Flower Preservation: How to Keep Your Most Cherished Fresh Blooms From Special Occasions & More

Flower Preservation: How to Keep Your Most Cherished Fresh Blooms From Special Occasions & More

Flowers are symbols of momentous occasions and grace birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and weddings. Far beyond decorative props to pretty pictures, freshly picked flowers form cherished mementos, often gifted in commemoration and thoughtfully chosen by oneself or loved ones.

It’s no wonder bidding farewell to these exquisite blooms, laden with immense sentimental value, proves to be a challenging task. From the initial stages of witnessing their decline (drooping, petal shedding) to the final heart-wrenching moment of tossing them into the bin, the reality often falls short of the enduring beauty imagined upon their first reception. 

Thankfully, an alternative fate awaits. In this article, Dawn Q provides proven methods to prolong the radiance of your flowers and preservation ideas that allow you to savour their allure for a long time. Navigate through the phases of your bouquets’ life and death with our tips and tricks here!

Extending the Lifespan of Fresh Flowers

We’ve always known that fresh flowers don’t last a long time. That’s usually a week or two, to be exact. But there are methods to extend their longevity, allowing you to make the most of their vibrancy and natural fragrance. Here’s how to ensure they stay fresh for an extended period of time:

  1. Trim: This is the first thing you must do before putting your flowers in a vase. On that note, it’s best to quickly place your bouquet in a vase if you’re not preserving them immediately. With garden shears or a sharp pair of scissors, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle, no more than 5 cm from the bottom. This helps the flowers absorb water well and prevents wilting. At the same time, clip off excess leaves that fall below the water line. 

  2. Water: After trimming, fill your vase with clean, room-temperature water, ensuring that the vase is clean before placing your flowers in it. 

  3. Placement: Choose where you want to place your flowers wisely. As a rule of thumb, avoid direct sunlight and heat sources. Also, keep them away from draughts that may stream in from open windows or fans, and from ripening fruits that may release ethylene gas and accelerate their ageing process.

  4. Feeding: While plants are capable of generating their own food, cut flowers lose their ability to photosynthesise efficiently due to the absence of roots and limited nutrient supplies. Compensate for lost nutrients with store-bought cut flower food or make your own with a mix of sugar (for nourishment), citric acid (for lowering water pH), and bleach (for keeping bacteria at bay). 

  5. Consistent Care: Consistency is crucial in maintaining the freshness of your bouquet. Trim the stems, clean the vase, replace the water, and feed the flowers every few days if not daily. Adhering to these practices will prolong the life of your fresh flowers until it’s time to consider preserving them. 

Preserving Your Flowers at Home

Unlike the methods mentioned above, flower preservation techniques strive to immortalise flowers by drying them out at the peak of their bloom. Thus, despite being natural flowers, they are no longer alive and are processed to maintain their beauty without the need for sunlight and water. 

It’s important to note that DIY flower preservation often entails experimentation and practice, whereas florist-bought dried flowers employ specialised techniques and ensure utmost expertise. If you’re seeking a personal touch and complete creative control, here are five ways to preserve your flora in the comfort of your own home!

Air Drying

Air drying is undoubtedly one of the easiest methods to preserve your flowers, especially when dealing with a large bouquet. Some may simply know it as hanging the flowers upside down. 

  1. Unwrap your bouquet or remove it from water, letting it dry on an even surface lined with a paper towel. 

  2. If necessary, trim the foliage until your desired form is achieved. 

  3. Gently tie the stalks together using a rubber band or string. Alternatively, separate individual stalks to better preserve their shape. 

  4. Attach the flowers to a line and hang them upside down. 

  5. Allow the flowers to drain and dehydrate over the course of two to three weeks. 

  6. When finished, retrieve the flowers and rearrange them to your liking in a vase, using their original wrap, or others.

Silica Gel or Sand

Silica gel or sand, a type of desiccant, can absorb moisture and keep things dry. There are two ways for achieving flower preservation with silica gel, but both require you to first cover the flowers with it. Larger or fuller blooms may necessitate a significant quantity of silica gel.

  1. Cut the flowers to your desired size. 

  2. Find a microwave-safe container that can accommodate your blooms, and fill the bottom with silica gel.

  3. Place the flowers over the silica gel, facing upwards. 

  4. Gently add more silica gel around and over the flowers. 

  5. Seal the container and let dry for a week. Alternatively, microwave the container to quicken the drying process. Because the sensitivity of each flower may vary, begin on a low heat setting before gradually adjusting the temperature and duration for optimal results. 


Pressing flowers has been documented since the 16th century and remains one of the most reliable methods to preserve small and delicate blooms. This is a very low-risk technique that possesses a charming and primitive quality. 

  1. Cut the flowers to an appropriate length. 

  2. Get rid of any unwanted leaves, keeping in mind that bulkier flowers may take longer to cure, especially without a flower press. Thin-petaled and smaller blooms typically work well in a hardcover book. 

  3. Open the book midway and line the open pages with wax or watercolour paper. 

  4. Place your flowers on the paper, then add another layer of paper before gently closing the book.

  5. You may stack heavy objects on top of the book to ensure consistent pressure throughout the drying process. This will flatten and dry the flowers faster. Drying should take slightly more than a week. 


Preserving flowers takes on a slightly different meaning with glycerin. Instead of eliminating moisture entirely, glycerin replaces the moisture with a colourless compound that keeps them fresh and hydrated. As a result, flowers treated with this method end up vivid, glossy, and pliable. Experts well-versed in the craft may also supplement for any loss of colour using food colouring, making this method particularly suitable for foliage. 

  1. In a vase, combine one part glycerin with two parts warm water. Mix well. 

  2. Place your flowers in the vase. 

  3. Allow the flowers to absorb the glycerin solution for at least three weeks.  

Epoxy Resin

Widely employed in arts and crafts, epoxy resin can be used to preserve flowers by encasing them in a transparent and protective layer. Resin casting works by hardening and preventing flowers from decaying, much like freezing. 

  1. First, dry your flowers using one of the aforementioned flower preservation methods. 

  2. Cover the base of your preferred mould with epoxy resin. Then, gently position the flowers the way you like using a pair of tweezers. 

  3. Once done, fill up the mould with epoxy resin. Remove any air bubbles by using a toothpick or lightly grazing over them with a small flame.

  4. Allow it to cure over time until it is hardened, clear and non-sticky. If compatible, you may also choose to use a UV lamp. 

  5. Lightly sand the final product for a smooth finish if necessary. 

Final Thoughts

DIY flower preservation methods serve as a gateway for individuals to reconnect with heartfelt memories. Whether dehydrating singular flowers handpicked from your personal garden, or preserving the grandeur of rich blooms from your big day, these time-tested techniques allow you to capture the beauty of special moments and extend the lifespan of your most treasured blossoms.

While preserving freshly cut flowers offers a comforting option, florists have developed innovative techniques to bypass the hassle of lengthy and tedious drying processes with no guaranteed results. Dawn Q, Singapore’s leading floral expert specialising in various bouquets, carries an extensive catalogue of dried and preserved flowers for all occasions. Explore roses, baby breaths, hydrangeas, poppies, and more – frozen in time for months and years to come!