How to Dry Flowers in Silica Gel

Overview

Little packets of silica gel are inserted in electronic packaging to absorb the moisture. Silica gel can also be used in drying flowers. Silica gel resembles tiny beads of dull glass in appearance and is made by adding acid to sodium silicate. The small particles have numerous small pores that absorb moisture. Using silica gel is one method to dry flowers without pressing.

Step 1

Purchase silica gel packaged for drying flowers. This is typically available at craft stores, in the craft section of the variety store or online.

Step 2

Collect flowers during their prime, gathering more than your estimated need.

Step 3

Spread a one- to two-inch layer of silica gel on the bottom of the container.

Step 4

Arrange the cut flowers on the bed of silica gel. Some flowers do better face down, while others should be face up. Experiment with the arrangement to determine the best for your selection of flowers. In some instances the stem is inserted first, with silica gel added to cover the flower head.

Step 5

Cover the flowers with the silica gel, adding slowly so that it gently coats the entire flower. Do not quickly dump a large amount of silica gel into the container. Completely bury the flowers in silica gel.

Step 6

Place an airtight lid on the container. When drying flowers in silica gel, the container must be airtight.

Step 7

Leave the flowers set for three to eight days, depending on the flower type. Petals will droop if removed too soon, and they will become brittle if left too long in the silica gel. Refer to the link in References for a chart of recommending drying time for each flower type.

Step 8

Remove the lid and gently pour some of the silica gel from the container to expose the flower. Gently remove the flower from the silica gel by supporting the flower with careful handling.

Things You'll Need

  • Silica gel
  • Cut flowers
  • Airtight container with lid

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Drying Flowers and Foliage for Arrangements
  • Agri-Life: Drying Flowers
Keywords: silica gel, drying flowers in silica gel, drying flowers

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.