How to preserve flowers with glycerine

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How to preserve flowers with glycerine
Preserve flowers with glycerine. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

There are several ways to preserve your favourite flowers, one of which is submersing the stems in a solution of glycerine. Flowers preserved this way are supple and very long-lasting.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Foliage preservative
  • Garden shears
  • Baking dishes
  • Double boilers

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  1. 1

    Buy liquid glycerine made especially for preserving flowers and foliage at a crafts shop or on the Internet.

  2. 2

    Cut mature flowers from your garden. Tender new growth will not absorb the glycerine.

  3. 3

    Harvest the flowers in the morning hours, after the dew has evaporated off the petals and foliage.

  4. 4

    Wipe away any dust or dirt from the surfaces and remove any imperfect leaves, petals or stems.

  5. 5

    Crush the stems 5 cm (2 inches) up from the cut end using a hammer or the handle end of your clippers.

  6. 6

    Heat the liquid glycerine to 54.4 to 60 degrees C (130 to 140 degrees F) in a microwave oven or in a double boiler. Leave the preservative in the original wide-mouth bottle.

  7. 7

    Insert the cut stems into the container of glycerine. Allow them to remain in the solution for up to three weeks.

  8. 8

    Submerge small flowers such as pansies and violets in a heatproof container of warm glycerine.

  9. 9

    Watch the flowers carefully for changes in coloring and darkening of the veins. Remove from the preserver when the petals are supple and there is no sign of brittleness.

Tips and warnings

  • Stiff, waxy-type flowers with sturdy stems are the best type to preserve with glycerine; roses, hydrangeas, statice and straw flowers will last a long time when preserved this way.
  • The color will change. Spray-paint the blooms once they have dried if you choose.
  • Remove dust from preserved flowers occasionally with a soft cloth or a feather duster.

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