Here is a quick overview of popular questions about dried flowers.
Are dried flowers sustainable?
The short answer is both yes and no depending on the product.
Many people out there are claiming that dried flowers are sustainable for the simple fact that they last longer than fresh flowers, but this isn’t the only factor to take into account.
Naturally dried flowers are a more sustainable option, especially if they are grown and dried at home! However, flowers that have been chemically altered during the drying process aren’t so much. The chemicals are mainly used to colour and paint the flowers, for example, to bleach away the yellowish tones from natural white flowers or to offer a range of colours that aren’t usually available in nature.
While this sounds mostly negative about dried flowers, it’s worth noting that no bought flowers will be 100% environmentally friendly, whether they are fresh, dried or artificial.
How the flowers are shipped and stored before purchasing is another factor to consider when weighing up their impact on the environment. Generally dried flowers produce a smaller carbon footprint that fresh flowers when it comes to transporting and storing due to them being lighter and not requiring refrigeration.
How long do dried flowers last?
Dried flowers usually last between 1-3 years, and in some case it may be longer. Their colour does fade over time but they should stay structurally intact unless they have contact with water. To ensure they stay at their best for as long as possible make sure to follow the care instructions mentioned below.
How to store and look after dried and preserved flowers.
The trick is to keep them away from any harsh environments. This means they need to be somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight.
If you are using dried or preserved flowers as room decor keeping them away from direct sunlight may be hard. They will still be ok but their colour will fade a lot quicker. As dried and preserved flowers do not like water it’s best to avoid placing them in rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen where there is likely to be moisture.
For wedding or occasion accessories like the items I sell, I always recommend they are stored away until you will be using them. This just ensures they stay at their best for as long as possible. I send my items out in sturdy postal boxes which are ideal for storing them in.
Another commonly asked question is “can dried flowers mould?” and the answer is that it’s very unlikely if they are cared for correctly.
How are dried flowers made? How to dry flowers at home?
There are a few different options for drying flowers, all of which can be done at home.
When I first started my business I would make resin products with dried flowers. My gran would collect flowers from her garden or out on walks for me to press or microwave.
A great way for drying flowers such as lavender and roses is hanging them. Simply tie single stems or small bunches upside down somewhere dry, and ideally dark for best results, and leave them for 1-2 weeks.
Flowers dried this way are best for bouquets.
When using this method in the past I would dry flowers such as carnations and rose petals.
Remove the petals from the flower and lie flat on a plate or dish (sometime I would just place the flowers between two sheets of kitchen roll) and place in the microwave. Most flowers should take around a minute to dry out, however I would put them in for short bursts so you can check on them.
This is best for leaves and thinner flowers or petals.
Flowers that I would most commonly press were violas and pansies, daisies, forget me nots and home grown bluebells.
You can do this with either a flowers press or heavy books.
Lay the flowers flat between sheets of paper and place inside the flower press or book and leave for a 1-2 weeks.
This method is ideal for whole flowers or bigger heads such as dahlias, peonies, roses and ranunculus.
Remove any unwanted stems and leaves from the flowers and gently pat them dry. Pour the silica gel in the bottom of a sealable container so there is a layer of about an inch thick. Place the flowers face up in the container and carefully pour more of the silica gel on top until the flowers are covered. Leave the flowers for a few days before checking on them. The flowers will be ready when they feel dry but not brittle.
Why should I choose dried flowers for my wedding?
One of the main reasons they are becoming more popular for weddings is that they last longer than fresh flowers. I’ve listed below some of the reasons my customers chose me for dried flowers over fresh florists.
They can be a keepsake or reused.
They can be used again after the wedding as home decor or kept somewhere as a keepsake.
For example, my sister in law placed the wedding bouquet I made in a vase and another customer added her hairpiece into a box frame with a wedding photo.
They don’t need to be delivered on the day.
If you’re anything like me the thought of not seeing the flowers until the morning of the wedding screams anxiety and stress! Because dried and preserved flowers last longer than fresh flowers, you can have them in advance and it’s one less thing to worry about on your big day!
Destination weddings and elopements
Fresh flowers aren’t usually something that you can take with you when travelling for a wedding, they would be provided by a local florist at your destination.
This may be difficult to arrange and expensive if you want something specific, so choosing dried or preserved flowers that you can take with may be a better option.
They don’t wilt on the day
Although fresh flowers are stunning, they do begin to wilt throughout the day. This isn’t an issue with dried and preserved flowers.
Do dried flowers cause hay fever?
Another bonus about dried flowers is they don’t contain pollen like fresh flowers do. During the drying process they lose the pollen making them a great choice for anyone who suffers from hay fever.
This is also another reason why dried flowers are becoming a more popular choice for weddings.
I am a hay fever sufferer myself and don’t have any problems with dried and preserved flowers, apart from pampas grass.
What is the difference between dried and preserved flowers?
The main difference between dried and preserved flowers is the process they undergo. Dried flowers have all the water and moisture removed by leaving them to dry. This is done by the processes mentioned above. Dried flowers tent to be more brittle.
Flowers are preserved by placing the stem into a glycerine mixture. This keeps the flowers feeling softer and more flexible like fresh flowers.
Dried roses on the left and preserved roses on the right.
Thanks for reading! If you have anymore questions just get in touch.