If you have a special bouquet like a bridal bouquet or anniversary flowers, then there’s no question of whether you should save it. The question is really how you should save it. Should you press or should you dry your special flowers? The answer really depends on the type of flowers in your bouquet and how you want to display them after they’ve been preserved. To help you decide on the best technique, our expert florists at Stadium Flowers in Everett put together this quick and easy guide to pressing and drying flowers.
Bouquet of Dried Roses
When to Press Your Flowers
Pressed flowers look absolutely lovely hung on the wall in a botanical frame, decoupaged to a craft project, or included in a scrapbook of keepsakes. All flowers can be pressed, but the best ones for pressing include those that are naturally flatter like gerbera daisies or that have interesting silhouettes such as blooms with flower cones like snapdragons.
Thicker flowers like globe thistle, roses, or peonies are more difficult to press successfully. If your bouquet does contain these flowers, and you want to press it, be sure to slice these flowers in half first. Robust blooms, like the sunflowers in our Farm Fresh Mix bouquet, aren’t recommended for pressing.
Farm Fresh Mix
To press your flowers, you can use a classic flower press that’s designed to sandwich flowers between layers of parchment, cardboard, and wooden ends. You can also create a makeshift flower press by putting flowers between two sheets of parchment or another absorbent paper and then pressing them in heavy books. Pressing flowers with either of these methods will require several days for them to dry completely.
Dried Pressed Wild Flowers
To speed up the process, you can first flatten flowers between a heavy book. Then with the flowers still sandwiched in parchment, iron them on an ironing board with your clothes iron on low heat and a no-steam setting.
When to Dry Your Flowers
Drying methods work for all types of flowers. Plus, if you have robust blooms, like sunflower or roses, they’ll look prettiest dried. If you plan to display your preserved flowers arranged in a vase or use them to create a floral wreath, drying, rather than pressing, is the best way to go.
There are several techniques available for drying flowers. The best is the most traditional and simply requires you to remove your flowers’ leaves and then tie their stems to hang them upside down. This method produces life-like flowers with vibrant colors, but it requires several days of drying.
Dried Flowers Hanging Upside Down
The fastest way to dry flowers is in the microwave. By microwaving your flowers, they’ll be totally dry in just two or three minutes. First, you’ll need to remove leaves and trim the stems. Then arrange the blooms in a microwave-safe container and cover them completely with silica sand. Put them in the microwave with a glass of water and heat in 30-second intervals. Be sure to check their progress, as different types of flowers will dry at different rates.
If you neither want to sacrifice your flower stems nor wait several days, you can compromise and dry your flowers in the oven. This method takes about eight to twelve hours. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting and arrange flowers on a parchment-lined tray. Leave the oven door open, as your flowers dry, to allow moisture to escape.
Bouquet of Dried Flowers in Glass Vase
Whichever method you choose, our florists at Stadium Flowers can help you select the best blooms and prettiest arrangements for celebrating and remembering all your most important occasions.