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How to Preserve Fruit for Flower Arrangements

Fruit is sometimes used in flower arrangements and also used to make wreaths. In order to use fruit for these purposes, it must be preserved. Fruit is preserved by drying individual slices, like you would to make dried fruit for consumption. Be sure to select fruit that is ripe (but not too ripe) and is free of bruises and other blemishes. Always wash the fruit in cold water first.

Pit and slice the fruit the way you want it to look in the flower arrangement. Wedges and disks are common choices. How thick is up to you, although consider that the thinner the pieces, the more quickly they will dry. However, too thin may cause holes to form in the drying process. About ¼ inch is common for floral arrangements. Regardless, pieces cut to the same thickness will be easier to dry since they will be ready to dry at the same time.

Preserve the color of the fruits. There are many techniques to do this depending on the fruits. Fortunately, for all fruits you can dip them in a mixture of the following: 1 qt. of water, 2 tbsp. of ascorbic acid and 5 g of crushed vitamin C tablets.

Dry the fruits. There are many ways to do this. If you don’t have a dehydrator, another way is to lay a piece of 100 percent cotton sheet or cheese cloth on the middle oven shelf. Preheat the oven to 145 degrees F. Then, lay the fruit on the cloth and keep the oven door propped open (such as with a wooden spoon) to let the steam out.

Check on the fruit after 4 hours. It could take 12 hours to dry them properly. Test a piece by allowing it to cool. No matter how it’s dried, the fruit should be dry, but still flexible enough to use in flower arrangements.

After arranging the fruit in the floral arrangement, spray or paint the fruit with acrylic paint to preserve them for long term use.

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