How to Dry and Preserve Flowers

| Wendy Han

Capturing the enduring beauty of flowers through drying and preservation is an art that holds both aesthetic appeal and sentimental value. This practice has seen a surge in popularity as more people seek to retain the beauty of their favourite blooms for home decoration and keepsakes. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the art of flower preservation and share a variety of methods to keep these natural beauties as everlasting tokens. From pressing to the modern approach of freeze-drying, this guide is designed to show you how to preserve flowers forever and properly maintain them as dried blooms. 

Whether you’re aiming to save a special bouquet or to enhance your space with the elegant touch of dried flowers, you'll find all the necessary insights to start your flower preservation endeavour.

1. Selecting and Preparing Flowers for Drying

When you’re learning how to preserve flowers, you can ensure the quality of your dried blooms by properly selecting and preparing the flowers. As such, we recommend opting for flowers that are at their peak beauty, as this will ensure they retain their appearance well once dried. 

Also, before the drying process, it's essential to prepare your flowers properly. This preparation includes removing any unwanted leaves and trimming the stems to your desired length. If you're opting for air drying, grouping the stems together and securing them with twine or rubber bands can help maintain their form during the drying process. 

Additionally, the choice of environment for drying your flowers is crucial; a dry and well-ventilated space is ideal. Remember, moisture is detrimental when drying flowers, so selecting a location that minimises humidity will greatly enhance the preservation of your blooms.

2. Techniques for Preserving and Drying Flowers

There are various methods for learning how to dry flowers. Here are some ways you can cherish the beauty of your favourite blooms for years to come: 

  • Air Drying: One of the simplest and most traditional methods, this process involves hanging bouquets or individual flowers upside down in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. What’s more, this method is ideal for robust flowers like roses, lavender, and eucalyptus.
  • Pressing: Perfect for capturing the essence of more delicate flowers or leaves, pressing is a method that involves placing the flora between two absorbent pieces of paper and applying weight on top or using a specialised flower press. This technique is excellent for drying flowers for use in art projects or as keepsakes.
  • Microwave Drying: When time is of the essence, microwave drying with a desiccant like silica gel can expedite the drying process. This approach requires careful attention to avoid over-drying but can yield ready-to-display dried flowers in a fraction of the time.

If you like a bit of challenge and you’re prepared to gather the materials, consider the following techniques:

Glycerin Treatment: This method involves replacing the water in the plant with glycerin, resulting in a soft, pliable flower that retains its shape and colour. To do this, you’ll place the flowers in a mixture of glycerin and water, allowing the solution to be absorbed over several weeks.

  • Pros: The glycerin treatment keeps flowers looking fresh and maintains a natural appearance longer than traditional drying methods.
  • Cons: It can be more time-consuming and may not work as well with thicker, fleshier blooms like sunflowers.

Resin Encapsulation: Encapsulating flowers in resin is a popular method for preserving flowers in a clear, durable medium. You’ll place the flowers in a mould and cover them with liquid resin, which hardens to create a solid, transparent block.

  • Pros: Resin encapsulation beautifully showcases the flower from all angles and protects it from air, light, and moisture, effectively preserving it forever.
  • Cons: This method requires some practice to perfect, as air bubbles and resin discolouration can occur. It's also irreversible once the resin has set.

Silica Gel Drying: Silica gel, a desiccant, is used to remove moisture from flowers quickly, preserving their shape and colour effectively. You’ll bury the flowers in silica gel beads, which absorb moisture without damaging the petals.

  • Pros: Silica gel drying is faster than air drying and can preserve the vibrant colour and original shape of flowers more effectively.
  • Cons: The process requires careful handling to avoid breaking delicate flowers during removal from the gel, and the gel itself needs to be properly managed and reused.

3. Common Flower Preservation Issues and How to Address Them

While preserving flowers offers a way to capture their beauty indefinitely, the process can sometimes present challenges. Understanding these common problems and knowing how to address them can ensure a more successful preservation endeavour.

Colour Fading

A notable concern is the loss of vibrant hues in preserved blooms, which can diminish their visual appeal over time.

Solution: Protecting your preserved flowers from direct sunlight is crucial to prevent fading. For example, you can use UV protective sprays specifically designed for dried flowers. Another way to avoid colour fading is by opting for silica gel drying, a method praised for its ability to maintain vibrancy in flowers.

Mould Formation

Inadequate drying or exposure to moist conditions can lead to unsightly mould on your flowers.

Solution: If you want to learn how to preserve dried flowers successfully, you should choose a drying and storage area with airy conditions. Also, you can use silica gel to accelerate the drying process, significantly reducing the risk of mould development.


The delicate nature of dried flowers makes them susceptible to breakage.

Solution: Gentle handling coupled with the strategic use of hairspray or floral sealant can confer additional strength and flexibility. You can also prevent damage by packing flowers for transport with care, using tissue paper or cushioned boxes.

Shape Loss

Not all flowers maintain their form through the drying process, resulting in wilting or distortion.

Solution: Pre-emptive measures, such as inserting wires into stems to maintain structure or opting for silica gel for its shape-preserving qualities, are effective strategies when learning how to preserve flowers forever.

Dust Accumulation

Over time, dust can detract from the beauty of dried arrangements.

