Although most orchids come in a pattern of three petals and three sepals, they vary greatly in colour and size. Orchids can be used in bouquets, or in vases for decorating fireplace mantels. Over time, the orchids begin to fade. You do not have to watch the beauty of your orchids fade away. You can preserve the orchids by pressing them in a flower press.
Open the flower press. Some have Velcro closures and others have nuts and bolts.
Set a piece of cardboard on the bottom of the flower press. Place a sheet of newspaper over the top of it.
Remove any green foliage from the orchids you want to preserve. Set one to three orchids on the sheet of newspaper. Smaller presses will only accommodate one flower, while larger presses may accommodate three. The orchids should be at least 1 to 2 inches apart.
Cover the orchids with a sheet of newspaper, followed by a piece of cardboard.
Close the press by fastening the Velcro, or replacing the nuts and bolts. Set aside for two weeks.
Open your flower press and feel the orchids to see if they are dry. If not, replace the sheets of newspaper with fresh ones, and press again for another three to five days. Repeat until the orchids are completely dry.
If you don't have a flower press, you can place the orchids in between several heavy books. Display your preserved orchid in a shadow box.
Don't wait until the orchids are fading to preserve them. Their colour is best retained if the orchid is pressed while it is still fresh.