• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Copyright
 Front Cover
 Introduction
 History
 Collecting plant materials
 Naturally dry materials
 Artificial drying
 Pressing
 Special preservation technique...
 Dyeing and coloring
 Dyeing & coloring
 Gloss treatment
 Bleaching
 Color changes due to drying
 Storage
 Plants and their parts suitable...
 Back Cover






Group Title: Florida Cooperative Extension Service circular 495
Title: Drying and preserving plant materials
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00049265/00001
 Material Information
Title: Drying and preserving plant materials
Series Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Physical Description: 19 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: White, Patricia Jane, 1956-
Tjia, Benny O. S ( Benny Oen Swie ), 1938-
Sheehan, Marion
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1981?
 Subjects
Subject: Botanical specimens -- Drying   ( lcsh )
Botanical specimens -- Collection and preservation   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Patricia White, B. Tjia and Marion R. Sheehan.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00049265
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 08896088

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
    History
        Page 3
    Collecting plant materials
        Page 3
    Naturally dry materials
        Page 4
    Artificial drying
        Page 5
        Air drying
            Page 6
        Dessicants (drying agents)
            Page 6
            Page 7
        How to use dessicants
            Page 8
        Glue application
            Page 9
    Pressing
        Page 10
    Special preservation techniques
        Page 11
        Glycerine
            Page 11
    Dyeing and coloring
        Page 12
        Spray dyeing
            Page 13
        Absorption dyeing (fresh materials only)
            Page 13
    Dyeing & coloring
        Page 13
    Gloss treatment
        Page 14
    Bleaching
        Page 14
    Color changes due to drying
        Page 14
    Storage
        Page 14
    Plants and their parts suitable for collecting and drying
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Back Cover
        Page 20
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida





Circular 495


Drying and Preserving Plant Materials


Patricia White, B. Tjia


Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville / John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension


































































The authors would like to thank Nora Bussey for her assistance in illustrating this publication.




The subjects in the cover illustrations are, left to right, Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) branch,
okra pods, wheat seed heads (Triticum sp.), grass seed head, babies' breath (Gypsophila)
inflorescences and silver dollar Eucalyptus branch.








Drying and Preserving Plant Materials

Patricia White, B. Tjia and Marion R. Sheehan*

Introduction
Dried and preserved plant materials are increasingly popular for
home decor. Dried arrangements, both formal and informal, can
preserve the graceful lines, textures, and colors of flowers and foliage
with a subtle and gently aged appearance.
Many preserved materials will last almost indefinitely with little care.
If they become dusty, a careful whisk with a soft brush is usually suffi-
cient to clean them.
Dried materials can be used to enhance vases, baskets,.plaques,
shadow boxes, and fresh flower arrangements. They also may be used
as wall decorations, or in wreaths, corsages, leis, or as decorations on
gift boxes. Brandy snifters, candy jars, terrariums, and other glassware
provide dramatic displays for dried materials. Pressed flowers and leaves
framed under glass take on a fresh, lifelike luminosity.

History
Preserving plant materials in a dried form is not a new idea; it has
been considered an art for hundreds of years. Fragrant dried herbs were
encased with mummified bodies in Egyptian pyramids. During the
Middle Ages, monks dried flowers, foliage, and herbs for use in
decorative motifs or for making dyes to color their hand-printed books.
Dried flower arrangements have been popular in Europe for centuries,
and as early as 1700, colonial Americans used dried flowers to brighten
their homes, especially during the dark winter months. Restored
Williamsburg presents numerous examples of these designs.
With the development of some new preservation techniques dried
materials no longer have to appear withered and somber gray or brown.
Materials available commercially, as well as those which can be pre-
served by homeowners using today's methods, are almost unbelievably
fresh-looking and represent a wide range of colors. Thus new areas of
creativity are now open to the artistic homeowner.

Collecting Plant Materials
Almost any plant part; flowers, leaves, or stems, can be dried natu-
rally or artificially. Many interesting and decorative cones, nuts, gourds,

*Patricia White is a former graduate assistant, B. Tjia is an Associate Professor, Extension
Floriculture Specialist, and Marion R. Sheehan is a Visiting Assistant Professor, Floral Design,
Ornamental Horticulture Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville.








