Dried flowers with silica gel, a small guide.
Sometimes you may like to retain a memory , such as the bridal bouquet, or test ourselves in flower arrangements that allow us to enjoy special flowers also in the cooler seasons. Create compositions, preserving memories, or be a professional flower trade requires us to use techniques and tools that allow you to obtain valid results.
In this field the silica gel offers excellent support for professional drying flowers .
First of all should be clear that the art of drying is still complex and linked to the deep knowledge of the flowers and the different techniques to dry them, in fact, several techniques are specific for plants or various flowers.
The silica gel is well suited for various types of flowers, let's see how you can proceed:
Choose a suitable container , wide and low if you want to dry flowers with stalk, or jars (glass or plastic) for just buds. The important thing is that thecontainer is as air-tight as possible , to avoid that there is passage of moisture from the outside towards the inside , thus rendering useless the desiccant activity of the silica gel. Another important thing is that the container does pass the light, not to ruin the color of flowers.
CHOOSE THE SILICA GEL
And 'possible to use various types of silica gel to suit your needs . Grain sizes larger work faster, but may be unsuitable in the delicate area of the corolla; in this case a smaller size of the silica gel can be distributed better within the petals.
Certainly the most convenient choice falls on bulk silica gel , which can be in granular form (small pebbles) or spherical. The granular silica gel can be slightly dusty, the spherical shape is more delicate given the interaction with the plants to be dried, but they are both still appropriate and the choice remains linked to personal preference .
Also as part of the bulk silica gel an interesting variant is represented by colored silicagel (INDICATING SILICA GEL), the brown and the orange , which have the characteristic of changing color of an exhausted once .
This will allows to understand at a glance when the silica gel has ceased to be effective : because different flowers need more or less time to complete drying, this product is useful to have under control the drying process, and intervene "in the race" if the silica gel used has exhausted before the complete drying of the grain. Another interesting Silica stained gel element is the ease in understanding when the silica gel is completely regenerated , since returns to the initial coloration, while for the normal bulk silica gel is necessary to write down the starting weight, that will be the element to be checked to see if it was regenerated (in the microwave) enough.
Tip -> if we have no idea of the weight of the starting silica gel we can be considered that the maximum weight gain for the spent silica gel is 20%(c.ca) of its weight. For which, any amount of exhausted silicagel will decrease by 20% of its weight to be considered regenerated.
PREPARE TO BE DRIED FLOWERS
Chosen the flowers, the container and the type of silica that we prefer, we can start.
- It should create a silica gel bed on the bottom of the selected box , a couple of centimeters should be sufficient.
Long shank or short?
- Lay the flowers chosen on the silica gel . If we are interested only the dried buds can cut the stems very short and place the flowers by placing the stems in the "bed" made of silica gel, otherwise if we want to keep even part of the stem support the flowers for the length .
Cover gently, and if needed use the trick
- We begin to cover the flowers with the remaining silica gel . We can use that in the jar, easier to dose, for parts of the more robust flowers, while the delicate part of the petals is best to use a thinner silica gel ... a trick -> to get the most minute silica gel, and suitable to the petals will just open a packet of silica gel , in fact bags uses a finer product, which lends itself well to our needs.
Close well and expect ...
- Close the box, having care to check that there is no passage of air and light to the outside, so that the silica gel can absorb moisture from the flowers and not from the air that may enter.
Usually it takes a few days , at least 4 or 5 because the drying is complete . However each drying cycle depends very much on the amount and type of flowers that you will go to work, and the amount of silica gel used. The experience is a good ally!