When you receive a bouquet for a special accomplishment or have flowers from a special event, like your wedding bouquet, it’s only natural to want to preserve them to continue to enjoy the beauty and be reminded of all your wonderful memories. Pressing and drying flowers are the two main ways to save flowers so that they’ll last through the years. At City Line Florist in Trumbull, our flower experts can help you determine which flowers are best to press and which are best to dry, using the following methods.
Bouquet of Dried Roses
The Best Ways to Press Flowers
If you want to display your flowers in a frame or decoupage them onto a craft project, then pressing is the way to go.
There are several ways to press flowers. Basically, as long as they’re smooshed between two flat, heavy objects, they’ll eventually dry out and be preserved. The best way to press flowers is using a flower press comprised of sandwich of two flat pieces of wood, layers of cardboard and wax or parchment paper around the flowers. You can create a similar effect to a traditional flower press by using heavy books.
Another pressing method is to use an iron, which will drastically speed up the process. First, you’ll need to flatten your flowers between books. Then place them between two sheets of paper and press them with your iron set to low heat and with the steam switched off.
Be sure to always place flowers face-down and sandwich them in parchment paper or coffee filters that will help absorb their moisture. Flower pressing, without an iron, takes about seven to ten days. However you choose to press your flowers, you’ll know they’re ready when they feel like tissue paper, with no moisture left inside them.
Pressed Flowers in Frame
The Best Ways to Dry Flowers
If you want to display your flowers in a vase, use them on a wreath, or preserve the original shape of a bouquet, then you’ll definitely want to dry, and not press, your flowers.
The best way to dry flowers is by binding the stems with string and hanging them upside down in a dry location that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. This method requires several days for the flowers to be ready, but it will lead to the most vibrantly colored, naturally-looking flowers you can achieve. If you want to speed up the process, don’t be afraid to dry flowers using heat. You can dry them in the oven on a cookie sheet, baking for eight to twelve hours with the door cracked open.
Hanging Dried Flowers
You can also microwave them completely covered with silica sand inside a microwave safe container. Along with a cup of water, blast your flowers for 30-seconds at a time, checking them along the way. They’ll usually be ready within two to three minutes.
Which Flowers to Press and Which to Dry
Flowers with bulky blooms such as bouquets of roses, globe thistles, carnations, and globe amaranth will turn out best, if they are dried rather than pressed. Statice and lavender are also wonderful dried. We recommend pressing flowers that have naturally flat blooms such as pansies, gerbera daisies, dragon’s breath, and pretty much any cone-shaped cluster of blooms.
For more flower preservation tips or help selecting a bouquet to press or dry at home, we welcome you to stop by City Line Florist to talk with a flower expert.