel is that it is reusable for other drying processes.

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5. Drying flowers between book sheets

This technique has a certain romanticism, but it is very useful. Very thick and heavy books will be needed to dry especially small, flat flowers.

The flowers should be covered on both sides with parchment or absorbent (blotting) paper and placed in the middle of a thick book. The flowers will have to be checked so that no molds are generated and they will be ready in 2 to 4 weeks.

Gently remove the dried flowers with tweezers. Pressed flowers are ideal for decorating cards or framing.

Surely you will find the best technique to dry your favorite flowers and decorate your home, make pictures or delicate flower arrangements.

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