Not all flowers can be dried. Usually those flowers can be dried which are strong-stemmed, colorful, compact, and relatively low in moisture content. Not necessarily that you will require a large quantities of such flowers. In fact just three or four plants of each type will produce enough stems for many dried arrangements. When the first flowers reach maturity start harvesting stems. Take as much stems as possible. It is better that you harvest more flowers than you may need.
Air-drying: This is the most popular and the simplest way to preserve flowers. Air-drying flowers requires cool, dry air. Choose the drying room and make it ready for drying before harvest. Don't use humid kitchens and bathrooms. Large closets make good drying rooms. Though garages, sheds, hot attics, damp cellars are considered suitable places to dry flowers, they are actually not. Low light is fine but do not go for direct sunlight. Use a dehumidifier, along with a low-speed fan to circulate air, especially if the climate is humid. The quicker the drying process, the better.
Hanging Flower Bunches: Suspend a 1/2-inch-diameter pipe or may be a horizontal pole from the ceiling. If your ceiling does not have the option of fastening hooks, you can use or two high-backed chairs or tripods to support the pole. Usually a bent paper clip is a ideal hanger for your bunches. Next you have to put a paper or a cloth on the floor under the hanging bunches to catch fallen seeds, leaves, flowers and petals. Hang bunches at separate spaces to allow good air circulation.
How Long to Hang Flowers
Usually it takes about 10-15 days. When dried, the stems should snap. Make sure the flowers inside are thoroughly dry.
Use Silica Gel to Dry Flowers
Take a airtight, plastic or glass tray or container. Spread silica gel inside the container. Spread the flowers out, faceup inside the container on top of the gel. Again sprinkle more silica on top until all the flowers are completely covered with silica. Close the container, and don't disturb it for 3 to 4 days.
You Can Use a Microwave Oven to Dry Flowers
This is one of the fastest method to dry flowers. For quick drying, dry the flowers using silica gel as mentioned above and then microwave them. In order to get the true color and to avoid over drying then, dry the flowers one at a time. The oven should be set on medium to low power. Seal the container and microwave the flowers for 2 to 3 min. Let the flowers cool for at least 15 min. If the flowers require more drying, repeat for 30 s intervals, but don't forget the cooling period.
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