How to Dry Flowers: A Guide to Gorgeous Decor

You’ve probably seen them all over Instagram, Pinterest, and magazines — beautiful dried flower arrangements that are inarguably statement pieces for the home. Here at Floraly, we have a gorgeous range of dried flowers you can check out, too! 

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If you’ve ever been curious about how to dry flowers and are keen to try it out for yourself, we’re here to help!

There are five main methods to drying flowers that you can easily do at home, each of which removes the moisture slowly and evenly, while preserving the colour and condition of the flower: 

  1. Air drying
  2. Microwaving
  3. Silica Gel
  4. Baking
  5. Pressing

We’ll talk you through each flower drying method, so you can try them out yourself and experiment with this fun craft idea.

Method 1: Air drying

flowers hanging up to be air dried

This most basic and traditional way of drying flowers essentially involves binding a bunch of flowers together into a small bouquet and hanging them upside down to, you guessed it, dry! This method is perfect for making dried posies to use as centrepieces at your dinner table, decorative accents around the house, or sweet little gifts for friends and family.

Straightforward and fuss-free, you'll just need scissors, string or a rubber band, and a dark, dry place to hang them.

Firstly, pick out the flowers that you want to dry. Be sure to choose sturdy ones that will keep their petals, such as lavender, baby's breath and hydrangea. Use as many flowers as possible, because some might not dry as nicely as you’d like during the process.

Strip them cleanly by removing all leaves, and snip them to your desired length if needed. It’s ideal to separate your flowers by type — bundle flowers from the same species together, and try not to go beyond five stems per bundle. 

Once that’s done, use a rubber band or twine to hold each bundle of flowers together firmly. Now they’re ready to be hung!

To preserve their colour as much as possible, choose a dry corner away from direct sunlight. You can always use hooks, twine, ribbon and more to hang each bundle from a horizontal pole or shelf, and space each bundle out evenly so they’re not too close to each other. 

It usually takes two to four weeks for the flowers to dry out completely using this method. 

Method 2: Microwaving

natural dried flower bunch

This is a much quicker and more efficient way of obtaining dried flowers than the slow-going air-drying process. It should only take you a day or two, and all you'll need are scissors, a microwave-safe container, a desiccant (silica gel), a cup of water and, of course, a microwave. 

This method is best suited for flower heads or smaller plants, so it’s ideal to snip as much of the stem off as possible. Be sure to remove any leaves from the stem, as well

Fill the container with a layer of moisture-absorbing silica gel, then place the flower heads within, spaced out evenly. Cover the flowers and fill up the rest of the container with silica, before placing it into the microwave. Place a cup of water in the microwave next to the container — this will help prevent the flowers from drying out too much too quickly. 

Once everything’s prepped and ready in the microwave, heat it in 30-second increments so you can continuously check on the condition of the flowers. Once they feel dry enough, remove the container from the microwave, but don’t remove the flowers just yet. Let them sit in the silica for another day before you remove them from the container and clean them.

And speaking of silica gel...

Method 3: Silica gel

dried flower bouquet with purple, yellow and natural tones

Similar to the microwave method but without any heating involved, this method involves letting your flowers sit submerged in silica gel for weeks in an airtight container, until all moisture is removed. This definitely isn’t the fastest flower drying method around, but it does preserve the colours of the flowers more effectively! So if you’re keen to retain as much of the flower’s original colour as possible, we'd highly recommend this method. 

The best part about this method is that it requires just two things — silica gel and a container! Plus, if you’re looking to dry flowers from a huge bouquet, this method allows you to dry out large quantities all in one go, as long as you can find a container that’s large enough to fit them all.

It’s fuss-free and convenient — just let the flowers sit for a week or so before checking on their progress, and if the petals are sufficiently dry then they’re ready to be removed and cleaned.

Method 4: Baking

dried flowers for potpourri

In addition to baking all kinds of delicious pies, tarts, and dishes, you can also use your oven to easily dry flowers. It’s not the best method to use if you want to preserve the colours of your flowers, but it's perfect for making potpourri. 

As mentioned in all the other methods, strip the stems of any leaves. You may also wish to trim the stems off entirely and only use this method to dry the flower heads.

Prep an oven tray lined with baking paper or wax paper. Place your flowers on top, nicely spaced apart so they're not overlapping. Turn your oven onto its lowest heat setting — between 60 to 100 degrees Celsius. Then pop the flowers into the oven for about two hours. Leave the door slightly ajar to let out any moisture and, much like when you bake cookies, be sure to let them cool off first before touching them.

Smaller flowers will take a shorter time to dry out than larger flowers, so be sure to remove any from the oven if they're in danger of becoming burnt.

Method 5: Pressing

flowers being pressed and dried with a book

This is a method your mum or grandmother may have told you about. Pressing flowers with heavy objects helps to squeeze the moisture out of them, leaving them flat and ideal for use in craft and stationery projects. Flat flowers such as daisies, pansies, and lavender sprigs are best suited for this method. 

If you have a thick, heavy book at home, line the pages with non-stick paper and place your flowers in between them. Alternatively, sandwich the flowers between two pieces of parchment or wax paper on a flat surface and place a heavy, flat object or book on top of them. Make sure you leave them in a dry location and check on them after a week to replace the paper used with new sheets. Be gentle while handling them as they will be in a delicate state. Repeat the process until the flowers are completely dried. This can take a few weeks, so it’s only recommended if you have time to spare. 

 dried flowers in a frame

Now that you know how to dry flowers yourself, you can get started on trying out these methods for yourself. Be sure to check out our handy guides on how to care for dried flowers, so you can make them last as long as possible, and ways to decorate your home with dried flowers. You'll be able to use your freshly dried blooms for all kinds of creative projects, from card-making and jewellery-making to gifting and home decorating.

Drying flowers not for you? You could always buy beautiful dried flowers from us, instead!

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