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Dried Flowers vs. Preserved Flowers: What’s the Difference?
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Dried Flowers vs. Preserved Flowers: What’s the Difference?

Dried Flowers vs. Preserved Flowers: What’s the Difference?

Both dried and preserved flowers bring lasting, sustainable beauty to a room. However, each method of preservation has a unique effect on the flowers. Learning what the difference is between dried flowers vs. preserved flowers will help you make an informed decision about the kinds of floral arrangements you use to adorn your space.

The Art of Drying Flowers

Drying flowers is a natural preservation process. It involves harvesting the flowers at the perfect time and then hanging them upside down on a hook in a dry, dark and well-ventilated space to air dry. Each type of flower has a different harvesting time. Picking the flower at the precise time helps the plant dry successfully. You can dry flowers naturally, dye and dry them to better preserve their color, or change the color completely with dye or spray paint.

Unfortunately, not all flowers dry well naturally. That’s where other preservative methods come in.

Preserving Flowers with Glycerin

A glycerin bath is one of the most common flower preservation methods today. In this process, the flowers absorb a special glycerin mixture through their stems. The glycerin replaces the moisture in the flower, effectively preserving it. However, glycerin turns the stems gray, so professionals add dye to the flowers to recreate their natural colors. The end result is a fresh, pliable appearance that mimics the look of fresh-cut flowers.

The glycerin treatment requires precise harvesting in order to succeed. Immature or overripe plants don’t absorb glycerin as well. Bright green shoots and other new growths will reject the glycerin entirely. When using this preservation method, pick your flowers midseason when they’re fully mature.

Two white and two red dried roses.

Preserving Flowers with Silica Gel or Silica Sand

Silica sand and silica gel offer another flower preservation method. This practice involves covering the flowers with your silica substance and letting them set for a few days while the sand or gel absorbs the moisture from the plant. Silica gel is a more specialized substance, so it can dry flowers in 4 to 7 days. Meanwhile, silica sand can take anywhere from 7 to 14 days.

It’s important to remember that silica sand and silica gel dry out only the flower head rather than the entire plant. Silica sand and gel can also cause thinner, daintier blooms to shrivel. However, thicker flower heads such as peonies or roses work well with silica preservation methods.

Preserving Flowers Through Freeze-Drying

Another preservation method is freeze-drying. This method involves freezing the flowers at extreme temperatures before using a vacuum pump to slowly pull out all the moisture. Freeze-drying perfectly maintains the natural shape and color of the flowers. However, this is a more industrial and expensive method that requires a specialized freeze-drying machine, making it less accessible to many business-owners and hobbyists.

Purchase Beautiful, Lasting Flowers for Your Space

Now that you know the difference between dried flowers vs. preserved flowers, it’s important to note that all of these methods result in flowers that require a bit of care to maintain. No matter how you dry or preserve your flowers, you need to keep the end products away from humidity. Moisture can cause dried flowers to wilt. Additionally, glycerin-preserved flowers can bleed the glycerin and dye, damaging any nearby walls, doors, or fabrics.

A bundle of dried red roses.

With a little care and attention, though, you can make your dried or preserved flowers last a long time in your home. If you’re looking for the perfect products to help you step into the world of flower preservation, look no further than the dried flowers for sale online at Roxanne’s Dried Flowers. Browse naturally dried and glycerin-preserved flowers and arrangements to find the perfect gift or décor piece for your needs.

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