Flowers are a beautiful addition to any outdoor space, adding color and vibrancy to your garden or porch. However, sometimes you may want to preserve the beauty of a special bouquet or a particular flower that holds sentimental value. Preserving and drying flowers is a great way to enjoy their beauty for a longer period of time. Here are some tips on how to preserve and dry flowers for outdoor display.
Choosing the Right Flowers
Not all flowers are suitable for drying, so it’s important to choose the right ones. Flowers with a sturdy structure and thick petals tend to dry better than delicate or fleshy flowers. Some popular flowers for drying include roses, lavender, marigolds, and daisies. It’s best to choose flowers that are at their peak bloom but not overly mature or starting to wilt.
Harvesting at the Right Time
Timing is crucial when it comes to harvesting flowers for drying. It’s best to harvest flowers in the morning after the dew has dried, but before the heat of the day sets in. This is when flowers are at their freshest and have the highest moisture content. Cut the stems at an angle with sharp garden shears to maximize water absorption.
Removing Excess Foliage
To ensure a successful drying process, it’s important to remove excess foliage from the stems. Leaves and excess foliage can retain moisture and lead to mold or decay during the drying process. Strip away any leaves that will be below the waterline when placed in a vase or container.
Air drying is one of the most common methods for preserving flowers. Gather a small bunch of flowers and secure them together with a rubber band or string. Hang the bunch upside down in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. The drying process can take anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on the type of flower and environmental conditions. Once the flowers are completely dry, they can be displayed outdoors.
Using desiccants is another effective method for drying flowers. Desiccants are substances that absorb moisture from the flowers, such as silica gel or borax. Place a layer of desiccant at the bottom of an airtight container. Carefully arrange the flowers on top of the desiccant and gently pour more desiccant around and over the flowers, making sure they are completely covered. Seal the container and leave it undisturbed for one to two weeks. Once the flowers are dry, carefully remove them from the desiccant and display them outdoors.
One of the challenges of drying flowers is preserving their vibrant colors. Over time, the colors of dried flowers can fade or turn brown. To help preserve the colors, keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and away from high humidity. You can also spray them with a floral sealant or hairspray to protect the colors and prevent them from fading.
Enjoying the Beauty
Preserving and drying flowers for outdoor display is a wonderful way to enjoy their beauty for an extended period. Whether you choose to air dry or use desiccants, following these tips will help ensure successful preservation. Remember to choose the right flowers, harvest at the right time, and remove excess foliage. With proper care, your dried flowers will bring joy and beauty to your outdoor space for months to come.