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How to Use Glycerine to Preserve Flowers & Foliage

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How to Use Glycerine to Preserve Flowers & Foliage

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Overview

Drying flowers is an excellent way to preserve them forever. Glycerin is a colorless, odorless liquid that is a by-product of soap making. It dries your flowers and leaves them supple by absorbing the natural moisture in the flower and replacing it with the glycerin. Using glycerin to dry the flowers will change the color of the flower. When glycerin is left out on an open counter, it will absorb moisture from the air so always store it in an airtight container.

Step 1

Mix 1 part glycerine and 2 parts water. Place the mixture in a 1-quart pot and heat it on medium temperature until just before it boils. There will be bubbles on the bottom of the pot. Pour the liquid into a container that will not tip over. It should be wider than it is tall.

Step 2

Trim the flower stem to the desired length and remove all of the withered stems or any loose or drooping petals.

Step 3

Press the flowers into the glycerin mixture with the stems sticking up. The mixture should be a few inches above the flower heads. If the mixture level gets too low, add enough water to bring the level back up. You will not need to add more glycerin or reheat the mixture. Move the container to a place that is out of the way.

Step 4

Check the flowers after 2 weeks. The leaves of the flowers will turn black or gold when the drying process is complete. It can take 2 to 6 weeks. Do not remove the flowers from the mixture until you are sure they have been preserved. The solution will be clear so you will be able to look at the flowers and see if they should be removed.

Step 5

Remove the flowers from the solution when the leaves have changed color. Set the flowers upright in a vase until completely dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Glycerine
  • Water

References

  • University of Kentucky: Preserving Flowers
  • Alabam Cooperative Extension: Drying Flowers
Keywords: preserving flowers, glycerin for flowers, drying flowers

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.

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