Drying and Preserving Plant Materials

Patricia White, B. Tjia and Marion R. Sheehan*

Introduction
Dried and preserved plant materials are increasingly popular for
home decor. Dried arrangements, both formal and informal, can
preserve the graceful lines, textures, and colors of flowers and foliage
with a subtle and gently aged appearance.
Many preserved materials will last almost indefinitely with little care.
If they become dusty, a careful whisk with a soft brush is usually suffi-
cient to clean them.
Dried materials can be used to enhance vases, baskets,.plaques,
shadow boxes, and fresh flower arrangements. They also may be used
as wall decorations, or in wreaths, corsages, leis, or as decorations on
gift boxes. Brandy snifters, candy jars, terrariums, and other glassware
provide dramatic displays for dried materials. Pressed flowers and leaves
framed under glass take on a fresh, lifelike luminosity.

History
Preserving plant materials in a dried form is not a new idea; it has
been considered an art for hundreds of years. Fragrant dried herbs were
encased with mummified bodies in Egyptian pyramids. During the
Middle Ages, monks dried flowers, foliage, and herbs for use in
decorative motifs or for making dyes to color their hand-printed books.
Dried flower arrangements have been popular in Europe for centuries,
and as early as 1700, colonial Americans used dried flowers to brighten
their homes, especially during the dark winter months. Restored
Williamsburg presents numerous examples of these designs.
With the development of some new preservation techniques dried
materials no longer have to appear withered and somber gray or brown.
Materials available commercially, as well as those which can be pre-
served by homeowners using today's methods, are almost unbelievably
fresh-looking and represent a wide range of colors. Thus new areas of
creativity are now open to the artistic homeowner.

Collecting Plant Materials
Almost any plant part; flowers, leaves, or stems, can be dried natu-
rally or artificially. Many interesting and decorative cones, nuts, gourds,

*Patricia White is a former graduate assistant, B. Tjia is an Associate Professor, Extension
Floriculture Specialist, and Marion R. Sheehan is a Visiting Assistant Professor, Floral Design,
Ornamental Horticulture Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville.








Drying and Preserving Plant Materials

Patricia White, B. Tjia and Marion R. Sheehan*

Introduction
Dried and preserved plant materials are increasingly popular for
home decor. Dried arrangements, both formal and informal, can
preserve the graceful lines, textures, and colors of flowers and foliage
with a subtle and gently aged appearance.
Many preserved materials will last almost indefinitely with little care.
If they become dusty, a careful whisk with a soft brush is usually suffi-
cient to clean them.
Dried materials can be used to enhance vases, baskets,.plaques,
shadow boxes, and fresh flower arrangements. They also may be used
as wall decorations, or in wreaths, corsages, leis, or as decorations on
gift boxes. Brandy snifters, candy jars, terrariums, and other glassware
provide dramatic displays for dried materials. Pressed flowers and leaves
framed under glass take on a fresh, lifelike luminosity.

History
Preserving plant materials in a dried form is not a new idea; it has
been considered an art for hundreds of years. Fragrant dried herbs were
encased with mummified bodies in Egyptian pyramids. During the
Middle Ages, monks dried flowers, foliage, and herbs for use in
decorative motifs or for making dyes to color their hand-printed books.
Dried flower arrangements have been popular in Europe for centuries,
and as early as 1700, colonial Americans used dried flowers to brighten
their homes, especially during the dark winter months. Restored
Williamsburg presents numerous examples of these designs.
With the development of some new preservation techniques dried
materials no longer have to appear withered and somber gray or brown.
Materials available commercially, as well as those which can be pre-
served by homeowners using today's methods, are almost unbelievably
fresh-looking and represent a wide range of colors. Thus new areas of
creativity are now open to the artistic homeowner.

