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How To Dry Flowers: A Collection of Tips

Making potpourri [1] is a great way to enjoy flowers from your garden year round but you need to dry them first, here are several ways you can do that.

You’ll also find several tips added to the bottom of the page (a preservative recipe, working with petals and leaves, hydrangeas and more). Lots of info here!

First a few tips…








Silica Gel:

Borax & Sand:

Borax & White Cornmeal:

Kitty Litter:


This can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it the process is very fast. Do a few trial runs to determine how much heat and length of time to use for the type of flower you are working with.

Denser blossoms will take longer, those with thick petals don’t dry well with this method and those with more delicate petals (like a pansy) will process quickly so be careful to watch. Each microwave heats differently, experiment–you may find that you need to up the heating level.


The Hydrangea is one type that works well with this method (see more details below).

Preservative Recipes & Instructions

*First published October 28, 2006 and moved to this page for better organization

Here are two different recipes & methods you can try.

Materials Needed:

Floral Wire
Airtight Container
Plastic Bag
Soft Brush

Works well with: daisies, mums, pansies, roses, sweet peas


You can now use these for crafts.

Cornmeal/Borax Preservative

2 parts cornmeal
1 part borax (powdered)
Cardboard box with lid or tin with lid


After use save the mixture as it can be reused over and over again.

Flat Petals & Leaves

First published March 31, 2009 and moved to this page for better organization

Here’s a goody that was sent in from Sherri Hanley:

I’m a certified craft junkie and love to do many different kinds of crafts, but my favorite projects are those working with dried flowers. Here’s a trick I picked up along the way to dry rose petals and leaves flat (otherwise, as you know, they shrivel and curl up):

  • Lay fresh petals and leaves on a terry cotton towel placing them in a way that they will stay flat. Lay them in a single layer. For those petals with a bit of a curl to the edges, lay them the curling side down but pull out the curl as best you can and sort of pat them into place.
  • Cover the petals with another terry cotton towel and gently pat down (don’t run your hand over the towels to smooth in place but pat instead). You should use thicker towels so they will weight the petals down somewhat.
  • Leave them alone for a few days and they will dry mostly flat and without much shrinkage.

I use the dried petals in a variety of projects and one of the most frequent questions I get is “where did you find those flat petals”. Well this is my secret and now everyone on tipnut can know how to do it!

Nice info, thanks very much Sherri for sharing!


You can make beautiful arrangements and wreaths with dried hydrangeas and if you’re lucky enough to have them in your garden, preserving them by drying is super easy to do. Here are three easy ways to do it:

Water Method:

This method works well for hydrangeas and those varieties with long stems.

Silica Gel:

This retains much of the color of the blossoms, but the stems are snipped short–not a problem if you’re using them in wreaths, but if you want long stems here’s an easy fix: use floral tape to attach stems to blossoms once dried.


A few tips:


Listed in the catalogs as Helichrysum, it flourishes outdoors in the garden until cold weather comes, and then when it is properly cured, it makes attractive winter bouquets for the house.

Pick when they first open from the bud to keep them from spreading wide and showing brown at the base. Strip off the leaves and hang the stems upside down in small bunches fastened together with rubber bands. Let them hang in a dry place–in the house is all right–until every trace of moisture is gone from the stems and they are stiff. Then arrange in bouquets.

Since it is impossible to bend the stems after they are dried, it will help the appearance of your arrangements if you prepare some in a curved form. Do this by hanging the fresh stems singly over a rounded surface–tack a piece of heavy paper to the edge of a shelf, round it out full and tack the lower edge to the underneath of the shelf. Then lay the tops of the stems down over this curve.

In arranging, stick the stems into sand, shredded paper, or sphagnum moss. Many grasses and seed pods can be added for variety in winter bouquets.

The clover-like blossoms of globe-amaranth are also often seen in winter bouquets. These are done the same way, but they should not be picked until they are full and mature.

Source: The WorkBasket (1952)