Flowers often do not last as long as we would like for them to, especially cut flowers. If you have a special occasion and would like to keep your flowers fresh, you can preserve their beauty by freezing them. You cannot freeze them by placing them in a regular freezer, as this will cause them to wilt. Instead they need to be freeze dried.
Determine how you want your flowers to look after you have preserved them. If you want to preserve rose buds, pick them off the rose bushes or purchase fresh buds and preserve them at that stage. If you want a full bloom, wait until the flower matures to begin the process.
Put the flowers in a vase of water for at least 12 hours. This will plump up the flowers so that they will be fuller when frozen. Truly freeze-dried flowers will be slightly wrinkled and hard. You will not be able to move the flower petals around once they have dried, so arrange the look you want before you place the flowers in a freeze-drying chamber.
Cut the stems to the desired length and remove all of the greenery. The shorter the stem, the faster the flower will dry because the stem and green leaves take longer to dry than the flower itself.
Set the temperature of the freeze-drying chamber to -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Seal the door by turning the vacuum on the freeze-dryer for approximately 10 seconds.
Place the flowers on the rack to go into the chamber. Lay the flowers with the blooms facing up. Lock the chamber and shut the blackout door. The flowers are ready to begin freeze drying.
Turn on the vacuum pump in the freeze dryer and leave the chamber on for 24 hours. Maintain a temperature of -5 degrees Fahrenheit It will take between 10 and 15 days to completely freeze dry your flowers and have them ready for display.
After 10 days, open the chamber and check on your flowers. If they feel cold to the touch, turn the chamber back on and allow them to dry for another two days. A fully dry flower does not contain any water and so cannot feel cold; it feels room temperature. If your flowers do not feel cold, the process is complete and they are ready for whichever decorative purpose you choose.