The Art of Drying Flowers
In the summer, my life revolves around the garden. During this time I spend my days with two feet in the soil and a cup of Darjeeling tea in hand. With the birds flittering past and bees buzzing near my knees, I could die happy weeding and tending to each seedling.
As the flowers bloom and the seasons start to change, my mind spins on how to keep these colors alive. My solution: pick the fresh blooms and press/dry every flower I can get my hands on.
One of the best things about pressing and drying flowers is that there is no limit to the number of blooms you can pick. Every bloom from a perennial plant usually brings forth three or four more flowers after the pluck. For annuals, like cosmos or zinnias, the cutting of the flower blooms brings sturdy plants with five or six more buds waiting to be picked.
You can either dry these flowers or press them! This time, it’s all about the art of drying flowers. Keeping these blooms in their perfect 3-D form.
Dried Flower Toolkit – The Hammer
Drying flowers with Silica Gel is the quintessential hammer in any household toolkit. An extremely useful device that works for almost any project. Whether it be hanging pictures, fixing chair legs, or starting a home demo… nothing would get done without the hammer.
For drying flowers, nothing can get done without the Silica Gel.
What is Silica Gel?
Silica gel contains millions of tiny pores that can absorb and hold moisture. Silica gel is essentially porous sand and when used for drying flowers, extracts the moisture from the flowers and leaves the entire flower intact.
Perfect 3-D flowers with stunning color.
Drying Flowers Step-By Step
Step 1: Cut Flowers to Dry
I like to cut a wide variety of flowers to dry as it creates interesting arrangements for future use. These flowers can come from your backyard, patio, or container gardens. Even keepsake arrangements like wedding flowers or Valentine’s day bouquets can work well.
Just keep it creative!
Step 2: Grab a Container
For silica gel use, I like to grab deep containers that can be easily washed and reused. These containers can come from anywhere, a lot of the ones I currently use, used to be old toy containers from my basement. Glass container with lids are great because you don’t have to worry about the silica accidentally spilling everywhere.
Step 4: Nestle in Your Flowers
The first layer of flowers gets nestled into the container. Make sure the flowers do not overlay one another, just gently place on top of the first layer of silica gel.
Step 5: Pour a Second Layer of Silica Gel
Pour silica gel on top of your first layer of flowers. I recommend using a measuring cup, that way you can get into every blooms nook and cranny. Make sure to cover the flowers entirely, that way the flower drys evenly.
Finishing Touches – Drying Flowers
Depending on how tight you place your flowers in the container and how many layers of silica gel per flower ratio you add, will decide on how many days you let your flowers dry for.
A general rule of thumb:
1 layer of flowers – 3 days
2 layers of flowers – 5 days
3 layers of flowers – 1 week
Reusing the Silica Gel – Your Toolkit
One of the best things about drying flowers with silica gel is that the silica gel can be reused. As your flowers are drying in the container, the silica gel will change from white to a light blue. A light blue means that the silica gel is full of the flower’s moisture.
Once you remove your flowers, you can dump your silica gel in a baking dish. Pop this container in the oven on low (around 200 degrees F) for four hours and your silica gel will change back to white.
Let it cool, and then use it again!
Please find more information on drying with silica gel here…