How do I preserve the color of pressed flowers?

Written by darci pauser
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How do I preserve the color of pressed flowers?
Pressed flowers maintain their natural vibrance with the right preservation techniques. (abstract oval of roses image by marilyn barbone from

Pressed flowers occasionally lose their colour during the drying process or shortly thereafter while on display. You can prevent the loss of colour by using flowers well-suited to pressing in the first place, conditioning the flowers, pressing the flowers properly and displaying the flowers in the proper conditions. According to North Dakota State University, flowers that keep their colour well when pressed include aster, bleeding heart, buttercup, chrysanthemum, columbine, cosmos, dahlia, dogwood, English daisy, geranium, larkspur, lily-of-the-valley, marigold, pansy, poppy, rose, sweet pea, violet, and zinnia.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Vase
  • Floral food
  • Newspaper
  • Blotting paper
  • Book
  • Weight
  • 'Floating' picture frame or frame with acid-free mounts

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  1. 1

    Cut the desired flowers and trim any leaves located toward the bottom of the stem.

  2. 2

    Place the flowers in a vase with floral food for 24 hours to condition the blooms.

  3. 3

    Take the flowers out of the vase and place them between several sheets of newsprint. Place one layer of blotting paper on each side of the flower within the newsprint. Place all layers flat inside a book. Set at least 9.07 Kilogram of weight on the book and keep it in a dark, dry place for two weeks to one month.

  4. 4

    Replace the blotting paper every two days to speed the drying process and prevent browning and colour loss.

  5. 5

    Display the pressed flowers between two sheets of glass, such as in a 'floating' picture frame or frame with acid-free matting. Acid-free display materials prevent the degeneration of petal colour.

  6. 6

    Keep the displayed flowers away from bright sunlight.

Tips and warnings

  • To ensure your flowers retain colour, add floral dye to the conditioning solution. Although this does not preserve the flowers' natural colours, your pressed flowers will hold the dye and appear naturally colourful.

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