How to Preserve Flowers in Silica


Preserving flowers in silica is a simple way to keep the beauty of fresh flowers all year round. Silica is a granular substance capable of absorbing moisture from anything susceptible to humidity. There are many preserving and drying methods available, but using silica helps to maintain a flower's original vibrant color and natural shape. As the silica removes moisture it changes color, letting you know it is working. Buy silica, or silica gel as it is also known, in nurseries, flower and craft stores.

Step 1

Select the freshest flowers for the best results. Some flowers are more appropriate for preserving than others. Flowers that do well with silica include daisies, lavender, marigolds, roses and zinnias.

Step 2

Choose a plastic or glass container that has an airtight lid. Make certain it is large enough to place the entire flower(s) inside without bending or squashing the petals and stems.

Step 3

Pour a 1- to 2-inch, even layer of the silica into the bottom of the container. Carefully place the flowers on top of the layer. Gently sprinkle more silica over the flowers making sure all surfaces of the petals and stems are completely covered.

Step 4

Put the lid on the container and close tightly. It may take 36 to 48 hours for the flowers to dry completely. Remove the flowers from the container and use a small, soft-bristled paintbrush to remove any remaining silica from the petals. Spray with a sealer to protect from moisture. When the sealer is dry, arrange the flowers to your liking.

Tips and Warnings

  • When using the spray sealant on the finished flowers, do so in a well-ventilated area or outside. Silica-preserved flowers will reabsorb moisture if placed in an area with exposure to high humidity, such as a bathroom. When displaying flowers in these areas, place in a closed glass container for protection.

Things You'll Need

  • Airtight container
  • Soft-bristled paintbrush
  • Spray sealer


  • North Dakota State University Extension: Methods of Preserving Flowers, Ronald C. Smith, 1992
  • The Registrars Committee of the American Associations of Museums: Education Glossary
  • "Preserving Flowers: Dried & Pressed Floral Designs for Every Season"; Diane Flowers; 2008

Who Can Help

  • Pressed Flowers by Preserved Gardens
Keywords: preserving fresh flowers, dried flower instructions, silica dried flowers

About this Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of "Pickin' Cotton Sure Is Hard Work" in the book "Golden Short Stories Volume 1" for the Dahlonega Book Festival. She has since written a true crime book published in 2010, with contracts for two more. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.