Ways to Preserve Fresh Flowers


Brides carry a beautiful wedding bouquet, husbands give their wives roses for an anniversary and young girls wear colorful corsages to the prom. Fresh flowers often play a large part in the special events in our lives. Preserving fresh flowers is a relatively simple art that has been practiced since early colonial days. Save fresh flowers by using one of many techniques available and you'll enjoy their beauty and the fond memories they represent for years to come.

Air Drying

Step 1

Gather flowers into small bunches to avoid crushing and breaking them. Remove damaged or dead stems, leaves and buds.

Step 2

Bind the flowers together with string in a secure but gentle manner so you don't break the stems. Use scissors to cut string, leaving enough length to tie flowers upside down along the bottom bar of a coat hanger.

Step 3

Hang the coat hanger full of flowers in a dry, dark area of your home. Choose a space where flowers will hang freely, and don't let them touch a wall or one another. Allow two to three weeks for the flowers to completely dry.


Step 1

Allow fresh flowers to wilt slightly before pressing. Remove the dead leaves, stems and petals.

Step 2

Using scissors, cut corrugated cardboard into newspaper-size pieces. Place cut cardboard pieces on a dry, flat surface. Cover the cardboard with sheets of newspaper, layering them three sheets thick.

Step 3

Spread slightly wilted flowers over the newspaper sheets. Allow space between each flower--do not let them touch or overlap one another. Cover the flowers with three more sheets of newspaper and cover the newspaper with another piece of corrugated cardboard.

Step 4

Place long, flat board on top of the cardboard-covered flowers. Pile a row of bricks on top of the board, allowing enough weight to press the flowers flat. Check flowers in two to 4 weeks to see if they are dried out and flat.

Sand Drying

Step 1

Select a cardboard box that will hold the amount of flowers you wish to dry. Cut holes in the bottom and line it with several layers of newspaper.

Step 2

Sift sand to remove any dirt, grass or lumps. Line the bottom of the cardboard box with 1 to 2 inches of sand. Place the flowers face down in the sand. Cover the flowers with more sand and allow them to dry for seven to 10 days.

Step 3

Punch holes in the bottom of the cardboard box and let sand drain from the box. Gently lift and remove the flowers once the sand has completely drained.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not pull flowers from the sand; this may cause damage to the petals. Do not hang drying flowers in damp areas such as garages, basements or sheds.

Things You'll Need

  • String
  • Scissors
  • Coat hanger
  • Newspaper
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Long flat board
  • 10 bricks
  • Fine, salt-free sand
  • Sifter
  • Cardboard box


  • North Dakota State University: Methods of Preserving Flowers
  • Iowa State University: Preserving Fresh Flowers
  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Preserving Flowers for Year-Round Use
  • University of Maryland Cooperative Extension: Preserving Flowers and Leaves
Keywords: preserving fresh flowers, preserving flower methods, fresh flower preserving

About this Author

Amy Deemer has been writing since 1992. Her articles on family life and pets have appeared in the family section of "The Herald Standard" newspaper. Deemer has an Associate of Arts degree in liberal studies from Westmoreland Community college.