Gerbera daisies, like roses, tulips and other flowers with large petals, make an excellent choice for preserving by microwave oven drying. This process preserves the flower shape and color better than air drying. The blooms of the gerbera daisies shouldn't be fully mature so that they don't lose petals. Wiring the stems after microwave drying will make them easier to arrange.
Things You'll Need
- Gerbera daisies
- Microwave-safe glass dish
- Silica gel (granular silica)
- Plastic wrap
- Clear acrylic spray
Fill a 4-inch deep microwave-safe glass container (large enough for the flowers) with two inches of silica gel. Position the gerbera daisies in the gel with the blossom facing upward. Pour additional gel over the daisies making certain that the petals are in the position you would like them to dry. Do not flatten the petals with the gel; use enough to cover, but apply carefully.
Put the glass container in the microwave uncovered. Microwave settings vary; start with a setting just above the "defrost" temperature. Microwave for 3 to 5 minutes. Check the gerbera daisies intermittently. Continue microwaving until they are dry. Daisies preserve best at low temperatures for longer amounts of time, rather than quickly at high temperatures. If the flowers are large, they may need additional time.
When the gerbera daisies are dry, open the microwave and immediately cover the top of the container with plastic wrap. Take the container out of the microwave, vent the top slightly and let sit for 24 hours. Be careful, it may be hot.
When the gerbera daisies are cool, remove carefully from the silica and clean the petals with a small paintbrush. Spray lightly with a clear acrylic spray.
Tips & Warnings
- Silica gel can be reused for preserving flowers.
- Do not use the glass container for food after filling with silica gel and flowers.
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