Ideas for Saving Purple Stargazer Lilies
There are several methods of preserving purple stargazer lily flowers to save the blossoms for several months or years, depending on the use. Cut fresh blossoms with 4 to 8 inches of stem from the plant early in the day, making sure they are free from tears or insect damage. Preserve the blossoms immediately after cutting to prevent premature drying or damage.
Air-drying flowers is a traditional method of preservation. The method involves collecting flowers on 8- to 10-inch stems, bundling them together and hanging them upside down from a string. Collect stargazer lilies for drying just after the blossom opens and hang each stem individually to prevent the petals from smashing or bending. Choose a warm, dark area with low humidity to dry the flowers. Purple stargazer lily blossoms fade in color and become stiff after air-drying.
Silica Gel Method
Silica gel is a granular desiccant used to absorb moisture. You will find this product as little packets placed in foods and household products where moisture causes damage. Silica gel is an expensive choice for drying stargazer lily blossoms; however, it is a quick-drying method and reusable. Add a layer of silica gel to the bottom of a plastic container with a cover that seals. Form a mound of granules in the container and set the stargazer lily on top. Place the cover on the container and place it in a location where no one will touch it for one week. Jostling the container may damage the flower.
Preserving stargazer lilies with a glycerin-and-water solution is a method that keeps the leaves and blossoms flexible for up to two years. Glycerin is available for purchase in pharmacies as a laboratory grade, which is slightly less expensive than the technical grade. Place the glycerin-and-water solution in a flower vase, crush the bottoms of the purple stargazer lily stems and stick them into the solution. Crushing the stems increase the rate of glycerin flow into the stems. The lily preserving process is complete once the leaves turn a golden color, approximately two weeks. Use glycerin-preserved stargazer lilies in wreaths or dried arrangements.
Borax is a powdered cleaning agent that offers a low-cost method for preserving purple stargazer lilies. The benefits of using borax are that the flower has little shrinkage and holds its shape well; however, purple lilies may fade or discolor slightly. This method involves mixing equal portions of corn meal or sand into the borax and adding a layer to the bottom of a box. Mound the borax so you are able to lay the purple stargazer blossom face down into mixture. Sprinkle the mixture over the flower until it's fully covered and place it in a dry area for one to two weeks.