How to dry flowers in 4 simple steps

how to dry flowers
How to dry flowers for a gorgeous keepsakeEva-Katalin - Getty Images

Fresh flowers are a beautiful addition to any interior, but not a long-lasting one. However, once you learn how to dry flowers, you can make your blooms last for so much longer, and can save money that you would have used to splash out on a fresh bouquet.

Drying flowers is such a handy (and easy) craft project to get to grips with. It's a great way to preserve a bouquet that has sentimental value or meaning to you, such as a get-well bunch or a wedding bouquet – a dried flower arrangement is a lovely keepsake and way to keep a memory alive.

“Dried flowers are a great addition in the home as they look lovely and last such a long time," says Caroline Grimble, lead florist at Bloom & Wild.

a bouquet of pink and yellow roses hung upside down to dry
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"When we talk to our newlywed customers, we find that pressing and drying their bouquet to preserve as a keepsake is sometimes more important than saving their dress. The flowers they chose, when dried, last forever to then be passed down."

Alternatively, you may want to create a dried flower bouquet with flowers you've grown in your garden, such as fragrant lavender, or you may be buying blooms specifically to make a dried-flower arrangement for a stunning decoration at a wedding or other special occasion.

Dried Lavender bouquets
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If you want to move away from buying fresh flowers each week and would rather have a more lasting display, buying flowers to dry for a bouquet you have in mind can create a beautiful decoration in any room.

How to dry flowers: Air dry

When it comes to drying flowers there are a few methods, including putting flowers in the microwave or the oven. You can also use a flower press, which makes beautiful dried blooms for craft projects. But the most straight forward way to dry flowers is to simply hang them in a cool, dark room, like the attic or a cupboard.

Caroline says: "Flowers can be preserved by hanging them upside down in a dark and dry place for a few weeks.

"Simply tie the flowers together with string and attach them to a hanger or a pole for a few weeks – and let time do the rest."

How to dry flowers
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According to Pro Flowers, air drying works best for bouquets and for robust flowers such as roses, or small, long-lasting varieties like lavender.

Flowers that have just looked or are about to bloom are ideal for air-drying.

Some simple steps to take are:

1. Remove excess foliage from below the flower heads as they weaken when they are dry. Cut the stems to your desired length, but no shorter than six inches.

2. Split your flowers into smaller bunches of the same flower type, and try not to have more than six or seven flowers in each.

how to dry flowers
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3. Use string to hang your flowers upside down – attach to a hook, pole or hangers – and leave to dry for around three weeks. Check them regularly after the first week, suggests Flying Flowers. The petals will rustle and become rigid when they are ready.

4. Spray the flowers with hairspray once they are dry and have been removed from the hangers. According to Pro Flowers, this will help to protect them.

Top tips for drying flowers

Expert advice from Serenata Flowers and Flying Flowers suggests to think about the below before drying your flowers.

1. Avoid leaving flowers to dry in direct sunlight – this will cause the colour to fade.

2. Keep in mind that blooms with a high water content, like lilies, are not suitable for drying.

3. Varying colours of flowers can dry differently. For example, orange and yellow keep the best vibrancy, while blues and purples may dry darker.

4. Flowers in full bloom are more likely to lose their petals when drying, so start the process sooner rather than later.

How to display dried flowers

Dried flowers are becoming increasingly popular – they can look beautifully delicate, while also bringing great drama and depth of colour to an arrangement. And, as we've already pointed out, you'll get to enjoy them for much longer than a fresh bouquet.

While they'll look stunning in a vase or jug, there are plenty of other ways to display dried flowers including making a wreath, decorating around a mirror or picture frame, and propping them in a woven basket for a more rustic feel.

Dried flowers don't need too much fuss to look fabulous. Just wrap them with twine and prop them on a counter for impact or hang them from a hook on your wall.

To keep dried flowers looking their best, never display them in dry sunlight or near a heat source, according to Bloom and Wild. You also need to keep them away from moisture. Not only do they not need watering, it's best not to keep them in a humid spot.

Keep in mind that dried flowers are fragile so if they need dusting, be gentle and use something that won't cause damage such as a feather duster.

Have you made a beautiful dried flower arrangement? Share it with us by tagging @primamag in your pictures on Instagram!

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