Drying Flowers FAQ
DRYING FLOWERSNA....Thanks for your question. Oddly enough, I'd like to help you learn more about drying flowers. First, let me suggest you go to Archives and read the 5-part series on the subject. Then, I recommend you visit your local library's gardening and craft sections, and find one or two of probably dozens they have on the subject.....or, if you have money to throw around, your local book store should be able to locate just the right one for your purpose. Fred
10/2/00 Hi, I want to learn more about drying flowers. NA
DRYING CATTAILSMike.....Thanks for your question. Stand them upright (in a bucket of dry sand works for me) for a couple of weeks until they completely dry out -- it's important that all moisture be eliminated before spraying or dipping with polyurethane. The brand most readily available is "ZipGuard" (use the matte type) and is either an aerosol or liquid in a can. The spray is easiest. About 4 or 5 light coats with a day between each coat. When that's done, another couple days to completely dry (cure), and you can enjoy for decades! A caution: un-sprayed or un-dipped cattails will eventually "burst" into a cloud of very fine fluff - that can be explosive if exposed to flame or the fireplace.....so it's good you've decided to preserve them. Also, do your spraying out-of-doors...the stuff's rough on the lungs. Fred
10/5/00 I have been trying to find out ways to dry cattails to be used in arrangements. I don't seem to be having any luck in gaining information. do you have any ideas on how I can dry them. Any information would be helpful. Thank you, Mike M.
DRYING ROSE PETALSJune.....Thanks for your question.....Sure can. I presume you want them dried for use in something like a potpourri or "fragrance pillows" --- The trick is to allow them to air-dry very quickly so as to avoid losing any of the essential fragrance oils. You could use a home type dehydrator (normally used to dry fruits and veggies)...but they dry down very quickly - probably an hour or less...experiment. Probably the simplest way is to use some kind of a screen (for air circulation) elevated above the counter in a dry, airy place and just spread them out. (My Mom had a wooden frame with a single layer of cheesecloth tacked to it, and set it on four bricks at the corners to allow free air movement.) Attention is the thing. If you just toss the petals onto the drying rack and leave them there for days and days and days, you'll lose all the fragrance. So dedicate a day or two for the purpose and watch over them like an old mother hen. If, on the other hand, you're after lovely preserved flowers for dry arrangements or garnishes, look for "Drying Flowers" parts 1 thru 5 in Archives. Number 3 has instructions for using silica gel for drying and creating some of the most beautiful - and colorful - flowers at home. Fred
10-15-00 Can you please advise on how to dry rose petals? June.
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