Drying flowers by microwaving them, produces fresher looking flowers that hold their color well.
A microwave oven is one of the fastest ways to dry flowers. Flower drying and pressing flowers from your garden, allows you to continue to enjoy them, long after their beauty in the garden.
When drying flowers by microwaving, you should always cut the flowers you intend to dry, just as they begin to open. Older flowers do not make the best pressed flowers, because they will loose their petals as they dry. Choose (perfect) petaled flowers. Ones that have been chewed by bugs, or have imperfections will still have them after they are dried!
Note: It is important to know, when you preserve flowers, that petal colors darken as they dry. Very dark colored flowers may become almost black in color after drying.White flowers, tend to turn more of a cream/tan color, and do not stay pure white.
To dry your flowers in the microwave, you must first activate your silica gel.
If you haven't used your silica gel yet, you first have to prepare it by putting it in a microwave safe dish, and heating on high for several minutes.(This removes any moisture from the crystals, and activates it.)
You can purchase silica gel at any craft store.
1. Cut flowers (see above) they need to be short enough to fit inside the dish.
2. Place flowers in silica gel,standing them up, by placing the stems into the crystals. Gently pour more silica in and around flowers, covering them completely.
3. Do NOT cover the container. Microwave for 1-5 minutes ( small thin petaled flowers will take about 1 minute, larger, denser flowers will take about 3 minutes) You should experiment on each variety, to get the timing right.
4. Remove container from microwave, and leave as is for up to30 minutes, allowing enough time to cool.
5. Slowly pour out the Silica gel. Carefully brush crystals from the flowers with a small soft brush (paint brush works well)
Avoid touching the flower petals, oil from your hands could cause dark spots on the dried flowers.
Learn how to dry your flowers with Silica gel (without) the microwave.Desicant Drying with Silica Gel
Pressing flowers, is one of the oldest ways to preserve them.
Flat flowers are the best ones to press.(Ones with single petals), such as pansies and violets. You can use these pressed flowers for lots of craft projects.
The flowers should be freshly cut, and in prime condition.
Wilted flowers, are not suitable for pressing.
This method could take up to 2 weeks to dry.
We enjoy our flowers all season, but by preserving them, such as drying flowers by microwaving, or pressing them, we can continue to enjoy them, for much longer!