How to Dry Flowers in a Microwave at Home

Overview

Fresh flowers add color to your garden home with their simple elegance, but once they are picked and brought into the house it's only a short matter of time before they wilt and lose their splendor. If you wish to save your flowers by drying them and don't have a lot of time to do so, your microwave can be the perfect tool to aid you. Drying flowers in the microwave is fast and effective and requires little to no effort at all to help keep your brilliant blossoms looking beautiful for years to come.

Step 1

Cut or pick away dead leaves and petals from your flowers and visually inspect them to ensure that there are no bugs hiding on them.

Step 2

Cover the bottom of a microwave-safe container with silica gel at least 2 inches deep.

Step 3

Cut the flower stems to about 1/2 to 1 inch and stick the stems into the gel so that they are standing up straight, making sure that the flowers are spaced out so that they don't touch each other.

Step 4

Pour silica gel gently around the flowers to fill up the container and cover the flowers.

Step 5

Place the container into the microwave along with a cup of water. Place the cup of water next to the container of flowers and close the door.

Step 6

Set the time for anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes on a setting of about 300 watts. This may take some trial and error, as small flowers without many petals may only need several seconds to a minute, and thicker flowers can take up to 3. For very thick flowers it may take up to 5 to 8 minutes to dry them out. Carnations tend to be thicker flowers and will need to cook longer than flowers that have fewer petals, such as violets.

Step 7

Check the flowers while they are drying after 10 to 30 seconds to ensure they aren't drying out completely. Rotate the container after a minute in a half if your microwave doesn't rotate on its own.

Step 8

Cover the container with a lid and set it aside in a cool dry place with the lid cracked to allow air to get in.

Step 9

Allow the flowers to remain in the container for at least 24 hours before removing them. Different flowers require different setting times; check the flowers after 24 hours by uncovering them gently with a toothpick and inspecting them. Cover them back up if the petals are still moist, and allow them to sit longer.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not cover the flowers while they are drying in the microwave.

Things You'll Need

  • Microwave-safe container
  • Microwave-safe cup
  • Airtight container
  • Silica gel

References

  • Hoticulture Facts: Drying Flowers in a Microwave James C. Schmidt, Horticulturist University of Illinois
  • University of Missouri Extension: Drying Flowers and Foliage for Arrangements
  • Clemson Extension: Drying Flowers

Who Can Help

  • Methods of Preserving Flowers
Keywords: dry flowers, microwave drying, preserve flowers

About this Author

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination, and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.