How To Dry Herbs and Flowers

How To Dry Herbs and Flowers

How To Dry Herbs and Flowers

Step by step guide of the 5 methods of how to dry herbs and flowers. I have preserved flowers and herbs for many different projects over the years. There are several different ways to accomplish preserving flowers and herbs, but what it really boils down to is what kind of project you will do with the end dried herb or flower that matters.

5 Methods For How To Dry Herbs and Flowers

Each technique for how to dry herbs and flowers is a little different. The details below will give you an idea of which method you may want to use to preserve your own herbs and flowers.

1.) Air Drying:

Hang lavender upside down by rubber band to air dry

Air drying is the simplest of the methods and of course, the oldest way to dry your plantings.

The only con to using this method is the fact that your colors fade or turn much darker than your original specimen. 

If you want true colors, this method may not be the best. Try using silica crystals.

Method For How To Air Dry

  • Gather up and bunch with a rubber band, hang them in a dry and warm place.
  • Most of my items take several weeks to completely dry out.
  • After they are completely dry, wrap them in tissue paper and store them in a box to take out as needed for projects.

2.) Use Silica Gel Crystals

You can dry flower heads for potpourri or to use in flower arrangements.

Silica gel crystals works by removing the moisture out of flowers in days, or use the microwave method to speed up the process. in silica gel crystals.

  • Silica gel crystals can be purchased in floral shops and garden centers.
  • They are a little more expensive but can be used over and over again.
  • They remove moisture from the plant while keeping the color and structure.
  • Most flowers dry in 2-5 days.
  • Do not leave in silica longer than directed the flowers will get dry and crumble.
  • Useable. Can be recharged again and again.

Method For Using Gel Crystals

  • Pour half of them into a plastic container.
  • Bury your plant into the sands, spooning the mixture all around the plant, until the plant is completely covered.
  • Place a lid on the container and leave sit a week to dry out.
  • Once your flowers are dry, spray them with some light polyurethane varnish to keep for years of enjoyment.

Drying Using The Microwave

If you have tiny flowers or a small herb batch to dry, the microwave works very well.

Keep in mind that the items do not hold their shape very well, so you might want to use it for just drying herbs for recipes or using flowers in potpourri.

Method For Drying Using The Microwave

  • Place an absorbent paper towel on top of a glass turntable inside of the microwave.
  • Place your herbs or flowers on the paper toweling and close the door.
  • You will need to experiment with times and temps. To start out try to set your microwave to a medium temp and set your time to 1 minute 30 seconds.
  • If the herbs are not dry, add an additional 30 seconds and check again.
  • Continue until completely dry. Store in a covered container.

Use A Wire Rack

To dry petals and small leaves this process extremely beneficial for making cards and sayings to frame.

You can spray the final project with a clear coat to keep the flowers from picking up moisture.

Method For Using A Wire Baking Rack

  • Place delicate flowers & leaves on a wire baking rack.
  • Allow to dry in a warm, dry place.
  • Once dry out you store them in an airtight container.

Using a Press

Purchase a flower press from any craft shop.

A press consists of two pieces of wood with 4 holes that are threaded with a bolt and wingnut in each corner.

The press comes with 20 blotting papers and two pieces of cardboard.

Presses are ideal for flowers, stems, flower leaves, and tree leaves.

Method For Using A Press

  • The best flower and leaves for pressing are flowers that are simple and not thick centered.
  • Flowers and leaves should be new, fresh and picked during the mid-morning on a dry day.
  • Throw out the cardboard inserts and replace them with the newspaper.
  • Open the press and place newspaper on the bottom, then a blotting sheet on top.
  • Place the flowers on the blotting paper leaving space between flowers.
  • Put another layer of blotting paper on top of the flowers and then more newspapers.
  • Continue to build up your layers in the same manner.
  • Screw down your press tightly and place it in a warm, dry place for 6 weeks.

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