Are You Looking for Ways to Preserve Your Valentines Flowers or Wedding Bouquet?
A flower is not just simply a flower. It has the memories of our loved ones or represents unforgettable events in our lives. Just like photographs, we want to treasure these flowers as a token of remembrance of the special moments we had. Think of it as a means of stopping time, in that we are able to keep a piece of that day with us forever.
After all, there are things that we cannot bring back and it’s only human nature to want to make something really last. Luckily, flowers are a great medium for this. They can be preserved easily and through various means. The best bit is that you do not need to be a scientist in order to achieve this—there are many simple methods that you can do in order to extend the “life” of your blooms.
Preserving Flowers: What Ancient Men Did
Throughout history, mankind has developed different ways of preserving flowers. The earliest methods of preserving these are by air drying, use of glycerin, and by pressing. Air-drying is common and easy as most flowers keep their color and shape to a degree, although not as good as the original when dried naturally. And pressing, the easiest way of preserving flowers, flattens and dries the flowers by placing them between sheets of paper under a heavy object. But unlike the first two methods, the direct application of glycerin mixed in water on flowers is the method that can give these blooms that long-lasting fresh appearance.
Nowadays, we have developed better ways of preserving flowers. The methods we have today evolved from the basic principles of our early ways of preserving these. And through years of experience, we have found the ways that best fit for preserving each kind of flower.
Improving Early Methods
Commonly found in separate packets in the form of beads inside a variety of goods, the use of silica gel keeps these products dry to avoid spoilage or degradation. For this same reason, using silica gel for preserving flowers, by applying it directly, is a good method as it helps the flowers dry quickly.
The flowers must be kept in an airtight container, over which you must carefully pour and cover it with silica gel—this is meant to absorb all the moisture from it. This can take a few days to a week, depending on the amount of moisture in the flowers. The flowers also need regular checking during the process as they can become too dry and brittle.
The Silica gel available in the market usually has blue crystals that act as an indicator of its moisture absorption. Note that if it’s still blue then that means its dry. It will gradually turn pink as it absorbs moisture. Silica gel, however, is quite costly but reusable as it only needs re-heating of the gel to remove all the moisture absorbed in it. Flowers that dry best in silica gel are Roses, Alliums, Zinnias, Tulips, Anemones, and Cornflowers.
A molecular sieve is a tiny filter containing uniformly sized microscopic holes that act as a sponge. It is commonly used in the petroleum industry for absorbing unwanted vapors and gases in the pipelines. It is traditionally made of a crystalline structure of aluminum silicates which has tiny pores enough to absorb molecules of water.
For preserving flowers, placing molecular sieves inside a sealed container together with the flowers which have been submerged in an organic solvent can absorb all the moisture from it, which then results in natural drying. Compared to the traditional silica gel, this is relatively better to use as the sieves are light-weight, which help in maintaining the decorative properties of the flowers. Roses, Orchids, Marigolds, Camellias, Dahlias, Chrysanthemums, Peonies, and other flowers which have more rigid structures are best for this method of preserving flowers.
Freeze-drying is a method commonly used on foods. Originally introduced in 1813, it is only in the late 80s where the idea of freeze-drying flowers was first used. This method requires a special freeze-drying machine that proves very costly. The process of drying the flowers involves sublimation, the process of turning solid to gas without passing the liquid phase.
The flowers are frozen to -100 Kelvin for 12 hours and allowed them slightly heat up to -50 Kelvin before vacuuming the moisture. This is a faster method of preserving flowers and is proven to keep the natural color and shape of the flowers. Carnations, Ferns, Roses, Peonies and Violets show excellent color retention with the freeze-drying process.
Weighing Your Options
There are also other alternative ways for preserving flowers like the use of sand in place of silica gel or the molecular sieve. Drying with the use of a microwave oven is also an option, besides air drying. But sometimes, hiring a professional to do it is the easier and better option. They know how to handle these flowers better than anyone else, making sure it retains many of its appealing features, including their naturally vibrant coloring. There are many companies that offer preservation services. One of our favorites here in Arizona is, Floral Keepsakes in Phoenix. You can check out their amazing work on their website at: http://www.floralkeepsakes.com/
But of course, to get beautifully preserved flowers, you also need high quality blooms. Not all flowers will preserve well and despite your efforts at doing the process right, many of them might get ruined by preservation as well. Only the freshest flowers work for this and that’s why you need to source the best ones.
Who do you turn to for this particular need?
Fiesta Flowers Plants & Gifts is a full-service florist that provides the highest quality and freshest flowers perfect for flower preservation. We offer all types of flowers and bouquet arrangements, as well as other plants and gifts for every type of occasion. Whether it is Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, an Anniversary or a Birthday, we deliver the highest quality flowers right to your own doorstep.
We can even provide you with same-day delivery services. Visit our website and give us a call today. We’ll answer any of your questions about our products and help you find the best fit for your special occasion.