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Preserving Petals

Preserving Petals

  • Aratrika Dasgupta

Flowers are one of nature’s most delicate and wonderful creations that have been used through centuries in many occasions. However, as natural as they are, plants are considered to be one among the living beings. As they fill liveliness and joy through their vivid colours and bright textures, likewise they also need their daily dose of carbon dioxide and sunlight and H2O to keep blooming the way they do. Over the centuries, there has been a tremendous number of usage for flowers for which they are often separated from their natural habitats and used in various items and events. So, in order for preserving their beauty and essence, various methods have been adopted time and again. We shall discuss, in this article some of those methods and techniques:

how to preserve flower petals

  1. Drying – This was one of the oldest methods used for flower preservation. Naturally air-dried flowers were noticed to usually retain their color and shape and even today if we leave flowers in their same state under a little air and sunlight we see them retaining their same textures
  2. Pressing - This method of flower preservation is very fast and easy and requires old newspapers or big heavy books. Flowers are kept between the sheets of the paper and spread evenly and then covered with some heavy object and it usually helps preserve their textures but the flowers become flat in this process and cannot be used for all purposes.
  3. Glycerine- Use of glycerine is one of the earliest and best methods of preserving flowers. We take a solution of lukewarm water and glycerine in the ratio of 2:1. However, the flower should be fully hydrated otherwise, it will not be preserved and will not show the long-lasting features.

Modern Methods of preservation includes:

  1. Air-Drying- The method of drying has been innovated into special ways and on different kind of flowers by tying them in small bundles in a warm ventilated area, all hung. They should not receive direct contact of sunlight. Large flowers are usually tied in a singular form unlike small ones in bundles as passage of air requirement is more for large flowers. It prevents the flowers from rotting. Usually flowers like hydrangeas, goldenrods, celosias, salvias, Xeranthemums are used for air-drying.
  2. Hot Air-Drying – Convection chambers with fans are used for hot air drying method in a simulated condition. They are dried at a low temperature for many hours, depending on the flower density. Usually compact flowers like marigold, zinnias, chrysanthemums, etc are dried through this method.
  3. Silica-Gel - Usage of silica gel for drying flowers is yet another modern day trend. It is one of the best methods of flower drying as it absorbs all the moisture from the flower and can again be re-used. Fragile plants and delicate flowers are the ones used for preservation via this method. It is done in airtight containers. Roses tulips, anemones etc. are the flowers used.
  4. Freeze Drying – Freeze dried flowers are specially preserved flowers which are fresh and dried to retain its natural shape and color. They have the highest longevity. It is usually done through sublimation in a specific freeze drying machine. Flowers are freeze-dried at a temperature of 100K for 12 hours at the very least. Flowers like carnations, asparagus, African violets, roses, do not require spray tint for color restoration and exhibit natural colors through this process.
  5. Molecular sieve – As the name suggest, this method involves a sieve like material which is used to absorb gases and liquids. A lot of chemical methods is involved in this process. This process is for long term preservation and for flowers which need to maintain their decorative properties for a long time period. It is a much more professional method and used for flowers such as roses, peonies, camellias, orchids, dahlias, hollyhocks and other flowers which needs long lasting preservations.

Home-Preservation Methods includes-

  1. Cutting and trimming the leaves and then trim the stems of the flower before putting them in a vase
  2. Putting a pinch of salt or baking soda into the water in the vase to retain the longevity of the flowers
  3. Keeping them in a dark location instead of exposure to too much sunlight to let them dry out for long lasting effects
  4. Sprinkle little amounts of water during intervals to your plants instead of exposing them to a large amount of water at the same time
  5. Allow some air passage for the roots by creating small fillers on the mud where it is planted to receive ventilation and it also helps makes way for the roots to grow from any obstruction, keeping the plant healthier.

Most flower shops follow the process of drying of flowers to preserve them as they are perishable goods. However, maximum number of flower preservation is already done at the manufacturers end. The retailers or flower shops simply order fresh flowers for delivery. We here at BloomsVilla make sure our flowers are fresh and glowing and we have a flower shop in Gurgaon, Noida, Bangalore, Pune and other select which throws in flowers at the best price through these processes to make sure our customers receive freshly delivered blooms.

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