Dried Flowers and Preserved Flowers FAQ
1. Are dried flowers the same as preserved flowers?
No, although they may look similar there are differences in how dried and preserved flowers are produced and how long they last.
2. What are the differences between dried flowers and preserved flowers?
Fresh cut flowers are placed face down or hung upside down and left to dehydrate naturally. Once they are completely dehydrated, the flowers and leaves become brittle to touch. To help retain their natural shape dried flowers are then given a colouration and setting treatment.
After the fresh flowers are cut, they are then placed, stem first, into glycerine (trihydric alcohol) to undergo a rehydration process. Glycerine (also called glycerol or glycerin) is a colourless, odourless, viscous liquid that is sweet-tasting and non-toxic. The glycerine is absorbed by the flower, through the stem, until it substitutes the sap. When this process is complete the final product remains soft and almost exactly like they were in nature.
3. How long does it take to dry flowers?
It takes around two to three weeks to dry flowers naturally. This time can be even less if the weather is hot. Please note that you should not remove flowers from their drying positions until they are completely dry.
4. What are the best flowers 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, and yarrow.
5. Which flowers are the best to preserve?
Most flowers can be preserved; however, sturdier flowers do achieve better results. The best flowers to preserve include roses, gerberas, chrysanthemums, daisies, carnations, Peruvian lilies, billy buttons, and cymbidium orchids.
6. What is meant by the term “bleached flowers”?
Bleaching is a process that can only be done to a flower after it has been preserved or dried. After the flowers have been preserved or dried you can then choose to change their original colour through the process of bleaching. To change the colours of the flowers you need to bleach them to remove all the original pigment. Once the flower has been bleached subtle food dyes can be added to it to create different hues.
7. 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.
8. How long do preserved flowers last?
Preserved flowers can last for a year and, in some cases, up to 35 years if they are cared for correctly. The length of time that preserved flowers last for can depend greatly on the different methods used to display them.
9. What can dried flowers be used for?
Dried flowers can be used in any arrangement, from floral arch installations to bridal bouquets. They are also a fantastic option for weddings and special events where the weather and landscape conditions may not be favourable for fresh flowers.
10. What can preserved flowers be used for?
Because of their long shelf-life, preserved flowers are a popular option to create an everlasting memory out of a sentimental arrangement like a bridal bouquet.
11. How do you care for dried flowers and preserved flowers?
They both have similar care instructions that include the following:
- Do not water or spray perfume on flowers as this can cause damage.
- Display them indoors and away from direct sunlight.
- Keep them out of humid rooms and away from ventilation grilles.
- Avoid touching or fluffing them repeatedly as this may cause the flowers to break or shorten their shelf-life.
12. How do you clean dried flowers and preserved flowers?
There are a few options to choose from when it comes to cleaning:
- Spray compressed air (the kind sold to clean electronics) onto the 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 flowers with a feather duster. This method will work best on sturdier arrangements.
13. Do dried flowers and preserved flowers smell?
Dried flowers and preserved flowers should not smell. However, if the flowers haven’t been properly dried out or preserved, excess moister can form when the flowers are packaged which can cause a bad odour.
14. How do you give a scent back to your dried flowers?
Some might want to spray their dried flowers 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.
15. How do you give a scent back to your preserved flowers?
During the preservation process, the natural scent of the flower is taken away. No preserved flower will have the original scent that nature gave it. Most florists will add scents after the preservation process to give the flowers back their wonderful fragrance. You can also do this yourself by adding a few small drops of essential oils to the bottom of your preserved flowers.
16. Should I wear protective gear when handling dried flowers or preserved flowers?
If you do have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions, then you should wear gloves when handling dried, preserved or any flowers for that matter to be on the safe side.
For more information and resources about dried flowers and preserved flowers, read our other articles:
- What Are The Main Differences Between Dried & Preserved Flowers?
- A Guide to Dried Flowers – Six Things You Need to Know
- A Guide to Preserved Flowers – Six Things You Need to Know