Technically there is no best way to dry flowers and it all depends on personal preference. However, it is interesting to know that there is an abundance of options for you to choose from.
Air/Hang Drying: Pick flowers that are just beginning to open or not completely mature. This is because if they are already open there is a higher chance the petals will drop off during the drying process. Cut them on a dry weather day and maintain as much of the stem as possible. Bundle them together in bunches of no more than 7 and wrap them together with a rubber band. Hang or suspend them in mid-air from either a hook in the wall or a hanger in a dry and dark area. Air-dry them this way for about 2 weeks.
Silica Gel Drying: Cut the flowers in a dry condition and leave about an inch or two of stem length. Pour a layer of approximately one to two inches of silica gel into a shallow container/tray. Place the flower(s) over the layer of silica and then carefully cover them with another layer of gel. Now, tightly seal the container and leave it for about 4-5 days. Afterwards, pop open the container and take out the flowers and remove any remaining silica gel with a soft paintbrush.
Microwave Drying: Choose brightly coloured flowers that are not fully opened yet. Obtain a shallow container and line it with silica gel. Put the flowers on top and add some more gel and then place it in the microwave. Make sure to also include a separate small cup of water in the microwave as well. Insert a non-metallic microwave thermometer into the silica gel so that you can monitor the temperature when it is in the microwave. Activate the microwave at the highest setting and watch it until the thermometer reads about 170 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point shut it off and let it cool down before opening the door. After removing the flowers spray them with some non-aromatic hair spray to maintain their dryness.
Food Dehydrator Drying: Select flowers that have already reached their maximum bloom since the petals will be fully opened which will aid in quicker drying. Trim off the leaves and cut the stem to the shortest length possible. Position the flowers in single layers, evenly spaced apart, on the dehydrator trays which will insure proper and even drying. Leave them overnight and set it on the lowest setting. If you have the time, try to rotate the trays every few hours. They should be done the next day.
Cat Litter Drying: Gather your favourite flowers and lay them on a table. Get a shallow pan and spread about an inch or two of clay-based cat litter into it. Avoid brands that will cause clumping and especially avoid litter that is composed of crystals. Take your flowers and lay them over the litter making sure not to overlap any of them. Sprinkle a second fine layer of litter over the top of the flowers until it is about an inch in thickness. Take the pan and place it in a cool and dry area and leave it for about 48 hours. Try to check every 12 hours to review the drying process. Depending on the type and amount of flowers it may take anywhere from a few days or even up to a week.
The more conventional ways on how to dry flowers may be quite well known but other more creative ways of drying flowers allow you to dry different types of flowers at different stages of growth. The best way to dry flowers depends on the flowers you start off with and the end results that you want.
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