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Tricks Martha Stewart Uses to Preserve Mother’s Day Flowers that Look Amazing - One You've Probably Never Imagined

Susanna Sisson's picture
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Your mother has probably lamented “Don’t buy me flowers, they just get thrown away.” But you don’t have to toss fresh flowers in the trash. Here are a few tricks Martha Stewart uses to preserve Mother’s Day flowers.


Hang drying

One method that works to preserve those Mother’s Day flowers if you don’t want to spend money on preservatives is to simply take the bouquet, tie string at the bottom of the stems and hang upside down in a dry place to preserve. While this method is inexpensive your flowers won’t last forever. After they are dry, you can put them back in a vase to enjoy for months to come.


Pressing works well with delicate flowers. You’ll need wax or parchment paper the size of a large coffee table book or encyclopedia. Fold in half and crease. Lay the flowers inside the paper without stems or flowers touching. Place inside book and place more books on top for added weight. Leave for a week to 10 days until flowers are dry. You can use them for all kinds of crafts like bookmarks, greeting cards, stationary or photo albums.

Silica gel

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Gel is a bit misleading, but silica gel is a combination of sand-like crystalized drying agents you can use to preserve flowers. Some have blue beads that change color to pink when the silica has absorbed it maximum weight in water. For this method of preserving flowers you’ll need an airtight dish like Tupperware. Put about an inch of silica gen in the bottom. Roses and zinnias are great flowers to experiment with because they are sturdy. Cut the flower from the stem leaving about a half inch of stem. Place in the Tupperware and with a cup begin adding silica to the outside of the flower for support. Once you have added enough silica to support the outer petals, you can begin gently pouring silica inside the flower starting at the middle and working your way out to the outer petals. Fill until the entire flower is covered. This works well with most flowers, even orchids, however, red flowers tend to lose their color and take on a brownish hue. The great thing about silica is it can be reused.

Air drying

You’ve probably accidentally used this method already. Remove all but about 1 inch of water from your vase of flowers and simply leave to air dry. After the water has evaporated and the flowers dry, you’re done. This method does not work well with heavy topped flowers that tend to droop like roses.

Microwaving your flowers

The microwave methods takes minutes rather than days and almost everyone has one in their kitchen. You’ll need regular cat litter and microwavable bowls. Each flower will need to be dried individually. As with silica place about an inch of cat little in the bottom of your microwave safe bowl. Place flower stem end down then begin filling around the outside of the flower to support the leaves. Once you are about halfway up the flower, begin gently pouring cat litter inside the flower in between petals. The whole flower needs to be covered so depending on the size of your bowl you may need 4-6 cups but do not overfill as it adds extra weigh that might damage the flower. Microwave on high for two to three minutes. Remove the bowl using an oven mitt. Let cool, remove the flower and dust off any residue.

How to preserve leaves for arrangement:

  1. Mix one part glycerin and two parts water.
  2. Pour the solution into a flat pan, place the leaves in the solution. Place a weight such as a flat rock on the leaves to keep them submerged.
  3. Leave submerged in the solution for 2-6 days.
  4. Remove and dry the leaves gently with a paper towel.

Flowers should be like wonderful memories, enjoyed longer than a few days. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart or spend a lot of money with these simple methods to preserve your flowers and leaves to enjoy flowers for years to come.