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How to Preserve Live Flowers

By Cleveland Van Cecil ; Updated September 21, 2017
Preserving flowers is both cheap and simple.

Keeping live flowers in the home is an old practice for decorating and bringing the outdoors in. You can preserve plants for home decoration so that they last longer. Flowers and plants for preservation can be collected throughout the year. Avoid collecting plants that are wet. Drying plants is the best way to preserve their colors and an essence of their natural scent. Dried flowers can be used in wreaths, vases or in arts and crafts.

Cut the flower stem at a 45-degree angle using a sharp knife and immediately remove any foliage, according to the Maryland Cooperative Extension. Splinter herbaceous stems that are 1/4 to 1 inch in diameter to aid in drying.

Collect fine white sand that you would find at a beach and save it for use in the cardboard box. Sand is available at most home improvement or landscaping stores.

Punch holes in the bottom of the cardboard box using a pair of scissors and cover the bottom with a thin layer of newspaper, according to West Virginia University. Make the holes large enough so that the stem of the flowers fits through.

Mix one part borax to one part sand and set aside.

Place the flowers face up into the box, pulling the stems through the holes, and cover the flowers with the borax and sand mixture. Cover the box with a lid to keep out light. Put the box in a cool, dry place, elevated off the ground with bricks to keep from crushing the stems, for seven to 10 days to allow for drying.

Punch a hole in the box and allow the sand to drain out. Do not pull out the flowers while sand is still in the box as it may destroy flower petals. Squeeze the petals to check for moisture. Drain the sand slowly from the box by tilting it over when the flowers feel dry. Push the stems up through the bottom of the box to remove the flowers without pulling on the petals.

Use the preserved flowers in decorations around the home.


Things You Will Need

  • Shoe box
  • Sand
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Borax
  • Bricks