Dry flower production is an art of horticulture by which people can enjoy the beauty of flowers for a long time in different ways. The objective of drying flowers is to remove moisture slowly while maintaining as much as of the original shape color and texture. There is a good demand for it in the marketplace. The commercial use of dry flower is increasing day by day.
Table of Contents
- 1 Uses of Drying Flowers
Uses of Drying Flowers
- To decorate mirrors, hats or baskets.
- To make flower arrangement in vases.
- Dry flowers are also used to decorate the wall and other places.
- They are fixed in the frame and these frames are used for decoration.
- Long lasting preservation.
- Can be enjoyed for a longer period of time.
- Require little care.
- Not complicated or time-consuming
- Inexpensive and no previous experience is required.
Basic rules for drying flowers
For best color and form, the flower to be dried should be collected fresh but not wilted. Any room is to be avoided where unusually high humidity exists, which could result in mold growth. More materials should be collected than actually needed to allow for damage. The flowers should be free from insects, diseases, and damage.
Methods of drying flowers
I. Air drying
It is the simplest method used to dry foliage and flowers. It takes little time and skill. The steps for air drying include –
- Strip any dead leaf.
- Group the stems into small branches.
- Tie stems with a rubber band or twist ties.
- Hang upside down in a cool , dry and dark area
Examples: Globe amaranth, Hydrangeas, Salvias etc.
II. Desiccant flower
Flowers that will quickly be dried in a supportive substance to preserve their natural color and shape.
Examples: Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, Marigold etc.
a. Drying of flower using sand :
Dry and clean sand is one of the oldest materials used for drying and at the same time one of the cheapest. The steps for sand drying includes –
- Prepare a drying box by filling it half with sand.
- Place the flowers on the sand.
- Place the box in a warm and dry area.
- Allow the flowers to dry in the sand for 1 – 3 weeks.
- The basic problems are that sand is heavy.
The modern replacement for sand is silica gel, which is the most satisfactory material for drying flowers at home. It can be purchased from garden centers, craft or hardware stores. Silica gel is not cheap but it can be reused for several times. The method that was followed for sand drying is applicable for silica gel. Just replace the sand with silica gel.
c. Drying of flowers using the microwave:
Microwaves can also be used to dry flowers.
It takes only a few minutes.
– The steps for microwave drying with a desiccant are.
- Prepare a microwave safe container with a thick layer of silica gel.
- Place the flowers on silica gel.
- Sprinkle carefully more silica gel on the flowers.
- Microwave them 50% power for 2 – 3 minutes.
- The silica crystals turn from bright blue to pinkish gray as they absorb moisture.
- Remove the flowers immediately.
- To remove the moisture from the silica gel, after removing the dried flowers microwave the crystals for two minutes on high power.
– This is also a very easy and cheap method for a limited scale flower drying program although the structure of the flower is lost.
– Flowers are pressed between papers such as newsprint paper. Altering layers of flowers and papers are placed between two boards.
– A heavy object is then placed on the top board required pressing time varies with the type of flowers and tissue.
– Generally drying should be completed within four weeks.