Solution: Regular dusting with a soft brush or the use of compressed air (applied cautiously) can keep your blooms looking fresh. This aspect of care for dried flowers is essential for their long-term display.

4. Advanced Flower Preservation Techniques

Beyond the initial drying, there are several advanced techniques to further preserve flowers, each offering a unique way to capture the beauty of blooms for an extended period. These methods, while more intricate, offer innovative solutions for how to preserve flowers forever, catering to enthusiasts eager to explore the full potential of floral preservation.


Freeze-drying stands out as a cutting-edge method, employing specialised equipment to remove moisture from flowers under low temperatures and vacuum conditions. This technique preserves the flowers' natural shape, colour, and texture to an exceptional degree, making it ideal for wedding bouquets or other significant floral arrangements.

  • Pros: Freeze-dried flowers can look almost as fresh as the day they were picked, lasting for years if kept properly.
  • Cons: The process requires professional equipment and expertise, making it a more expensive option compared to DIY methods.

Professional Preservation Services

Turning to professionals who specialise in flower preservation can ensure your blooms are preserved using the most effective techniques available. These services often offer a range of options, including freeze-drying, resin encapsulation, and glycerin treatment, tailored to the specific needs of each flower type.

  • Pros: Access to expert knowledge and advanced preservation techniques can result in beautifully preserved flowers with minimal effort on your part.
  • Cons: Depending on the service and technique used, this can be a costly investment.

5. How to Properly Care for Dried Flowers

Once you've mastered the art of drying and preserving flowers, ensuring their beauty endures requires thoughtful care and maintenance. Proper handling, display, and storage are crucial for keeping your dried flowers looking their best. 

Here are some essential tips on how to care for dried flowers:

  • Handling with Care: Dried flowers are inherently fragile, so always handle them gently. When moving or rearranging them, support the base of the flower or stem to prevent breakage.
  • Choosing the Right Display Spot: To maintain the vibrant colours and integrity of your dried flowers, avoid placing them in direct sunlight. UV rays can fade colours and make the petals more brittle. Instead, opt for a spot that benefits from indirect light.
  • Protecting from Moisture: Humidity is a significant threat to dried flowers, potentially causing them to wilt or develop mould. Keep them in a dry environment, and consider using a dehumidifier in particularly damp rooms.
  • Dust Management: Over time, dust can accumulate on dried flowers, dulling their appearance. Gently dust your arrangements with a soft brush or use a hairdryer on a cool, low setting to blow dust away without causing damage.
  • Proper Storage: If you need to store your dried flowers, place them in a cardboard box with tissue paper to cushion them. Store the box in a dry, cool place to prevent any deterioration, and avoid plastic bags, as these can trap moisture and lead to mould.
  • Avoiding Chemical Exposure: Keep dried flowers away from cleaning sprays or scented aerosols, as the chemicals can damage the petals or alter their colours.

6. Creative Uses for Dried Flowers

Dried flowers offer a versatile and enduring option for adding a touch of natural beauty to your home or celebrating special occasions. Their lasting charm and varied textures make them perfect for a wide range of creative projects. Here are some innovative and decorative ideas for using dried flowers to enhance your surroundings or commemorate meaningful moments:

  • Framed Arrangements: Create a stunning piece of wall art by arranging dried flowers in a shadow box or picture frame. This method not only showcases the beauty of each bloom but also protects them from dust and damage.
  • Homemade Wreaths: Craft your own wreath using dried flowers for a rustic or vintage touch to your home decor. Whether it's for a front door or a cosy living room, wreaths add a welcoming and personal element.
  • Decorative Vases: Fill clear glass vases with layers of dried flowers for an eye-catching display. Remember that the visual appeal of the lasting centrepiece you’ll create will depend on how well you mix different colours and textures.
  • Potpourri: Combine dried petals with essential oils and spices to make fragrant potpourri, perfect for uplifting spirits and improving mental health. This creative method not only recycles flowers that may have lost some of their visual appeal but also infuses your space with a pleasant aroma.
  • Personalised Gifts: Embed dried flowers in resin to create unique jewellery, bookmarks, or coasters. These bespoke items make thoughtful DIY dried flower gifts that capture the beauty of nature in a durable form.
  • Special Events: Use dried flowers for wedding decorations, from bridal bouquets and boutonnieres to table centrepieces. They offer a sustainable and elegant alternative to fresh flowers. Besides, your entourage can preserve them as a wedding keepsake.
  • Crafting and Scrapbooking: Incorporate dried flowers into your crafting projects, such as greeting cards, scrapbooks, or decorative candles. They add a delicate and natural element to handmade items.

Start Your DIY Preserved Flowers Project 

The art of drying and preserving flowers opens up a world of creativity and decoration, enabling you to hold onto special occasions and the natural allure of blooms indefinitely. Explore and experiment with the various techniques and care tips outlined in this guide to find the perfect way to cherish your floral treasures.

If you need inspiration for high-quality preserved flowers, check out our Everlast Series. You can use any dried flower arrangement from our collection as your DIY project guide, home decor, or gift for a loved one. Embrace the art of flower preservation and let these enduring creations add a touch of everlasting charm to your life.

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