By Blair Thomas
A vase of cut flowers may be beautiful, but they will only last a few days. To enjoy those summer flowers through the winter months, try some of these preservation techniques:
- Choose a flower that lends itself well to drying: Baby’s breath, celosia, yarrow, statice, strawflower and artemesia are good for this.
- Pick the best-quality blooms: Fresh, unwilted flowers from your garden, florist or local farmers’ market that haven’t started to age or decline are best.
- Make sure it’s the best time of day: Collect the plant on a warm, sunny day after the dew has dried to avoid mold.
- Choose the right method: Air drying is the easiest and most popular. Strip the foliage from the stem, tie the flowers into small bundles, and hang them upside down in a warm, dry, dimly lit area with good air circulation.
- If you need extra help: For flowers with large, full heads such as roses, it’s best to use a drying agent such as borax, white cornmeal, very fine sand, or silica gel. A microwave or warm oven can also be helpful in speeding up the drying process.