How to Care for Dried Flowers

How to Care for Dried Flowers and Preserved Grasses

Your Guide For How to Care for Dried Flowers

Whether you’re dreaming up a dried flower arrangement, unsure of how to store your dried bouquet, or just want to give your dried hydrangeas a refresh, this guide is for you. Before creating an arrangement or storing away your seasonal stems, follow a few pointers to keep your blooms beautiful.

Avoid Humidity and Don’t Place in Water

Although you may be tempted to drop these dried flowers in water, steer clear of any moisture. Dried flowers have been processed to remove all moisture. Preserved flowers have been processed to retain a specific percentage of moisture to maintain flexibility. Display your dried or preserved stems loosely in an empty vase, making sure they have room to breathe. Do not place in water or store in a humid area. If your dyed or preserved florals begin to weep or leak coloring, dry them out in a cool dry place.  

Keep Out of Direct Sunlight

To keep your dried floral arrangement from fading, place your arrangement in a shady space. Bright light and direct UV exposure can be harsh on delicate blooms. For an extra layer of protection, spray with an aerosol UV protectant from your local art supply store.

Be Gentle and Avoid High Traffic Spaces 

Dried and preserved florals are delicate. Keep these stunning stems out of reach from small hands & fluffy tails. Our favorite space to style? Side tables and shelves for a subtle accent.

Store Away from Humidity

To keep your florals dry and in perfect condition, store in a breathable, sealed container away from any humidity. If you live in a tropical climate, store near a dehumidifier or with dehumidifying bags. If your preserved florals begin to “weep” or drip color from their stems, seal with a dab of hot glue. For extra freshness, store with a cedar closet block.

How to clean dried flowers?

For a quick fix, gently spray your dried florals with a few puffs of canned air duster (used to clean electronics). Another easy option for sturdier designs is to clean with a hair dryer on a low, no-heat setting. If dust persists, gently wipe with a cloth or feather duster. 

How to keep dried flowers from fading?

Dried florals will eventually fade (it adds to their charm!) but can maintain their color for several seasons if kept out of direct sunlight. Try placing your design on a low-light coffee table or a shady shelf. For extra protection, spray with an aerosol UV protectant.

How to store dried flowers?

The best option for dried flower or dried grass storage is to store your florals in a sealed, but breathable container, out of direct sunlight and high temperatures or humidity. To keep moths or other insects away, store with a cedar block. If you live in a humid climate, store near a dehumidifier or with dehumidifying bags for extra protection. Moisture can cause dried florals to change color, lose shape, and in some cases get moldy. 

How long do dried flowers last?

You may wonder if dried flowers can last forever - the answer, almost! With proper care, storage, and low humidity, dried and preserved florals can maintain their shape and color for several years. For best results, follow these tips + reach out to us with any questions.

What To Do with Dried Flowers

Dried flowers are a long-lasting, sustainable alternative to fresh flowers. Instead of purchasing fresh flowers weekly, one bundle of dried flowers can bring joy and maintain beauty for years! Dried flowers typically come in bundles of a single stem or pre-arranged in bouquets. To create simple dried flower arrangements, place a bundle of a single stem in a vase. For a minimalist effect, try styling just a few stems in a vase. This look is popular in Ikebana style arrangements or with large statement florals such as dried fan palms. 

To create a more complex dried flower arrangement, start by choosing the color palette and the vase you’ll be using. Next, select at least three different styles of florals, including one large statement style, a medium bloom, and a smaller filler flower. Choosing flowers with varying bloom sizes creates dimension and adds texture to your dried flower arrangement. Next, decide the shape of your arrangement and trim your stems to match your preferred style. 

Dried flowers are also a great everlasting alternative to fresh flower bouquets. To create a dried flower bouquet, follow the steps above for choosing your florals. Once you’ve chosen your florals, create your bouquet with your largest stems. From there, add in medium blooms, and finish off with daintier filler flowers. Look at your bouquet from all angles before placing the finishing touches. Wrap your bouquet with stem tape and a ribbon, and you’re set!

There are many ways to style dried flowers in your home, depending on your personal taste and the look you want to achieve. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create a dried flower arrangement: Gather a selection of dried flowers and arrange them in a vase, jar, or other container. You can also add other natural elements, such as branches, twigs, or grasses, to add texture and depth to the arrangement.

