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A Guide to Dried Flowers – Six Things You Need to Know

Dried flowers are very popular in the floristry and interior design industries. However, dried flowers do require different methods of handling and care to ensure they last. Here are six things you need to know about these delicate blooms.

1. Which flowers are the best to dry?

Any flower can be dried, however, flowers that have a small sepal (also called “calyx” and located at the base of the bud under the petals) and hold their petals tightly tend to have better results. Some of the best flowers to dry include:

  • Ageratum
  • Amaranth
  • Astilbe
  • Baby’s breath
  • Thistle
  • Celosia (woolflower)
  • Coneflower
  • Delphinium
  • Gomphrena
  • Honesty
  • Hydrangea
  • Lavender
  • Pansies
  • Roses
  • Salvia
  • Sea holly
  • Statice
  • Strawflower
  • Yarrow

2. How long do dried flowers last? 

If cared for correctly, dried flowers can last an average of one year. However, if the flowers are bleached and dyed, they may last a little longer.

3. How do you take care of dried flowers?

Although they last longer than fresh flowers, dried flowers are much more delicate and can become brittle.

To ensure they have a longer lifespan, you should:

  • Place them upright in a vase with NO water.
  • Display them indoors and away from direct sunlight.
  • Refrain from getting them wet with water or spray perfume.
  • Try not to display them in rooms with high levels of humidity, as this can cause them to weep and turn brown.
  • Avoid fluffing them repeatedly as this may cause the flowers to break.
  • Replace your dried flowers after a year or when they start to look shabby.

4. How do you clean dried flowers?

However much we try, dried flowers will eventually become a little dusty. There are a few options to choose from when it comes to cleaning them:

  • Spray compressed air (the kind sold to clean electronics) onto dried flowers to eliminate dust. The spray comes out fast, so make sure the can is not too close to the flowers.
  • Use a hairdryer. When using it set it on the lowest speed and “no heat” to avoid damage to the flowers.
  • Dust your dried flowers with a feather duster. This method will work best on sturdier arrangements.

5. How do you correctly store dried flowers?

If not stored correctly dried flowers can deteriorate quickly. Here are some tips to help avoid this:

  • Do not store dried flowers in plastic containers or plastic bags.
  • Choose a container that will allow for the flowers to be placed horizontally without the ends being crushed or overflowing on the edges. Minimal force should be required to close the container and the container should be airtight to protect the flowers from the elements.
  • Layer your flowers carefully, face down and horizontally, inside the container. Do not store your flowers unless they have been completely dried out and have been taken through their chemical processes.
  • To store multiple dried flowers in the same container, place white tissue paper or parchment paper in between each layer.
  • If you are storing different types of flowers in containers that are not transparent or do not have windows, then divide the flowers into separate containers and label them accordingly. This will make it easier for you to find them later and will leave other stored flowers undisturbed.  
  • When storing dried flowers, use cedar chips or a specially prepared nontoxic repellent formula to prevent moths or other insects from damaging them.
  • Seal your dried flower storage boxes well.
  • Store them in rooms other than the basement or attic, the best option is a temperature-controlled room. Long-term exposure to heat and humidity will cause dried flowers to deteriorate faster.

6. Do dried flowers smell?

Dried flowers should not smell. However, if the flowers haven’t been properly dried out, excess moister can form when the flowers are packaged which can cause a bad odour.

A few simple ways to diminish small odour is to display your arrangement in a well-ventilated area of your home or event. Some might want to spray their arrangements with perfume to mask the smell, but this can damage the delicate flowers. Instead, you can place a few small drops of essential oils onto the bottom of the flower’s stems, this will be absorbed by the flower and help reduce any unwanted odours.

For more information on dried flowers browse our other Koch Blog articles What Are The Main Differences Between Dried & Preserved Flowers? and for more information on preserved flowers browse A Guide to Preserved Flowers.

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