Fresh flowers only last a few days. Putting them in a vase with water means keeping them a little longer. Eventually, though, they wither and will have to be disposed of. But if you don’t want your bouquet to go to waste, there are preservation methods to potentially keeping them forever.
The air-drying method works well for studier flowers like roses, lavender, and baby’s breath but requires patience.
To preserve a whole bouquet, tie the stems with a rubber band and hang the bunch upside down. Do this in a dry and well-ventilated part of your home until the moisture has been completely drawn out and avoid hanging them in direct daylight to maintain the color. Although the process could take up to 2 to 3 weeks, they will still hold most of their shape while inverted, albeit brittle.
When they have dehydrated, use unscented hairspray to make them last even longer and display them in a vase or encased in glass.
The downside of following this preservation method is having to flatten out the flowers. Other than that, it takes minimal effort and is fool-proof.
Find the heaviest books you have at home and use them to press your flowers. Turn to about half of the pages on one of the books, then layer absorbent paper followed by parchment paper. Arrange the flowers however you like inside, ensuring they don’t overlap each other. Add another layer of absorbent and parchment paper before carefully closing the book. Place the other heavy book above to put more pressure on the flowers.
The finished product can be used as bookmarks or as decoration for frames and greeting cards, but they won’t be ready until a week or so.
Using a microwave speeds up the preservation process but can be tricky for beginners. The key ingredient to help the flowers hold their color and shape is silica gel.
In a microwave-safe container (preferrable a disposable one), fill in about an inch or two of silica gel. Position the stemless flowers upright, then pour in more gel without squishing the petals. Deposit the uncovered container in the microwave and run it at a low setting for about 2 to 5 minutes, increasing the time by increments if necessary. You’ll know it’s done when the flowers are dry.
Remove from the microwave and slightly cover it to allow the flowers to cool down for 24 hours. Clean off the excess gel and transfer them to a prettier pot.
No matter which method you choose to follow, you’ll end up with a memento worth cherishing.