Read these 13 Drying Flowers Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Garden tips and hundreds of other topics.
Deadheading a flower should be done soon after the flower dies. This will ensure that your plant wastes no energy on seed formation. Deadheading flowers soon after their blooms die will also keep your flowers looking attractive and fresh longer.
To deadhead, you should trim the flowerstalk back to where a side shoot is forming or where a side shoot has already pushed out on the flower stalk. Always make your cutting on a slant. This will allow water and dew to run off of the cut instead of pooling up inside the cut.
You should cut or pick the flowers you want for drying as soon as they come into full bloom. Flowers bloom at different times of the year. You should have no trouble finding flowers to cut from early spring through late summer.
It is best to wait until mid-afternoon to do your cutting. This will ensure that the flower petals are free of dew and are open.
You can choose to cut flower buds for drying, if you like. If you want the buds to open before drying, simply place their stems in water until they open.
Many people want to know which colors work best in dried flower arrangements. To put it simply, it is a matter of opinion. One person may prefer colors of blue and white, while another person may prefer white and yellow, or another combination.
There are no rights and wrongs when making a dried flower arrangement. You are only limited by your own imagination.
However, there are some color tips you may want to keep in mind when planning an arrangement. Flowers which are bright yellow, orange, pink and blue preserve the best. Red and purple flowers tend to become a shade or two darker than their original color, while white flowers may take on a buff or tan tone.
The most important things to keep in mind when drying flowers are to keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and damp places.
The color of your drying flowers will fade dramatically if they come in contact with direct sunlight. While you do not have to dry your flowers in a dark room, they should not be dried in front of a window or beside a doorway that leads outside.
Flowers do better when they are drying out in a room that is relatively warm and dry. If you dry flowers in a room that gets steamy or is high in humidity, the flowers may stay soft and start to mould.
The three methods used to dry flowers at home are: hanging, flat drying and upright drying.
Hanging is the most popular method of drying flowers. To start, you should remove any leaves on the flower stalk that you do not want. Next, bundle your flowers and secure with an elastic band. Using an elastic band will ensure your flowers do not fall out. The elastic will shrink around the flowers as they dry. Lastly, hang your flowers in an area where they will not receive direct sunlight.
Flat drying is best for mosses, seed pods, as well as coarse grasses and flowers. Simply place the flowers in a cardboard box, such as a shoe box. The box will ensure that your flowers and seed pods are not broken or mashed during the drying process.
Many people choose to preserve flowers through upright drying as the flowers can serve as a center piece during the drying process. When placing your flowers in their vase or container, you should not pack them too tight. Packing flowers too tight into a vase will cause them to become entangled and they may also lose their shape.
If you want fragrant, homemade potpourri, do not dispose of rose petals, or flowers that you "dead head."
Take the petals and lay them out on old newspaper or in a cardboard box for drying. You should make sure the drying petals do not touch each other during the drying phase.
Once the petals have dried, you should place them in an air tight container. Add a scent such as a cinnamon stick or concentrated oil to the container and seal for three to five days.
Remove the petals and place in a nice dish or basket.
To strengthen your drying flowers and to keep them from shattering, you should mist them with water. However, do not mist succulents or orchids as the water will leave brown spots on the petals.
Once your flowers have completely dried, you can spray them with an aerosol floral sealer. This will prevent the flowers from become brittle. Floral sealer will also help flowers maintain their colors and shapes.
Many people choose to grow and dry their own herbs for cooking or medicinal use. If you would like to dry your own herbs, pick them early in the morning as soon as the dew has dried but before the heat of the day when the precious essential oils will be dimished. If the herbs have soil residue or other dirt on them, be sure to briefly rinse the herbs in cool water and pat them dry before you prepare them for the drying out process. Just like flowers, bunch your herbs together in groups of three to five stems and bind them with an elastic band. Next, hang them in an airy spot that is free from direct sunlight. Once the herbs have dried, remove the leaves from the stems. Leave the leaves whole until it is time to use them, then crush the amount you need to use to make them suitable for cooking. Keep your dried herbs stored in plastic baggies or glass containers. Store the containers in a cool, dry, dark place.
You are not limited in what type of flower you can preserve. Do not assume you can only dry the flowers that grow in your own yard, either. If you can pick it, or buy it at a market, it can be dried.
In addition, you should not limit yourself to just drying flowers. Ferns, ornamental grasses, seed pods, berries and leaves can all be dried, as well.
If you plan to travel through a scenic area, keep your eyes open for interesting plants and flowers. Keep a couple of empty shoe boxes handy in the trunk of your car to transport them home.
All leaves can be preserved and dried by pressing.
It is important to note that leaves do not require a great deal of pressure. Too much pressure will crush them. The best method for preserving leaves is to place them between sheets of newspaper and place them under a rug or mattress for up to two weeks.
You should always check leaves for moisture before placing them under pressure. Water spots will leave ugly brown marks on the leaves.
Freeze drying is the choice of many when it comes to preserving something as special as a bridal bouquet. This high tech flower drying process ensures that the flowers will retain their full size and color. The process of preserving a bridal bouquet through freeze drying will require the services of an expert.
Your bouquet will be photographed, and then the bouquet will be disassembled flower by flower. Special machines and chemicals will be used to freeze dry each one of the flowers in your bouquet. The entire process can take up to eight weeks. Once the freeze drying method is complete, the flowers will be arranged back into their original design, using the photograph as the guide.
You should choose flowers that are free of moisture, in perfect condition, and free of insects for pressing.
Flowers that work best are the ones that only have a few petals, such as pansies or violas. Flowers that naturally appear flat will also work well for pressing. Flowers with large, hard centers generally do not work well when pressed.
When pressing flowers, remember that the flowers must remain pressed until they lose all of their moisture. You will know they have lost their moisture when they feel papery to the touch.
Hydrangeas dry beautifully when you use the following method.
*Hydrangeas should be picked for drying as soon as their colors turn. The center of a hydrangea bush is usually where you will find the most colorful flowers.
*Place their woody stems upright in a vase that has two inches of water. The flowers will gradually soak up all of the water.
*If you notice the petals start to wilt after the water has evaporated, you should add another inch of water to the vase.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|