Dried flowers add a natural touch to floral arrangements, framed art and in other decorative pieces such as wreaths. Many flowers can be dried, from those grown in your garden to those purchased from a florist. Unlike fresh flowers, dried flowers can be enjoyed for many years. Moisture, air and light are the main enemies of dried flowers and leaves. These can shorten the life of your arrangements if steps are not taken to protect them.
Display flowers in areas away from direct sunlight and in areas that are not near air vents or drafts. Place framed flowers away from direct artificial light as well as sunlight--the light reflecting on the glass can cause the flowers to fade quickly.
Treat dried flowers with a preservative before displaying in arrangements or frames. Spray with an aerosol lacquer or a dried-flower preservative, which is available from florists. Follow the label instructions for applying the lacquer and do not frame or arrange the flowers until after the spray has dried.
Place arrangements out of the reach of children and pets. Cats in particular tend to chew and play with dried flowers.
Clean dried flowers with a soft brush, such as a clean makeup brush. Dust the flowers as softly as possible with the brush, taking care not to apply pressure to leaves or petals.
Store unused flowers in a sealed plastic bag or an airtight container. Store the bag in a dark place until you are ready to use the flowers.