Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Drying roses with silica gel

by: Chica

Drying roses with silica gel
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Have you ever received a special flower or bouquet of roses that you wanted to save? Sure, you can hang them upside down to dry naturally, but for faster results with truer colors, I much prefer to dry them with silica gel. It’s really easy, too!

The first thing you’ll need is quite a bit of silica gel. If you’re not sure what silica gel is, think of those little packets of tiny clear balls that come in the box with your shoes or electronics, that say “do not eat”. That’s silica gel, and its purpose is to suck the moisture from the surrounding air. You can buy it in those little packets or buy it in bulk, and it’s readily available here on Amazon or here on eBay. Or, you can be thrifty like I am, and whenever you come across a packet, toss it into a plastic bag in the desk. Eventually you’ll have a nice collection like this, and be ready to use them for something crafty!

drying roses with silica gel

Now take the flowers you want to preserve and trim the stem off.

drying roses with silica gel

Then place them upright in a container that’s as narrow as possible but still wide enough for your flowers. For something like a single rose, a tiny little jar would be perfect. If you have multiple flowers you want to dry at once, you might want to use a wider jar, bowl, or tray. Just make sure you choose something with a tight-fitting lid.

drying roses with silica gel

Then pour your silica gel beads gently over the flowers until they are halfway covered.

drying roses with silica gel

Take a moment to be sure the flowers are upright and straight, then pour more silica gel on, covering them completely.

drying roses with silica gel

Then put the lid on and wait for the silica gel to do its thing. It will take about 10 days, depending on what kind of flower you are drying. Something thin like a daisy might dry in a few days, but a thick rose will take the full 10 days.

drying roses with silica gel

When you think they are ready, just dump the silica gel and flowers VERY carefully into another container.

drying roses with silica gel

The flowers should be very lightweight and fragile. If they are still heavy or flexible, they need more drying time, so carefully re-cover them with silica gel and wait a few more days.

drying roses with silica gel

Your dried flowers are now ready to save in a shadowbox or frame. This would be a wonderful way to preserve the flowers in your bridal bouquet!

Drying roses with silica gel
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12 comments so far:

  • 1
    Becca 03/08/2010 at 9:45 am

    Thanks so much for this entry! I told my bf to not buy me flowers because, to me, its a waste of money since they just get ugly and die. Now that I have a solution, maybe ill start accepting floral gifts :)!

  • 2
    Sarah Sarniak 03/08/2010 at 1:10 pm

    Cool idea. I usually just hang mine upside down on a cork board.

  • 3
    Bill Wright 03/08/2010 at 3:50 pm

    Using Silica Gel is the best way to preserve flowers for sure! Although I a product called Flower Drying Crystals I found searching google and has worked well for me

  • 4
    monica 03/08/2010 at 5:33 pm

    how cool! i would have never known those little gel packets could be useful. i just wonder, after the flower is dried and done, could the gel beads be re used? great project, thank you!

  • 5
    AJ 03/08/2010 at 8:53 pm

    I have used silica gel to dry flowers many times, this is great advice! The product I use is Flower Drying Crystals

  • 6
    maryw 03/09/2010 at 7:02 am

    How cool!!!! Never seen it before, can’t wait to try it.

  • 7
    Chica 03/09/2010 at 8:22 am

    monica, you can definitely use the silica gel over and over. It will last for many batches, but if you ever feel that it’s not absorbing any more moisture, you can always re-dry it. I found some tips on how to do that here.

  • 8
    Margaret 02/16/2014 at 4:24 pm

    wow. this is the info I have been looking for. Thanks for this. In my thirteen gardens I am sure a lot of them will make there way into the house to be preserved.

  • 9
    Jacque Scott 07/23/2014 at 7:52 pm

    Have you ever made potpourri with rose petals? Do you have a recipe? I have these English rose petals that are dry and I don’t know what to do with them. Thanks.

  • 10
    Chica 07/25/2014 at 8:10 am

    Jacque, we have never tried making potpourri. Perhaps you can find some good recipes via Google?

  • 11
    Karen 09/10/2017 at 5:06 pm

    Hi! I see this is an old thread. Hopefully someone will see this. Using the silica gel worked like a charm. I have lots of flowers dried from my daughter’s wedding. Any suggestions for things to make with them now? Thank you!

  • 12
    Chica 09/14/2017 at 5:52 pm

    Karen, we keep an eye on all comments, even on older projects. :) So glad this technique worked well for you. As for ideas on how to use the flowers… how about to decorate a wreath or frame, or maybe fill a shadowbox with buds? Perhaps try searching Pinterest for dried flower decoration ideas. Enjoy!

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