Drying flowers seems like a simple task only at first glance. The flower itself will wither after some time. But will it retain its beauty and not fade? Will the petals and leaves not become crumpled? To avoid all these troubles, you need to follow some rules.
Even in a dry form roses do not lose their appeal and elegance.
Rules for drying flowers
- Pick only the dry flowers when all drops of dew or rain have dried. Wet plants will rather get covered with mold than dry.
- Dry the collected plants as soon as you have picked them. When they will wither a bit, it will be much more difficult to spread the petals.
- Pick extra flowers. During drying many flowers may go to waste. In addition you’ll be able to select the best flowers among the dried ones.
- Besides flowers, the branches of bushes and trees, grass, leaves, berries, moss and even tree roots are suitable for drying. The maple leaves, spikes, cane are very often dried.
The plants dry slowly and lose their decorative properties in a room with humid air.
The ways to dry flowers
There are several different ways to dry flowers.
- Pressing with a book. This is the easiest, most popular and accessible method to press flowers. It is suitable for those samples which initially have a flat shape, for example, for many field flowers.
It’s better to take an old book with the offset paper: the glossy one absorbs moisture poorly. Make pockets of plain white paper, place the plants inside and put them in a book, leaving a few pages in between. It is necessary so that the paint residues are not imprinted on the flowers.
After filling in the book, leave it untouched for a month, pressing it on top with a pile of other books.
Pressed flowers can be used for making ornaments or floral collages.
- Air–drying flowers. A cool place is required to dry the plants. This can be either a balcony or a well-ventilated room. Those who live in their own house can afford to dry flowers outdoors. The wild flowers: camomiles, cornflowers, marigolds, and garden flowers: roses, peonies, hydrangea can be dried in this way.
Some people mistakenly believe that one should dry the flowers in a closed and hot room. In fact, the heat and the lack of air will spoil the appearance of plants.
The room should be warm (not less than 10°C), clean and dust-free. Besides, the air should be dry there.
In any case do not dry the flowers in direct sunlight. This makes them withered and faded: the sun destroys chlorophyll and the plants lose their color. Therefore, drying in the sun is only suitable for uncolored parts (roots, seeds).
A wedding bouquet of dried flowers looks nice too and besides it will last for a long time.
For air-drying flowers, fix a rope or a wire between the walls. Hang metal hooks, the distance between them will depend on the size of the flowers. Usually the flowers are hung separately on these hooks, but you can also dry them in bunches. The most important thing is not to tie bunches too tightly. This can break the stems and crush the petals.
Bouquets can be composed not only of dried flowers, but also of spikes, berries and immortelle.
Drying flowers in sand
The first task for drying the plants in sand, is to sift sand and ignite it. The flowers will get spoiled and acquire ugly spots in wet sand. Pour some sand on the bottom of the carton, place prepared flowers (unfold the petals, remove the leaves) on it and carefully pour sand until it covers the inflorescences. Store the boxes with sand in a cool dark place for about two weeks.
It is possible to dry flowers using salt or semolina in a similar way. The main problem you can face here is that it is difficult to clean the dried flowers from these bulk materials.
Natural drying is best for grains: put them in a vase without water, they will dry up without losing their shape.
When drying flowers, make sure that the flower damaged with mold does not infect other flowers. Immediately remove it from the bouquet. Dry compositions are very fragile, so be careful when dealing with them, keep them out the draught. Dried flowers quickly get covered with dust: remove it very carefully, for example, with a weak stream of warm water. You can protect the composition by covering it with glass. Dried flowers are ideal for flowers shop: you can make decorations by covering the dry flowers with resin, or create an unusual Japanese oshibana composition.