  2. Display dried flowers in a shadow box: Create a small, framed display by placing dried flowers and other natural elements inside a shadow box. You can change the contents of the shadow box seasonally or according to your mood.

  3. Hang dried flowers from the ceiling: Use fishing line or thin wire to hang dried flowers from the ceiling or a wall. This creates a dramatic and eye-catching display.

  4. Press flowers in frames: Press flowers between sheets of wax paper and place them in small frames. Hang the frames on a wall or group them together on a tabletop for a pretty, minimalist display.

  5. Make a wreath: Use a variety of dried flowers and other natural elements to create a wreath for your front door or to hang on a wall. You can use a store-bought wreath base or make your own using wire or a ring of twigs.


What’s the difference between dried and preserved flowers?

Ever wonder what’s the difference between dried and preserved flowers? Dried flowers and preserved flowers can both last for years, but once you compare the two, they’re pretty different. Dried flowers undergo a drying process where all moisture is removed. Sometimes, this strips or fades their natural color as drying removes the proteins that create color. Because dried flowers contain no moisture and little flexibility, they’re often more delicate than preserved flowers. Our sustainable dried flower vendors either air dry or use natural methods to dry each flower or grass.

Instead of drying, preserved flowers and grasses undergo a rehydration process. First, the plant's stem is placed in a mixture of vegetable-based glycerine and other plant additives. This liquid rises up the stem, slowly swapping the plant’s natural sap for the added plant-based preservative. Once the plant is fully hydrated, it’s stable and can remain flexible and lifelike for years.

Both dried and preserved flowers can be dyed. Dyed dried flowers are typically painted or dehydrated, then rehydrated with a small amount of vegetable-based dye. Dyed preserved flowers are rehydrated with a dye/glycerine combo. 

Because plants are porous, sometimes the vegetable-based dye or vegetable-based preservative may bleed or rub off. This is normal but can increase in humid environments. For best results, keep your dyed and preserved flowers and plants in a dry, cool area out of direct sunlight. 

We partner with sustainable vendors who use water and vegetable-based preservatives and dyes. To lower the environmental impact of dying and preserving flowers, each of our dried flower farms also treats and disposes any wastewater on-site through a certified process.  For more information on our sustainability practices, follow along here. All dried or preserved products can be sorted by:

  • Bleached - Processed to remove natural coloring. All wastewater is treated on-site in certified facilities.
  • Dyed - Processed using water-based dyes. All wastewater is treated on-site in certified facilities.
  • Preserved - Processed with a vegetable-based glycerin formula to maintain flexibility. Some preserved items are dyed using water-based dyes to maintain color. All wastewater is treated on-site in certified facilities.
  • Natural Dried - Dried using no chemical processes or dyes.
  • Natural Accessories - Dried and preserved floral design accessories.

Where do dried flowers come from?

For years, we’ve been leaning out of commercial farming, cultivating relationships with small, family-owned flower farms, and working to lower our carbon footprint. As a result, our dried florals are mostly grown domestically in the Pacific Northwest. For our non-native florals, we partner internationally with a small farm in Baja, Mexico, a family-owned dried flower business in the Netherlands, a farm in China, and an environmentally focused nursery in Japan.  To learn more about farm, follow along here. 

From planting to processing, our trusted farmers focus on lowering their environmental impact at every step. Our partners keep dried flowers as natural as possible through sustainable harvesting techniques, natural drying processes, solar-powered facilities, and on-site, certified wastewater treatment.

At Afloral, we’re also striving to do better. We’re shifting our focus to more natural stems (less dying and fewer processes) and choosing only vegetable-based/food-grade dyes when possible. In addition, we’re replacing plastic sleeves for dried bundles with biodegradable Kraft paper and phasing out our recyclable plastic packaging. All of our dried florals will note a country of origin and processes practiced on each product page.

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    Author Bio

    Derek Milliman has had a career in the floral industry for over a decade, with his passion for florals, nature and sustainable decor he offers a keen eye for designing home interior spaces that exceeds expectations. His commitment to quality and creativity makes him an asset to Afloral’s botanical community.