What is the best way to dry flowers to maintain their color? Are there chemicals I can use that will help?
Drying flowers is a good way to preserve the beauty of your garden long after the gardening season has ended. Although no flower will retain its full, bright garden color after it's dried, some plants hold their color better than others. Use these flower-drying tips and tricks preserve your favorite flowers perfectly.
To get the best color, cut flowers just before they are fully open, then tie them in bundles, and hang them upside down in a dry, dark, warm location. You'll get the best color retention from dark locations, because light can bleach the colors. Blue and yellow flowers retain much of their color when air-dried. Pink flowers fade, so keep that in mind when selecting plant varieties to dry.
Good choices for colorful dried flowers include: globe amaranth (Gomphrena), lavender (Lavandula), cockscomb (Celosia), statice (Limonium), strawflower (Helichrysum), annual salvia, heather (Erica), baby's breath (Gypsophila), cattail (Typha), and goldenrod (Solidago). Unfortunately, no chemical product is available to enhance the color of dried flowers. Silica gel is used to preserve quick-drying flowers and flowers with closely packed petals such as roses and peonies.