How To Dry Fuchsia Blooms

Here is a brief method on drying fuchsia blooms, which some people believe cannot be done. (The method was practiced several times in order to achieve perfection)

Here is the method.

There are two methods to dry the silica gel crystals which will change colour when there is sufficient moisture in the silica gel.

The first is to place the crystals into an oven in an oven-proof container. Heat the crystals to the temperature and for the time indicated on the package of the silica gel you have purchased. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

The second is to place the crystals into a microwave oven and heat. Heat the crystals to the temperature and for the time indicated on the package of the silica gel you have purchased. Remove from microwave and allow to cool completely.

Prepare a 2 litre ice cream tub and fill with enough dry silica gel crystals to completely cover the flowers to be dried and then form 2 holes for the flowers to be placed into, or partially fill the tub then cover the flowers afterwards. The silica gel crystals should be at room temperature. Ensuring 2 blooms (maximum) are fully open, gently place them into the silica gel crystals and using a small brush ensure they are fully covered with at least ¼” of silica gel above the flowers. With the lid on the ice cream carton, place in a microwave on full power for around 2 minutes and then leave to stand for 10 minutes. Now very carefully remove the flowers. Place them on kitchen paper and leave to stand for a further 20 minutes. The flowers should now be completely dry.

It may be necessary to adjust the microwave and standing time, or both, to achieve the desired results.

The hardest flowers to dry are white, which if heated for too long will go brown.

Various varieties of fuchsia blooms have been experimented with. All it takes is practice and patience.

Mike and Ev Gibbons (Park Gate, Southampton)