8 Ways to Preserve Roses and Flowers
How to preserve flowers is an important question, because a flower isn't always just a flower–it is often connected to memories you don't want to forget.
The process of preserving flowers depends a lot upon the state of the bloom: Have the petals fallen off? Has the rose turned brown? Are the flower and stem looking a bit limp? The best time to preserve your flowers is when they are in full bloom.
These are all important things to consider before you begin the preservation process.
Flower Preservation Tips
Here are some helpful tips when it comes to preserving flowers. These pointers will help you in your quest to keep your flowers looking beautiful in their preserved state.
- Think about what you want to do with them: Don't preserve the flowers just to let them sit in your closet forever. Think about what you want to do with your flowers. Are they going to be a gift for someone? Are you going to frame them and hang them on the wall? Decide what use you will have for the flowers before you start the preservation process.
- Figure out a good location to put them: Make space in your house for the flowers, and find a spot where they can permanently reside. Again, this depends on the preservation method, but you should try to find a suitable location before you start.
- Have plenty of preservation materials on hand: You will need hooks, rubber bands, scissors, silica gel, sand, and paper depending on what method you want to use.
- Keep the flowers out of direct sunlight: The light from the sun will cause the color to fade from the flowers, so try to avoid that. Be sure that you have a place to put the flowers where they will be visible but away from any large glass doors or windows. The last thing you want is for your beautiful and colorful flowers to fade after a few months.
- Be prepared to lose some flowers in the process: Understand that there is a chance that some of the flowers will get damaged or destroyed as you try to preserve them. You can take extra care to ensure that nothing happens but sometimes the flowers end up too brittle and they crack unexpectedly.
8 Ways to Preserve Flowers
Here are eight methods for preserving those precious flowers. You will have to determine which one will work best for your situation. Your situation depends on the type of flowers you are trying to preserve and where you want to display the flowers.
- Glycerin: Soak the flowers in glycerin and let them absorb the substance. This will cause the water in the flowers to be replaced with glycerin, and it will keep them looking fresh.
- Freeze Drying: Take your flowers to a professional freeze-drying company and get them frozen.
- Air Drying: Wrap your flowers up with rubber bands and hang them upside down on a hook in a well-ventilated area.
Pressing: Use a heavy book and some absorbent paper and press the flowers. Place the paper around the flower and put it in the middle of the book and
close. Make sure the book is heavy enough to press the flower.
- Microwaving: Cover the flowers in absorbent material and place them in the microwave on a moderate setting. Check to see if all of the water has been taken out of the flower before finishing.
- Epoxy Resin: Get a mold and fill it halfway up with resin, then place the flowers inside the resin in the arrangement you want. Fill the rest of the mold in with resin and let it harden.
- Sand: Place the flowers in a bowl of sand and let them sit until all of the moisture has been taken out. Gently brush off all of the grains of sand.
Silica Gel: Place an inch or two of silica gel in a container, then place your flowers on top and cover with another inch of silica gel. Place the let on the container and let it sit until all of the water has been pulled out of the flowers.
1. Preserving the Flower With Glycerin
By using glycerin, your flower will not dry out, keeping its graceful and lively
The drawback of using glycerin is that, while it keeps the supple texture of the leaves and flowers intact, the color will fade with time. That is why people who use glycerin to preserve their flowers often add food coloring or other dyes.
Another drawback is that glycerin is expensive and takes anywhere from two to six weeks to set.
- Easy to do
- Petals keep their texture
- Color fades over time
- Takes many weeks to set
2. Freeze Drying
Freeze drying flowers is a complicated and expensive process, but the result is lovely. By freezing the flowers, you are keeping the same look and color they had before, which is a big positive.
To freeze dry flowers, you will need to would look online for a freeze-drying service or consult your local florist, who may work with a freeze-drying company or be able to refer you to one. Freeze drying takes the moisture out of the petals. The result is lovely, bright, and timeless flowers. Another bonus is that freeze-dried flowers keep their scent.
Keep in mind that the flowers will be extremely fragile in this state, so you should take extra care when handling them.
- Same look and color as before
- The flowers keep their scent
- The flowers are extremely fragile
3. Air Drying
Air drying flowers is perhaps the easiest and most common way to preserve flowers.
- Take the leaves off of the stem of the flower. (This allows the flower to dry faster).
- Tie the flowers into small bundles of three or four using a rubber band.
- Hang them upside down in a well-ventilated area. Keep them out of the sunlight and keep the heads separated if the flower has thick, moist petals.
Air drying can take a week to several months depending on the flower you are drying. Air dried flowers will be brittle, so you will have to handle carefully when taking them down.
- Control over the whole process
- The flowers retain their shape and smell
- Takes a long time
- The flowers are brittle and can break easily