How to Preserve Flowers & Foliage

Overview

Drying your flowers and foliage will allow you to create an arrangement for your dining room table, or your fireplace mantle. These arrangements will last a long time compared to only a week or two for fresh cut flowers. You can even crush some of the flowers and foliage and make fresh potpourri to keep your home smelling sweet. The important thing to remember is to begin the preservation process as soon as you have cut and gathered the flowers.

Air Drying

Step 1

Remove any leaves that you do not want to keep from your flower stems.

Step 2

Turn your flowers and foliage upside down and bunch them together. You can set them up in groups of six to 10.

Step 3

Tie the bundles together with twine, fishing wire, string, or whatever else you have on hand.

Step 4

Hang the bundles of flowers and foliage in a room that is dark, but that has good circulation

Step 5

Wait two to four weeks until the flowers and foliage are completely dry before removing them from the dark room. They will then be considered preserved, and you can use them any way you wish.

Pressing

Step 1

Set a piece of cardboard on your table. Then place four sheets of newspaper over it.

Step 2

Lay your flowers and foliage on the newspaper sheets single file.

Step 3

Cover the flowers and foliage with four more sheets of newspaper. Top with a second piece of cardboard, almost like you had just made a sandwich.

Step 4

Press the flowers by setting a couple of heavy boards or books on top of the cardboard.

Step 5

Change the sheets of newspaper every three to four days until the flowers have completely dried out. This should take about two to three weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening scissors
  • Twine, fishing wire, or string
  • Cardboard pieces
  • Newspaper
  • Block of wood or stack of books

References

  • University of Maryland: Preserving Flowers and Leaves
  • Pro Flowers: How to Dry Flowers
Keywords: preserving flowers, flowers and foliage, drying flowers

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.