Everything You Need To Know About Dried Flowers

It’s winter time: there’s less sun in the sky and plants and flowers are all hibernating under a cold bed of snow. Fresh flowers may not be the first thing on your mind at this time of year, but we are here to change that!

Let’s be honest, we all love a big bouquet of gorgeous, fresh, bright blooms but, living in Colorado, fresh flowers in the winter season are nearly impossible to come by. If sustainable, local florals are as important to you as they are to me, I strongly suggest considering dried flowers during this season for your events.

It’s a fact of nature that flowers fade, but by drying blooms you can preserve the beauty, while also preserving the significant and sentimental value.

History of Drying Flowers

Our ancestors have used flowers for countless purposes for many centuries. Whether they are being used medicinally, aromatically, or for cosmetic purposes, flowers have always had practical and symbolic uses. One of the earliest methods of preserving flowers is by drying them. In the Middle East, the bones of pre-historic humans were discovered with delicate wildflowers in the graves, likely as tribute to passed loved ones. Many things we connect with in our daily lives have origins in Egypt and Rome and dried flowers are no different. Flowers were discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs that were over 4,000 years old. Egyptians have always had a great love for flowers and have used them to mark joyous occasions, sorrows, and victories throughout history. They relied on flowers, including dried ones, to make perfumes, cosmetics, and decorations.

It’s no surprise flowers were extremely popular during the Victorian Age. Flowers were essential for a fashionable appearance in Victorian England. Drying flowers was a very popular hobby and they included them in pictures and art design they designed. Victorians would also add dried flowers to jewelry, fans, gloves, and other fashion items. The Victorian era was also famous for its “Language of Flowers” where each variety had a meaning and served as an avenue of courtly communication.

How To Use Dried Flowers

Dried flowers have the ability to boost your mood and elevate your aesthetic – especially during months of endless snowy landscapes! As much as I love potpourri, there are countless other uses for dried flowers:

  • Weddings
  • Dried Floral Wreaths
  • Home Décor
  • Table Centerpieces
  • Dried Floral Crowns
  • Jewelry
  • Pressed into Frames

Weddings + Events Using Dried Florals

When choosing florals for weddings and special events, I believe it is important to compliment the season and your surroundings. For this reason, dried flowers work so well during winter in Colorado. Dried flowers create a whimsical charm and the chance to use local blooms even when it’s not growing season.

Elopements are the trend of the year and one of my absolute favorite ways to begin a marriage. I think winter and elopements go hand and hand so I created a Winter Elopement Dried Flower package that can warm the spirits of any winter bride.

The Dried Flower package is artfully designed to compliment the Colorado winter season. Dried bouquets require same amount of effort and creativity as fresh blooms do – arguably even more due to their delicate nature. Flowers do tend to shrink once dried, so dried winter bouquets are often more petite designs than my airy summer and autumn arrangements.

Sometimes dried flowers may look a bit stiff and inflexible so you’ll want to be sure to hire a professional photographer (and of course a professional floral designer!) to work with and capture dried flowers at their best. I create my technical designs with the goal of displaying movement. Adding a flowing ribbon to your bouquets can always add or increase the motion and energy of a focal point. Your professional florist and photographer can show you the correct way to hold your dried flowers to create more life and movement as well.

As much as I adore dried flowers, I wouldn’t actually recommend using them for your wedding or special event in the spring time. This would simply take away from the gorgeous benefits you get from fresh blooms during the flowering time of year. Dried flowers simply do not compliment spring as well as they do the fall and winter months.

How To Dry Flowers

Properly dried flowers can last for years after harvesting. For this reason, they are often referred to as everlastings or immortelles. Although, there are several ways to dry flowers, I prefer the traditional method the most. Many plants retain their shape and sometimes even color when dried naturally. How is this done? It’s actually rather simple. You secure the stalks with twine or rubber bands, hang them upside-down, and store in a dark, yet well ventilated area. You’ll want to create a very low humidity area and the heads should be staggered to promote air flow. The drying period depends on the material and where and when it was harvested. Most materials will take a few weeks to fully dry. Fruits, including most berries, and plants with high water content are not as durable once dried so they are best left to enjoy fresh during the spring and summer.

Although many plants and flowers are suitable to dry, some work better than others. For example, roses and peonies dry wonderfully and keep their shape where as lilies tend to be more fragile and fall apart. Some of my favorites to work with are magnolia, eucalyptus, and other similar types of greenery because they are so wonderful dried and fresh. Wheat and other grasses, along with various pods, also dry very well. Flowers can take on a different, unique, shape that is so magnificent when dried. It is important to note that white flowers don’t keep their color very well and often fade to hues of beige or brown.

I have an entire wall in my studio dedicated to drying flowers. Many of the products I create using this method are available for purchase in my shop alongside my fresh bloom products and works of art: Wild Blossoms Studio Shop