The life of cut flowers can be prolonged by putting a small quantity of sodium carbonate, ammonium chloride or potassium nitrate into the water in which they are standing.
Doing this keeps the flowers fresh by stimulating cells and slowing the growth of germs. However this is only a temporary measure.
1. Mix one part silica gel with four parts borax, having first removed any lumps from the borax using a sieve.
2. After picking the flowers, cut the stems near the base.
3. Put a layer of the preserving powder in the bottom of an air-tight jar or plastic bag and place the face of a blossom onto the powder.
4. Cover the flower with more of the powder and repeat the process until the jar is full of flowers.
5. Squeeze all of the air from the bag and tie it with string or put the lid on the jar.
6. Leave the bag or jar, for around four weeks, in a dry place.
7. After four weeks carefully open the jar or bag, remove each of the blossoms and blow off the powder.
8. Create a stem using florists wire run through the underside of the blossoms.
Drying flowers in a microwave
Microwaving flowers to dry them has become increasingly popular. This is due to the time it takes. Minutes rather than days. With some trial and error, start on a very low setting and for a very short space of time. Do not put in any metal (like wired flowers) and support with silica gel or silver sand.