How to Preserve Live Flowers


Keeping live flowers in the home is an old practice for decorating and bringing the outdoors in. You can preserve plants for home decoration so that they last longer. Flowers and plants for preservation can be collected throughout the year. Avoid collecting plants that are wet. Drying plants is the best way to preserve their colors and an essence of their natural scent. Dried flowers can be used in wreaths, vases or in arts and crafts.

Step 1

Cut the flower stem at a 45-degree angle using a sharp knife and immediately remove any foliage, according to the Maryland Cooperative Extension. Splinter herbaceous stems that are 1/4 to 1 inch in diameter to aid in drying.

Step 2

Collect fine white sand that you would find at a beach and save it for use in the cardboard box. Sand is available at most home improvement or landscaping stores.

Step 3

Punch holes in the bottom of the cardboard box using a pair of scissors and cover the bottom with a thin layer of newspaper, according to West Virginia University. Make the holes large enough so that the stem of the flowers fits through.

Step 4

Mix one part borax to one part sand and set aside.

Step 5

Place the flowers face up into the box, pulling the stems through the holes, and cover the flowers with the borax and sand mixture. Cover the box with a lid to keep out light. Put the box in a cool, dry place, elevated off the ground with bricks to keep from crushing the stems, for seven to 10 days to allow for drying.

Step 6

Punch a hole in the box and allow the sand to drain out. Do not pull out the flowers while sand is still in the box as it may destroy flower petals. Squeeze the petals to check for moisture. Drain the sand slowly from the box by tilting it over when the flowers feel dry. Push the stems up through the bottom of the box to remove the flowers without pulling on the petals.

Step 7

Use the preserved flowers in decorations around the home.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoe box
  • Sand
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Borax
  • Bricks


  • West Virginia University Cooperative Extension: Preserving Flowers For Year Round Use
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Drying and Preserving Flowers and Plant Materials for Decorative Use
  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Preserving Flowers and Leaves
Keywords: preserve live flowers, preserving flowers, flower decoration

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.