Collecting Plant Materials
Almost any plant part; flowers, leaves, or stems, can be dried natu-
rally or artificially. Many interesting and decorative cones, nuts, gourds,

*Patricia White is a former graduate assistant, B. Tjia is an Associate Professor, Extension
Floriculture Specialist, and Marion R. Sheehan is a Visiting Assistant Professor, Floral Design,
Ornamental Horticulture Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville.








seed pods, flowers, foliage, and even small graceful tree branches can
be obtained by taking a walk in the meadows, woods, or along road-
sides. Nature, with its seasonal variability, offers a tremendous diversity
of colors, textures, shapes, and sizes of plant materials from which to
select, the only limitation being the collector's imagination. For best
results, all materials gathered should be in excellent condition. Approx-
imately twice the volume of plant parts needed should be collected to
compensate for the inevitable loss that occurs both in the drying process
and the subsequent makeup of a design.
When plants are gathered from the wild, careful consideration
should be given to conservation. It is important to check with the state
park service or other concerned organizations to learn which plants are
officially on endangered species lists and which therefore should not be
touched. Never deplete a population of plants in an area, rather leave a
clump that will continue to grow.
There is no one time of the year to collect materials for drying, since
some can be gathered every month and stored for future use. Don't wait
until late fall and then try to gather everything all at once.
There are two general categories of dried materials, those collected
in an already dry condition and those picked fresh and in need of arti-
ficial drying.

Naturally Dry Materials
These include dry grasses, reeds, pine and other cones, and most
seed pods. Dry materials should be harvested when they are still in
good condition, usually in the fall of the year at the end of their growing
season, but before they become weathered in appearance. Cattails,
however, should be picked when they first turn brown, while flowers
are still visible at the top of the spike.

SPRAYING
Fragile seed heads will hold if sprayed with an aerosol lacquer.








Usually some grooming is all that is necessary for materials collected.
However, cones and pods may need to be washed in water and a mild
detergent. Fragile seed heads, such as those of pampas grass, as well as
mature cattails, may be sprayed with hairspray or other aerosol lacquers
or plastics to prevent shattering as they age. Besides helping to preserve
some of these materials, lacquers or shellacs may be sprayed or painted
on fruits and cones to give them a more shiny, decorative look. Remove
seeds from pine cones to prevent shedding which may occur at a later
time.

Artificial Drying
Fresh plant materials should be dried by one of several methods
described in the following sections. Whichever method is used, the
principle of drying flowers or leaves is the same: to remove moisture
slowly while at the same time maintaining as much of the original shape
and texture as possible.
Generally, fresh materials to be dried or preserved should be picked
at midday, when water and food stored in the plant parts are at low
levels. Collect foliage at the peak of its growing season, and pick flowers
in perfect or near-perfect condition at early maturity, but not quite at full
bloom. Avoid flowers that are damaged or defective.
Since stems dry very slowly and add unwanted bulk, remove them
from flowers, leaving only an inch or two to which a wire may be fas-
tened. Remove leaves from branches that are to be preserved. Groom
foliage so that only the desired portion is dried.

WIRING
1. Remove all but 1" of stem.
2. Attach a wire, securing it around remaining stem.








Air Drying
This is by far the simplest and least expensive method used to dry
leaves and flowers. It takes little time and skill and nearly always pro-
duces satisfactory results. All flowers or stems that are semi-dry and that
do not wilt readily can be used. Tie stems into loose bunches with rub-
ber bands or twist'ties and hang upside down in a cool, dry, well-
ventilated room. Do not place the material in a warm oven or in front of
electric heaters to speed up the process, as this might be dangerous, but
some air circulation is necessary to prevent growth of mold and to allow
proper drying. Flowers usually take one to three weeks to dry, depend-
ing on the thickness of stems and foliage. The more fleshy the flowers or
foliage, the more time is required to dry.

AIR-DRYING
1. Loose bunches hung to dry.
2. Stems placed upright to dry.
3. Drying Rack Screen supported on blocks.




















