Oriental lily flowers are a good candidate for drying as they do not last long after being cut for fresh flower arrangements. The microwave drying technique works well for this flower type as it is a fast process that uses silica gel to hold the long petals in place and pull moisture out of the flower. Choose flowers that are brightly colored and at their peak of opening for best results.
Collect lily blossoms once the morning dew had dried from the plant. Choose flowers that are at their peak opening and bright in color. Cut the blooms 1 inch below the base of the flower and carefully transport them to the drying location.
Fill the bottom of a microwave safe container with 1 inch of silica gel. Add a thicker layer if the blossom is large. The silica gel on the bottom will form and hold the shape of the blossom and also pull moisture from the flower.
Place the lily flower into the container with the blossom facing up. Gently form the gel under the blossom to prevent it from flattening during the drying process.
Lightly spoon silica gel over the top of the blossom, making sure the petals do not bend or flatten.
Fill a glass measuring cup with water and place in the back corner of the microwave. This will prevent over-drying of the flower.
Place the container uncovered in a microwave. Set the temperature at 30 to 50 percent heat and microwave for two minutes. Watch the flower closely as the temperature level and time varies for each variety and size. Increase the heat if the flower does not appear to be drying. Continue to microwave at short intervals until the flower is dry.
Cover the container immediately once the flower is dried and while it is still in the microwave. Remove the container from the microwave and let it rest for 24 hours.
Remove the flower from the container and gently remove remaining silica gel. Spray flowers with acrylic spray for preservation if desired.
Things You Will Need
- Lily blossoms
- Hand pruner
- Microwave safe container with cover
- Silica gel
- Glass measuring cup
- Microwave oven
- Acrylic spray
- Choose a drying container that will not be used for food preparation after drying flowers.
- Silica gel is available at craft and floral stores. Generously use the gel for drying as it can be reused.