Preserving Flowers Essay

479 words - 2 pages

As evidenced by the discovery of preserved flowers in ancientEgyptian tombs, people have for centuries engaged in the art of preservingflowers. Today, a large variety of annuals, biennials and perennials aresuccessfully preserved. Because properly dried flowers can persist foryears after harvesting, they are often referred to as everlastings orimmortelles.To ascertain the optimum growing conditions and harvesting time fora particular species, one should not rely solely on books or articles.Experienced growers will frequently be the best sources of ...view middle of the document...

The simplest method is to tie a rubber band around abunch of flowers after their leaves have been removed, and to hang themupside down out of direct sunlight in a dry, well-ventilated attic, closetor garage. Ideally, the drying area should have a temperature between60 and 80 F and a humidity rate less than 60%. Another method isto place the flowers in a container and to cover them with clean, finesand, or a mixture of borax and cornmeal, or a nonchlorophyll kitty litter.These inexpensive substances provide the flowers with support, enablingthem to maintain their shape while they dry naturally.A more costly method is to use an airtight container and to coverthe flowers with silica gel, a desiccant, which not only provides supportto the flowers but also removes moisture from them. Overall, the morerapidly flowers dry, the less likely they are to become moldy and the morevivid their colors remain. The drying process can be further accelerated byplacing the container in a microwave oven or by applying heat. Depending onthe method chosen and the particular plant material being preserved, dryingtime may take between one and four weeks.The uses of preserved flowers are limited only by one'simagination. They are popular in floral arrangements, wreaths, bouquets,potpourri and corsages.

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