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How to Dry Flowers from Your Garden

Updated on September 7, 2015

Proper Drying Results in Brilliant Colors

Drying flowers in the attic at King Estate Winery
Drying flowers in the attic at King Estate Winery | Source

Hand Pick Your Best, Most Colorful Flowers

Try to pick your flowers according to color and condition. It is best to have fewer perfect blooms than many with missing or split petals. Do not spend much time worrying about the leaves as the flowers are the absolute star of the show. Symmetry and color are the most important. Green floral tape will cover any problems with the stem and leaves can be added at any time if you prefer.

Pick the best of the bunch for your dried bouquet
Pick the best of the bunch for your dried bouquet | Source

Favorite Flower?

What is your favorite flower?

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Colors are Important

Pick the colors of flowers you save by the season. In the spring you will find the blues, yellows and whites are predominate. In the fall you will find the yellows, oranges and reds. Part of the fun is picking the hues that compliment each other and are pleasing to the eye. I love having several different displays that match each season of the year.

Source

There are Several Easy Ways to Dry Your Flowers

Drying flowers at home is easy and fun. The results are basically the same with each method. It is your choice and one is not really better than the other. I prefer hanging and letting my flowers dry but I also have the room to let them hang with no weather disturbing the end result. If you don't have the space, then using the microwave is a great option, it's easy with good results too. My least favorite is burying the flowers in commercial drying material but if you use this method the results are usually stunning. I will explain the three methods is a way that will only give you the easiest way to get you started in this wonderful hobby. Soon you will be giving these wonderful flowers as hostess gifts and special occasion gifts. Have fun and be creative.


Method #1 - Bury in Drying Material

  1. Purchase silica gel at your local garden center or flower shop and fill a small container. (about the size of a shoebox) or large enough for the flowers you choose.
  2. Remove the leaves and bury the flower in the silica gel until covered.
  3. Take the flowers gently out of the gel and shake to remove is from the flower.
  4. Hint: Dry the gel in a warm oven and it can be used many times.

Dried yarrow bundles ready to be used in wreaths and arrangements..
Dried yarrow bundles ready to be used in wreaths and arrangements.. | Source

Drying Flower with Silica Gel

Activa Silica Gel for Flower Drying

Method #2: Hang the Flowers to dry

Air drying is my favorite method.

  1. Pick the flowers after the morning dew has dried, usually in later afternoon.
  2. Tie the flowers in small bunches using string or cord.
  3. Find a dark dry area to hang the bunches for approximately three weeks. The stems will snap easily when they are completely dry.

Simply Hanging Plants Out to Dry

Using a Microwave to dry Your Flowers Takes Practice

Using a microwave can sometimes be trial and error but it does work.
Using a microwave can sometimes be trial and error but it does work. | Source

Method #3: Drying Flowers in Your Microwave.

You really can dry flowers your microwave although sometimes it comes down to trial and error.

  1. Lay the flowers in a microwave-safe dish and surround with silica gel. You need the gel to help the flowers keep their shape.
  2. Flowers that are larger will need about three minutes and smaller flowers only take around a minute on high. Keep checking the blooms for dryness.
  3. Let the flowers cool for overnight and remove from the silica gel shaking to remove the flakes.

Dried Flower Arranging

There are many ways to display your dried flowers but the most popular was is placing the flowers in a vase. You will need to wedge a piece of florist foam in the bottom of the vase and secure it with some hot glue. Place the tallest flowers in the center and work out to the smallest around the edge. Fill in the spaces with dried Baby's Breath or ferns. Flowers make a lovely centerpiece or entrance way decoration so have fun with them and be creative.

Arranging Your Dried Flowers

© 2014 MartieG aka 'survivoryea'

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    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Thanks for visiting and it is fun!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a great tutorial. Pinning for future use.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Thank you for visiting Jasdeep

    • Jasdeep-Singh profile image

      Laddi Singh 

      4 years ago from (Punjab) India

      Thanks for this very informative Hub and especially thanks for your real and expensive suggestion in how to dry flowers.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      AudreyHowitt, I mostly hang mine too but I have used the microwave and it is quick and fun too for some of the plant types. Thanks for stopping by.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan! The microwave method is easy and fun too!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Interesting hub and beautiful pictures!

