My mum recently received some very beautiful rainbow coloured roses for her birthday. This inspired me to dry the petals so that they could be kept for longer.
The time given below is for preparation, the actual drying process can vary from a few days to a few weeks. A variety of flowers can be used, some flowers have smaller petals so it may take more time.
Time: 20 minutes
Cut off the stem so you are left with just the top of the flower.
Be careful of the thorns when cutting off the stem.
If you have roses the petals can be pulled off quite easily. With some flowers, such as carnations, you might need to cut the petals off. This way they will have a neater shape.
The white parts of red carnation petals can be cut off
Place some paper towels on a large tray. Spread the petals out on the paper, the more room you have the better they will dry.
Petals from the rainbow roses
Petals from red and white carnations
Using this method the flowers can be left in a room to dry naturally. Dry them in a room that isn’t moist and keep away from direct sunlight, as this may cause the petals to go brown. If you have a food protecting net this can be used to protect the flowers from blowing away, sometimes the door opening can cause sudden breezes. This process will take at least a few days depending on how dry the petals are to begin with.
Another method of drying petals is flower pressing. This is done by putting the petals in between two sheets of paper then placing the paper in between two heavy books. The advantage of drying them this way is that they dry flat. It usually takes at least 2 weeks with this process.
When the petals are completely dry they can be stored in an airtight container.
So once you have dried your flowers what to do with them? Here are some suggestions:
Make some potpourri
Fill confetti cones with them
Drying flower petals is also a great way to hold on to Valentine’s Day flowers. Using clear sellotape they can be stuck into diaries. A great idea for the sentimental people amongst us (myself included).