How to dry flowers in the simplest ways possible

·3-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

People dry flowers for so many reasons. Whether it's to preserve sentimental memories, learn a new craft, or jump on the chicest trend when it comes to interior design, it's really easy to do once you know how. And with zero fancy tools required, minimal effort, and minimal money involved, it's no surprise that this hobby is becoming more popular than ever before.

So, if you fancy jumping on this hype and filling your home with such delicate luxury, we've got you covered. We've created an extensive guide detailing *three* different ways you can dry flowers, all of which are super easy!

How do you decide what flowers to pick?

For optimum results, you'll need to pick flowers when they're at their best. The perfect time to collect them is in the morning, once the dew has gone and when they're halfway through their blooming cycle. This is important, as the flowers will continue to slightly open as they dry, so it's essential they've got some growth left to avoid falling or dropping petals.

Top Tip: Try and avoid picking them during the hottest part of the day because they are more susceptible to stress.

How to dry flowers

While there are many different ways you can dry flowers, the three processes below are often the most popular.

Hang them to dry

OK, so this first option is probably the simplest method and it's had reliable results time after time - all you need is some string and a cool place to store the flowers.

  • Combine your flowers of choice into small bunches and remove all the foliage from the stems.

  • Tie up the base of the stems with some string and hang them upside down for at least two weeks in a cool, dry environment.

  • Hanging them upside down allows the stems to remain rigid and the flowers to retain their upright structure.

Works best for: Larkspur, lavender, roses, achillea, strawflower, cornflower, hydrangea, nigella, foliage.

Dry using silica gel

This option works best on singular flowers that are much more delicate. The silica gel works to draw out the flower's moisture yet still leaves them intact and in their original colour and form.

  • Fill half a Tupperware box with the gel and with the heads facing down, place the flowers gently into the silica.

  • As gently as you can, pour more of the gel around the flower heads, taking great care not to damage the petals.

  • You can leave them in the gel for 3 days to a week (it all depends on the flower size and how much moisture it has).

  • Remove them carefully and brush softly with a paintbrush to remove any of the remaining silica gel.

Works best for: Lilac, daisies, pansies.

Dry in a microwave

We know, you're probably thinking, what? This is actually the quickest way to dry flowers, and you can enjoy your creation in as little as one day. (You'll also need some silica gel for this one. You can use cat litter, too, but that's your call!)

  • Grab a microwaveable dish and fill it with silica gel (or cat litter) before adding your flowers.

  • Cover up the heads and stems with more gel and then put the dish in the microwave accompanied by a cup of water.

  • There's actually no set time limit when it comes to drying flowers using this process. However, it's recommended you take it slow. Set your timer for 10 to 20 seconds at a time and keep checking on the flowers.

  • Once you're happy with the result, take the flowers out of the dish and leave them to cool. Silica gel can get really hot, so it might take up to 24 hours to dry, so be patient!

  • Once they're dry, brush off the gel and enjoy!

This method only works with the same type of flower as each bloom dries at different rates and you don't want to burn any.

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