When the carnations in your flowerbeds are at their peak of bloom and the thought of them perishing is too much to bear, preserve their beauty forever by drying them in silica gel. Silica gel is a granular material that will absorb the excess moisture from flower petals and preserve the beauty of the flowers. After you preserve your carnations, you can use them in dried arrangements or in floral swags and wreaths for beautiful home décor.
Use pruning shears to cut carnation blossoms from your carnation plants early in the day after the dew has evaporated from the petals. Choose carnation blossoms that are at their peak of bloom with no obvious imperfections or malformations. Cut the blossoms from the plants with approximately 1 inch of stem beneath each blossom.
Place the blossoms carefully in the basket to hold them while you collect all of the carnation blooms that you will preserve.
Pour approximately 1 inch of silica gel into the bottom of the plastic container. Place the carnation blossoms onto the silica gel, arranging the blossoms so they do not touch each other or the sides of the container. Situate the carnation blossoms so the tops of the blossoms are facing up in the container.
Sprinkle additional silica gel over the carnation blossoms, adding the silica gel slowly and carefully so you do not change the shape of the blossoms as the silica gel covers the blossoms. Continue adding silica gel to the container until the carnation blossoms are completely under silica gel in the container.
Cover the plastic container tightly and place the container in a warm and dry location out of direct sunlight.
Check the carnation flowers after 48 hours. If the petals of the carnation blossoms feel dry and papery to your touch they are sufficiently dry. If the petals still have moisture in them, dry them for an additional 24 hours and check again. Keep the carnation flowers in the silica gel until they are dry and papery.
Remove the carnation blossoms from the silica gel carefully by pulling them up out of the container. Use a dry paintbrush that is 1 inch wide to brush away the silica gel granules from the nooks and crannies of the carnation petals.