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Keep Valentine's Day flowers around after they've withered
February 14, 2011
There are few things more romantic than receiving a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers accompanied by a heartfelt greeting from your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.
However, keeping your
looking great takes a little bit of work, including changing the water daily and removing stems that have withered.
Unfortunately, cut flowers will eventually become tired-looking, no matter what one does. Instead of tossing them in the trash, experts suggest extending the life of your blooms by drying them.
According to the Go Frugal blog on FreeShipping.org, there are two methods of drying
- air drying them and using a microwave.
Before beginning the process, remove excess foliage and cut the stems to the desired length (but no shorter than six inches).
To air-dry, tie bunches of flowers together and hang them upside down in a dry, dark area with good circulation for about two or three weeks, until they are completely dried out. Once they're dry, spray them with hairspray to help preserve them further.
The microwave method, which is best for varieties such as gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums,
, will help preserve the flowers' color and structure better than traditional air-drying.
For this method, cover the bottom of a microwave-safe container with silica gel and place the flowers inside. Pour more silica gel over the blossoms, being careful to avoid flattening the petals. (Silica gel can be used multiple times, so it's ok to be liberal in your application.)
Since microwave times will vary depending on the machine, experts suggest starting at a relatively low temperature (a few levels above defrost) and microwaving for between two and five minutes, checking the flowers' progress periodically. If the flowers don’t appear to be drying, steadily increase the heat and time.
Heartier flowers, such as roses, will be able to withstand higher temperatures.
Once the blooms are dried, cover the container but leaving about a quarter inch opened on the top. After 24 hours, clean the petals with a fine brush and spray the flowers with acrylic spray to help preserve them.
Dried flowers can be used in a variety of ways. They can be displayed in a vase, basket or other container as an arrangement or can be placed in a container to be used as potpourri.
Try using dried flowers in craft projects or incorporating dried blooms into fresh arrangements for special occasions, such as a wedding.
This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists.
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