Your can learn how to dry flowers and herbs with three basic methods. They are air drying, desiccant drying and microwave drying. Harvesting flowers should be done in the mornings after the dew is off of them. To help your flowers maintain their color during the drying process, it is important that you remove them from sunlight as soon as they're cut.
Many people know how to dry flowers by air, but have you dried flowers in the microwave? It is so easy. I will show you how.
Air Drying Flowers
Learn how to dry flowers with this easy step. Most flowers can be air dried by hanging upside down in bunches. Don't make the bunches to big, or the flowers may mold or crush each other. I usually put about six to ten stems to a bunch. Strip excess foliage from your flowers and cut the stems to your desired length (but not shorter than six inches).
Wrap a rubber band at least twice around the stems about 2 inches from the ends. Rubber bands work best because the bands will tighten as the stems dry and shrink.
I have found the easiest way to hang them is to make a 3 inch S hook out of wire. Hang the bunches by the rubber band on one end of the hook and place the other end of the hook on a dowel, over a pipe, nail or a clothes hanger. You can hang two bunches of flowers on each hanger by hanging them from each side.
Depending on the flower, leave your flowers there for one to three weeks and make sure not to remove them until they are completely dry. Remove the flowers from the hangers and spray them with hairspray or a sealer to give them some extra protection.
Flowers that wilt quickly must be dried in a supportive substance to preserve their natural color and shape. When drying with silica gel you will need airtight containers. Plastic food storage containers work great.
Cut the stems of the flowers 1 or 2 inches long. Use a #20 to #26 gauge wire 6 inches long and insert it either straight up into the base of the flower on blooms like pansies or daisies. For heavier bases on flowers like roses insert it crosswise.
To begin, spread a 1/2"to 1" layer of gel on the bottom of your drying container. For daisy type flowers, make a little mound of gel and place the flower face down. Flowers with many petals like roses and marigolds should be placed face up. Gently sift more gel over the flowers until all the petals are covered. Use a toothpick to help get the gel into crevices.
Place the box in a warm and dry area. Check every few days to see how they are. Touch them with your fingertips, if they are crisp and papery then the flowers are dry. Put a drop of clear glue at the center and base of the flower to prevent shattering. For extra protection spray with hair spray to further protect the flower from humidity.
Dry Your Flowers With Your Microwave
This is the simplest way I know on how to dry flowers. Find a microwave-safe container that will hold your flowers and fit into the microwave. (Use this dish for drying flowers only. Do no use it for food.)
You will need to use silica gel in the container to help the flowers maintain their shape. Cover the bottom of the container with about an inch or two of silica gel, place your flowers in the gel with the flower blossom opening upward, and then gently pour gel over the flower to ensure all petals are positioned to dry properly. If you are not careful with the gel, you can flatten your petals. Be liberal with it for best results. Silica gel can be used over and over again.
Microwave temperature and time will vary from flower to flower, so find the right time by trial and error. Place your uncovered container in the microwave. A safe bet is to set the microwave for 1 minute. Since ovens and flowers vary, experimentation will be required. Roses can withstand more heat; daisies prefer lower temperatures. Start with a short amount of time.. If it doesn't seem to be drying, you can increase time accordingly.
Once your flowers have dried, remove the container and let it sit for 24 hours. Once the flowers have cooled, clean off the petals with a fine brush. Some flowers, such as chrysanthemum, drop petals easily. These can be reinforced by dropping glue on the bottom at the base of the petals. Use a glue that becomes clear after drying. You can mist them with an acrylic spray.
Care of Dried Flowers: You can routinely dust your flowers using a real feather duster or hair dryer on itâ€™s lowest setting.
If you have any questions or would like to offer any tips on how to dry flowers that you would like to share please contact me and I will add it to the site.
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