Do you have a special bouquet you want to preserve or a bundle of pretty summer flowers you would like to dry, and you’re curious about how long dried flowers last and if it’s even worth the effort? I can tell you from experience that preserving floral arrangements isn’t tricky, is loads of fun, and will last far longer than any fresh bouquet!
So how long will dried flowers last?
Preserved flowers last up to a year if cared for properly. However, you will need to keep your dried flower displays away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and moisture to keep them looking their best.
How to Care for Dried Flowers To Make them Last
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Are dried flowers easy to care for?
Dried flowers are very easy to care for and only require a few precautionary measures to ensure they last as long as possible. Dried flowers last much longer if you follow these tips:
Keep Preserved Flowers away from moisture.
Why are my pressed flowers moldy?
Excess moisture is the enemy of all dried flowers. High humidity can cause the dried flowers to rehydrate, mold and rot.
If you want to keep your preserved flowers looking their best, avoid displaying them when the humidity is high or in areas where they will be in contact with moisture (like a window).
Keep Dried Flowers away from direct heat sources.
Direct heat sources will dry the preserved flowers to a point where they turn brown, become brittle and start to deteriorate quickly.
You will want to keep your dried flowers away from heat vents, direct heat sources like fireplaces, or a kitchen stove.
Display your Dried Bouquets away from bright direct sunlight to reduce fading
Bright direct sunlight will have a similar effect as direct heat sources on your dried flowers. The flowers will continue to dry, burn, and break down quickly.
Direct sunlight will also make the flowers fade further and turn brown and sienna.
To avoid rapid deterioration of your flowers, keep them away from bright windows and direct sunlight.
Keep dust from accumulating on the flowers.
Dust will make your dried flowers look shabby! Once dust sticks, it is challenging to get the dust off without damaging the delicate dried flowers.
If you start early and keep the dried flowers dusted, you will not have to worry about accumulated dust over the years.
You can use a very light feather duster to remove the dust or a can of compressed air, but you need to be careful as the stream of air can be pretty powerful and may damage your arrangements if you are too close.
Store special floral arrangements in storage boxes or clear glass display cases.
If you have special flowers like a wedding bouquet, fancy roses, or sentimental arrangements to last as long as possible, you should consider box storage.
Storing preserved florals in a box in a cool dark place can help provide an extended shelf life beyond a year. In addition, storage will help keep the flowers away from the elements like heat, light, and moisture and keep the flowers free from dust.
Dried and preserved blooms can also be stored on display in a glass box showcase to protect the dried florals from moisture and dust, but you will still need to be mindful of direct sunlight and heat.
Ways To Preserve Your Preserved Flowers
You can start with fresh flowers, although some flowers dry better than others and some methods are better than others, especially for big center-mounded flowers like dahlias or zinnias.
- Learn More: We wrote a top-rated guide that compared all the different methods of drying flowers to source the best way (spoiler alert, it was silica gel). That article has all the information you need to get started drying fresh flowers.
Pressing flowers is a great way to preserve small dainty fresh flowers like forget me not and impatiens. The flowers will naturally fade, but they do not brown.
Book pressing flowers has been around for hundreds of years and is a simple and easy way to preserve dainty summer flowers.
Flower pressing isn’t tricky, and the dried flowers are great for use in craft projects like scrapbooking.
- Recommendation: If you’re looking for a really great flower press we highly recommend Moulin Roty’s Press. It’s easy to use, and small enough to tuck away when not in use.
Air drying works incredibly well, especially for bouquets.
You need a cool dark room and some twine to get started. Hang them upside down and give them 4-6 weeks to dry completely.
You should expect your flowers to fade when air-dried naturally.
Air hang drying works exceptionally well for a wedding bouquet and bouquets like lavender.
Silica gel is one of the best methods for drying large, densely centered fresh flowers. Consider drying flowers like dahlias, zinnias, roses, peonies, and daisies with silica gel.
Using silica sand for drying flowers is also the best method for retaining color in freshly dried flowers, but it doesn’t keep all the color. Most flowers naturally fade during the drying period. But fresh flowers dried with silica gel will not brown as much as they do with other drying methods.
- Learn More: One of the best flowers to dry with silica get is the dahlia. We experimented last summer drying dahlias and posted our results in an article you can read here.
The microwave works well to speed up the process with silica gel, but it does have challenges when it comes to densely centered flowers.
The petals may burn before the blooms completely dry. If using the microwave method with silica gel, focus on smaller florals like carnations, pinks, sweet peas, and fresh flat flowers like cosmos.
- Recommended: You can also press flowers in the microwave to speed up the process. We found this great microwave flower press kit that works incredibly well and has wonderful reviews.
The dehydrator method works well for pom-style florals like mini dahlias, smaller pom zinnias, and delicate flowers like sweet peas. In addition, I often will use the dehydrator method for dried florals I want to use for crafts that wouldn’t hold up well with any of the other methods.
- Recommendation: You do not need an expensive dehydrator for flowers, but you shouldn’t use your food dehydrator for flowers ( the scents linger). Try to find a used dehydrator at a yard sale, or pick up a small Nesco snack dehydrator specifically for drying flowers (it’s the model we use)
Preserved florals Last For Ever When Encased in Resin!
And finally, you can keep your preserved flowers forever if you provide a sealed casing like resin. Although not an inexpensive method, you can create beautiful decor items from dried flowers, a resin mold, and some resin quickly and easily.
If you’re looking for a method to make a flower last indefinitely, you should look into a sealed casing method like resin.
- Recommended: We’ve used and really like this epoxy resin kit from amazon.
How Long Do Dried and preserved flowers Last?
Preserved flowers, especially sentimental ones like wedding bouquets, can last for up to a year if cared for properly.
You will want to keep your preserved arrangements dry but not near any direct heat source like heat vents or a fireplace, and you will want to keep them clean and free from dust. These care methods will provide extended shelf life and help your flowers last up to a year.
Grow your own fresh flowers for Drying
If you are interested in creating your own preserved flowers you grow yourself, check out the following guides to help you get started growing fresh flowers for drying and preserving flowers all year round. If you are looking for ideas of what to do with dried flowers, you may find inspiration in some of the following posts.
- Best Flowers for a Cut Flower Garden
- How To Make Potpourri Using Dry Flowers And Herbs
- 12 Easiest Flowers To Grow From Seed (2022)
- 12 Fastest-Growing Flowers to Grow in Your Garden (2022)
- Flowers that Grow in the Shade: The 14 Best Options
- How to Keep Cut Roses Fresh in Water As Long As Possible
- How to Dry Rose Petals Story
- How to Dry Rose Petals In Under Two Minutes Flat
- Can You Plant Peonies in Spring?
Where are the best places to buy dried flowers?
It’s been hit or miss for me ordering dried flowers online from places like amazon, but I have been very impressed with the dried flowers I have ordered from crafters on Etsy.
Is there anything we can do with dead flowers?
Dead flowers, naturally dried and not rotted or molded, can be used in many crafting projects like potpourri, added to candles and bath products, or used in crafting projects to create wall decor.
Do preserved roses smell?
Rose petals will retain most of their odour when dried properly, which is why they are used in potpourri. If your dried roses have a BAD odour, they may not have been fully dried, and have started to grow mould. Throw stinky petals away!