Drying Flowers gives the color of fresh blooms any time of the year:
You can
speed it up with the microwave!

An adult must be present, and remember the rules:
CAREFUL!! SAFETY FIRST!! DO NOT OVERHEAT!!

Choose Blooms: Pick before their peak for highest strength. Be sure they are
as dry as possible
- not wet from rain- remember, the drier they are when you start, all the better.

Two Methods: One is the paper towel method,
and the other is the
silica gel dessicant method.

1. Paper towel drying is actually better than silica gel for leaves, potpourri petals, rosebuds and flowers, and also fine for preserving herbs for cooking: Place items, uncrowded, untouching, on several paper towels and use low to medium (250 degrees) setting. The object of all of this is simply to transfer the moisture from the plants to the paper towels as they heat. So keep changing the towels as they become damp, probably once, maybe twice. Also allow time for the plants and stems to cool as they will continue to throw off moisture during the cooling period.

2. The second method is to use silica gel, a dessiccant (old methods of plant drying were things to draw moisture such as drying with cornmeal, but the silica gel is better and can be re-used.) Here are the silica gel instructions:
Get a microwave-safe dish and cover the bottom with the silica gel, place flowers not touching each other and completely cover with more silica gel. Microwave uncovered between 3 and 4 minutes at 250 degrees, but you may have to experiment to find the perfect time for your particular flowers. Remove and let set for at least 10 minutes before touching. Carefully pour off top gel and gently brush gel away, allowing to finish by cooling on a rack. Easy-use common sense-you will do fine.

To reconstitute the silica gel: Place on metal baking tray and bake at 250 degrees for approx 30 minutes.
Silica dust is an irritant, so be sure to use ventilation and a mask if it is irritating to you.

HOW TO DRY ROSES & POPPIES

Choose only the best blooms ~ gather late in the morning when plants are dry but not wilted from the sun:

Select flowers from buds to fully open blossoms. (Flowers will open further as they dry.)

Air Drying: All you need to air dry your flowers is a warm, dry place with adequate air circulation ~ such as attics, sheds and garages.
Tie or rubber band 6 to 10 stems together about two inches from the stem ends. You know the plants are thoroughly dry when the stems snap easily ~ takes up to three weeks.

Poppies dry better right-side up. Simply place the plants in a wide-mouth jar or coffee can to dry.

Microwave Drying: First test a few plants to determine the drying time. Two minutes on "high" is a good starting point. Fold flowers in paper towels, and place a dish on top of them to keep the leaves and petals from curling. also put a small dish of water in the microwave with the flowers.

HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FLOWERS!

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