Preserve your flowers through desiccant drying

July 29, 2015

Desiccant drying uses a drying agent to absorb the moisture from a flower. The result is a preserved flower with minimal shrinkage and nearly perfect shape and colour retention. We'll teach you how to desiccant dry and keep your important flowers intact.

Preserve your flowers through desiccant drying

Select a drying agent

Silica gel is the easiest drying agent to use. It absorbs moisture very rapidly and changes colour from dark blue, to pink, to white when it's completely saturated. Its high absorption rate dries out flowers in a few days. Better still you can dry it out in a slow oven and reuse it indefinitely. You can use sand or borax instead of silica gel, but it will extend your drying time by a few weeks.

Desiccant dry in 4 easy steps

  1. Cut the flower stems no more than 2 centimetres (five inches) long.
  2. Cover the base of an airtight container with silica gel to a depth of about 3 centimetres (7 1/2 inches).
  3. Place the flowers upright in the silica gel, ensuring that they don't touch each other.
  4. Carefully spoon the gel over the flowers so that they're completely embedded. Cover the flowers with another 3 centimetres (7 1/2 inches) of silica gel and then seal the container so that it's airtight. Leave it for 2 - 3 days.

Test your flowers for dryness

Open the container and carefully pour out some of the gel until the tops of the flowers are revealed. Use a spoon to dig out a sample flower. If it feels dry and papery, it's ready! Flowers that have not completely dried out should be returned and checked again next day.

Store your flowers

Store desiccant dried flowers in airtight containers, as they're susceptible to reabsorbing moisture. To make them last, flowers should be displayed in areas with low humidity.

Preserving your flowers through desiccant drying is effective and easy. Follow these simple steps and you can hold on to your favourite flowers and all the memories they carry.

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