How to Use Glycerin to Preserve Plants


To preserve plants for year-round enjoyment, use glycerin to remove moisture and keep plants in their original shape. Glycerin prevents plants from wilting and dying, and allows you to display your greenery in your home without constantly worrying about watering or feeding. Although glycerin preserves the texture and shape of plants, it will cause them to change colors. Certain plants react better with glycerin than others, so you will need to experiment to determine if it is the right preservation method for you.

Step 1

Pick the plants you wish to preserve. Remove damaged leaves from the plant.

Step 2

Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle. Cut woody stems about an inch up the stem to split them. This helps condition the plant for the glycerin by allowing the plants to drink the solution.

Step 3

Soak the plants in warm water. Allow them to drink the water overnight.

Step 4

Prepare the glycerin solution. Mix one cup of glycerin with 2 cups of boiling water. Mix the ingredients until blended well. Pour 3 inches of the glycerin solution in a vase tall enough to hold the plants.

Step 5

Allow the solution to cool. Once it reaches room temperature, remove the plants and place them into the glycerin. Place the container in a cool, dark environment.

Step 6

Check on the plant daily. Once the brown glycerin solution reaches the top of the leaves the flowers are finished. You will notice that the leaves and veins change to a completely different color. The time it takes for the plants to preserve depends on the type of plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not allow the plants to soak too long in the solution or they will begin growing mold.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Warm water
  • 1-cup glycerin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Vase


  • Yahoo! Lifestyle: Better Homes and Gardens: Drying Flowers and Foliage
  • Home Training Tools: Preserving Autumn Leaves

Who Can Help

  • The Gardener: List of Flowers Suitable for Preserving with Glycerin
Keywords: preserve plants, glycerin solution, glycerine drying, dry plants

About this Author

Angie Marie is a Charleston, SC writer with five years experience. Marie is a recent college graduate from Marshall University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising, and worked as a reporter for The West Virginia Standard in 2007. She has considered cooking a passion that traces back to her early youth, and constantly tries new recipes.