      Some really interesting ways to dry flowers. The microwave method is worth trying.

      Thanks!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      4 years ago from California

      I did not know you could do this in a microwave--I still hang mine--beautiful hub and welcome to HP!

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I prefer other methods too but the microwave drying process does work. Thanks for visiting!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Nicely done.. I haven't tried the microwave but the others definitely work.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Hi Craftymarie! It's really easy and I think lavender would be a great choice, it smells so good!

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 

      4 years ago

      I am no good with fresh flowers or potted plants so dried ones would be ideal for me. It's not something I have ever tried but I like the idea and especially with something like lavender where you can enjoy the scent too. The microwave method is probably the one I'd opt for.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      That is a very good point concerning silica gel and pets-thanks for bringing that up! I have my flowers and my herbs drying now while hanging and they are doing quite well.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Your results are beautiful and your methods are well explained. We have some beautiful wildflowers here in Texas that would be nice to preserve. I was always concerned about having silica gel around due to the warnings on the packets and worried about accidental ingestion by my pets, so I'll be trying your natural method of drying flowers in my shed.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Hi there! I love drying my flowers (and herbs too)---it really is easy.Nice to see you!

    • profile image

      bossypants 

      4 years ago

      I didn't realize it could be so easy to dry flowers. Nor, did I realize I had the space to do it, until I read your article. What great instructions! Thank you!

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I love doing herbs too-have some hanging right now for the colder months-thanks for stopping by!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      4 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I think the most drying I've done is with herbs as they can be so expensive.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Love lavender for making drawer sachets- we dry other herbs too and are great to use for cooking in the winter.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We have done lavender but nothing else. Thank you for the tips...it's time for us to expand our efforts.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      It is nice to see the results--and it really is an easy project! : )

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 

      4 years ago from Kansas

      I've never even thought about it, but it might be worth a try.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Yes you're right Margaret, the color do mute a bit but, like you say they have a beauty and also the promise of spring/summer. Thanks for stopping by : )

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great article! I've used both silica gel and a microwave flower press to dry flowers. I wish I knew how to preserve the bright colors of the petals, but the soft, faded colors have a beauty all their own.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Thank you Sandy-good to see you!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Nice advice on how to dry flowers.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      So glad! I love the fact that the beauty lasts....have fun .

    • Ilonagarden profile image

      Ilona E 

      4 years ago from Ohio

      I used to dry flowers and make arrangements and wreaths with them. Your hub is inspirational - it makes me want to return to some of the crafting of dry flowers!

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Silica gel is my favorite too-glad to help!......What a great idea to enjoy the drying flowers too, they are beautiful and I might try that too!

    • GypsyOwl profile image

      Deb Bryan 

      4 years ago from Chico California

      Beautiful! I love to dry flowers. I love how they look when they are hanging up to dry. I've made the drying ropes look like window valances (while drying) since I enjoy them so much. The fun really starts when they are ready to make wreaths and bouquets. I love your informational and beautiful page.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      I'm so glad I saw this. I've been looking for silica gel. Booking this page. Thanks.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      It is a rewarding project--especially when the snow is blowing and you see these lovely colors saved from the warmer days -- thanks for visiting.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I knew about the silica gel method, but have never tried it. I have a big bouquet of dried roses in my bathroom, and they've stayed beautiful for years. I used your hang dry method for them, and have added a few here and there through the years. Now we no longer have roses, because I am no longer able to garden. But I still enjoy those I've dried. Excellent, useful information on drying flowers.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for all the information I certainly will be trying some of these methods later in the summer (NZ seasons) as I love having dry flowers in my vases during the winter.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      4 years ago from USA

      I never even thought about doing this. Thanks for sharing.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      It's fun! Thanks for stopping by!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Oh, my! Wonderful advice. Thanks for sharing!! ;-)

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      It really is a neat project-I was surprised how well they came out on my first try--thanks for stopping by!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This is quite something. I'm not sure I could do it very well though; they're absolutely gorgeous dried like this.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      And the leaves on my flowers do not seem to dry well so I use purchased dried Eucalyptus or natural wheat.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 

      4 years ago

      Interesting. I haven't got enough flowers in my garden to dry. Somehow I am more successful with leafy plants rather than flower planting.

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