Everything in this world is mortal. It is a universal truth. Who else can know this fact better than humans? But, still humans always wish about some things if they could last forever, if they could never die. Perhaps this thought drove the humans to think and learn about preserving the things. Humans ultimately achieved the task of preserving certain things, though dead, in a “looking alive” form. Now many different things from insects to flowers are being preserved.
Drying flowers is a simple and inexpensive way to preserve the memories of a gift or a special day and enjoy long after that time has passed. The basic rule for drying is to eliminate the moisture in the flower without rotting it. Dried flowers offer a typical and unique style of decoration. Some basic information about flower drying methods is written below.
There are various methods to dry flowers depending upon the type, nature and condition of flowers. Usually, the drying process will take approximately 2 weeks. However, the time may vary according to the moisture content of the flowers, and weather conditions including temperature and humidity.
Before drying flowers, one must know that the selection of flowers is very important as some flowers just work better than others. Cut flowers which are slightly immature, with the bud not fully open, since the flower will continue to open even after cutting. In most cases, the petals get dropped while drying a fully open flower. Always harvest your selected flowers in late morning, just after the dew has evaporated.
Air drying is the simplest method for flower drying. For best results, dry the flowers in a dark room with proper ventilation. For bunch drying, gathered flower stems are wrapped tightly with a rubber band and hung upside down from the ceiling with a hook or string, in order to avoid stem bending due to heavy top.
Drying with Silica Gel:
Silica gel is used for accelerating the drying process particularly with flowers having high moisture content or fragile flowers, for example Anemones, Daisies, Pansies, and Zinnias. Silica gel is actually granular and is easily available at any craft store. Spread a 1 inch thick layer of silica gel on the bottom of a shallow, airtight plastic or glass container. Space your flower heads on top of that layer. Then gently cover the flowers with another 1 inch layer of silica gel and let the container sealed for 3-5 days.
The above-said silica gel drying process can be further accelerated by placing the container with flowers and gel inside a microwave for about 3 minutes. Then let the container cool for approximately 20 minutes. Now open the container and check that the flowers are dried completely before removing.
Put a single layer of flowers on a cookie sheet with a wire rack. Place it in a preheat oven with 180F temperature and allow the flowers to heat for several hours while keeping the oven door open during the complete process in order to allow the moisture to escape. Let the flower remain on the wire rack overnight to eliminate any remaining moisture.