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How to Dry Flowers at Home

By Ann Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

The common methods used for drying flowers at home include pressing, air drying and using desiccants. Flowers with thick fleshy stems are difficult to press, and if you don’t want the flowers to be flat, don’t use the pressing method. With air drying, you can leave a longer flower stem attached to the blossom, whereas, you remove all but 1 to 2 inches of the stem when drying with desiccants. With all methods, cut the flowers when they are in their prime or slightly immature.

Pressing

Lay a piece of corrugated cardboard on a flat surface, then place a blotter pad or paper towel on the cardboard.

Unfold a newspaper sheet and arrange the flowers (without overlapping) on one side of the newspaper. Refold the newspaper and set it on the blotter pad.

Lay a second blotter pad or paper towel atop the folded piece of newspaper (with the flowers inside) and cover it with a second piece of corrugated cardboard.

Add more layers, if desired, repeating the previous steps.

Tie the bundle together, set it in a warm, dry, ventilated area and weight it down with books or other heavy objects. The drying process will take about two to four weeks.

Air Drying

Gather flowers into a bunch and tie the bottom of the stems with twine or a rubber band.

Hang the bound flowers upside down, in a warm, dry, well-ventilated location out of the direct sun.

Leave the flowers hanging until dry, approximately two to three weeks.

Desiccant

Pour several inches of desiccant material into a box and level. Desiccants might be a mixture of equal parts Borax and white cornmeal, or silica gel. If using silica gel, you will need a box with an airtight lid.

Arrange the flowers atop the desiccant in the box.

Cover the flowers with more desiccant, either by slowly sifting it onto the flowers or moving some from the box onto the plant. The flowers must be completely covered.

Set the box in a warm, dry location. If using silica gel, put a lid on the box. Leave the box uncovered if using the borax-and-cornmeal mixture. The drying process will take three to eight days with silica gel and two to three weeks with the borax-and-cornmeal mixture.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Folded sheets of newspaper (slightly smaller than the cardboard)
  • Blotter pads or paper towels
  • Twine
  • Rubber band
  • Desiccant material
  • Container
  • Lid for container

About the Author

 

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.