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Sometimes you want to keep a memory, such as a wedding bouquet, or create floral arrangements that allow us to enjoy particular flowers even in the coldest seasons. Preparing compositions, keeping memories or being a professional in the floristic sector requires using techniques and tools that allow you to obtain valid results.

In this field, silica gel offers an excellent support for drying flowers professionally.

It is important to underline that the art of drying is in any case complex and linked to a deep knowledge of flowers and the different techniques for drying them, in fact different techniques are specific for different plants or flowers.

Silica gel is still a useful product for dehydrating flowers of various types, let’s see briefly what are the steps to best dry plants and flowers.

The choice of container

what you need to dry flowers: bulk silica gel, closed containers

Choose a suitable, wide and low container if you want to dry flowers with stems, or jars (glass or plastic) for just the buds. The important thing is that the container is as airtight as possible, to avoid the passage of humidity from the outside to the inside, thus making the dehydrating activity of the silica gel useless.

Another important thing is that the container is not transparent so as not to allow light to pass, otherwise the colors of the flowers could be ruined or altered.

The choice of silica gel

It is possible to use various types of silica gel according to your needs. Larger granulometries work faster, but may not be suitable in the delicate area of the corolla; in this case a smaller silica gel can be better distributed inside the petals.

Certainly the most correct choice is the loose silica gel specific for drying flowers, a spherical silica gel characterized by a very small particle size, approximately 1-2 mm. Granular silica gel can also be used but it is slightly dustier and less delicate than the spherical one which, thanks to its round shape, is finer in its interaction with the plants to be dried, but both are still adequate and the choice remains linked to personal preferences.

silica gel with color indicator, changes color when used up

Also in the field of loose silica gel an interesting variant is represented by the colored silica gel (indicating silica gel), the brown and orange, which have the characteristic of changing color once exhausted.
This allows us to understand at a glance when silica gel has ceased to be effective: since different flowers need more or less time to complete drying, this product is useful for having the drying process under control, and to intervene “in race” if the silica gel used has run out before the flower is completely dry.

Another interesting element of the colored silica gel is the ease of understanding when the silica gel is completely regenerated, since it returns to the initial color, while for normal bulk silica gel it is necessary to note the starting weight, which will be the element to check to understand if it has been regenerated enough.

Getting ready to dry the flowers

Once we have chosen the flowers, the container and the type of silica gel we prefer, we can leave.

1. Create the silica gel base

creates a bed of silica gel on the base of the container

A bed of silica gel must be created on the bottom of the chosen container, a couple of centimeters should be sufficient.

Long or short stem? Lay the chosen flowers on the silica gel. If we are only interested in drying the buds, we can cut the stems very short and position the flowers by inserting the stems into the “bed” of silica gel prepared, otherwise if we also want to keep part of the stem we place the flowers lengthwise.

2. Cover gently

Let’s start coating the flowers with the remaining silica gel. We can use the one in a jar, easier to dose, for the more robust parts of the flowers, while for the delicate part of the petals it is better to use a thinner silica gel.

I cover the flower to be dehydrated with silica gel

3. Close well and wait…

Close the box, taking care to check that there is no passage of air and light with the outside, so that the silica gel can absorb the humidity from the flowers and not from the air that could enter.

close the container with the flower to be dehydrated and the silica gel

It usually takes a few days, at least 4 or 5 for complete drying. However, each drying cycle depends a lot on the quantity and type of flowers that will be processed, and on the quantity of silica gel used. Experience is certainly an excellent ally!

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