Dessicants (Drying Agents)
Flowers that wilt must be dried in a supportive substance to preserve
their form and shape. There are several methods that can be used for
this.
1. Sand
The oldest, least expensive, and still one of the best dessicants is
dry fine, washed sand that is almost salt free. The major problems
with sand are that it is heavy and sometimes bruises delicate petals,








Air Drying
This is by far the simplest and least expensive method used to dry
leaves and flowers. It takes little time and skill and nearly always pro-
duces satisfactory results. All flowers or stems that are semi-dry and that
do not wilt readily can be used. Tie stems into loose bunches with rub-
ber bands or twist'ties and hang upside down in a cool, dry, well-
ventilated room. Do not place the material in a warm oven or in front of
electric heaters to speed up the process, as this might be dangerous, but
some air circulation is necessary to prevent growth of mold and to allow
proper drying. Flowers usually take one to three weeks to dry, depend-
ing on the thickness of stems and foliage. The more fleshy the flowers or
foliage, the more time is required to dry.

AIR-DRYING
1. Loose bunches hung to dry.
2. Stems placed upright to dry.
3. Drying Rack Screen supported on blocks.




















Dessicants (Drying Agents)
Flowers that wilt must be dried in a supportive substance to preserve
their form and shape. There are several methods that can be used for
this.
1. Sand
The oldest, least expensive, and still one of the best dessicants is
dry fine, washed sand that is almost salt free. The major problems
with sand are that it is heavy and sometimes bruises delicate petals,







and it is slow-acting in comparison to other drying agents. A mixture
of 2 parts borax to 1 part sand may be used, adding 1 tablespoon salt
to each quart to speed drying.

2. Borax Mixtures
Although borax is relatively inexpensive to buy, it should be used
with caution, because with prolonged use it may cause eye or skin
irritation.
Pure borax may be used for rapid drying, but there is danger of
burning and/or bleaching the flower parts, especially with delicate
flowers. For a milder drying agent, borax is usually mixed with either
white or yellow corn meal. The mixture will not damage delicate
flowers if used and handled with care. A mixture of one part borax to
one part cornmeal mixture is satisfactory for rapid drying, or a mix-
ture of one part borax and up to 3 parts cornmeal should suffice for
slower drying. Add one tablespoon of salt to each quart of the mix to
speed up the drying process.
Borax and borax mixtures can be reused, but the mixture must be
dry. Spread in a shallow pan and place in a warm oven, 2500-275,
stirring occasionally, until it feels dry. Store in a tight container.

3. Silica Gel
Silica gel is a blue crystal with a high water-absorbing capacity. It
is an expensive dessicant, but can be used indefinitely so is worth the
investment for those people who continually collect and dry plant
materials. Silica gel is the dessicant which is placed in small packets
to keep some foods and moisture-sensitive equipment such as
cameras dry. It may be purchased at hobby and craft shops, from
florists, garden supply stores, or from chemical supply sources. Silica
gel must be used in an airtight container to be effective. If it becomes
saturated with moisture from the air, it will not have the capacity to
dry plant materials.
Flowers dried in silica gel retain good color because silica gel is
the fastest-acting drying agent available.
As silica gel absorbs moisture, it turns pale blue-gray or even
pinkish gray and must be dried again by placing it in an oven. Spread
in a shallow pan, place in a warm oven 2500-2750 for several hours,
and stir occasionally. When it returns to its original bright blue color,
it is dry. Store silica gel in an airtight container until it is used again.
4. Other Dessicants
Other dessicants which may be used include expanded clay kitty
litter, perlite, dry sawdust, and cornstarch. A mixture of 4 parts corn-
meal and 2 parts dry detergent with or without the addition of 1 part
borax may also be used.








How to Use Dessicants
Choose boxes, cans or other containers that will hold the flowers
without leaving too much excess space, but which will prevent
crowding or bending of parts. Spiky flowers will require an elongated
container such as a florist box. Dome shaped flowers fit into almost any
container. Silica gel requires an airtight container such as a can with a
tight lid, a plastic storage container, or even a plastic bag.

CONTAINERS
1. Elongated boxes for spike type flowers.
2. Small boxes.
3. Tin containers.
4. Plastic bags.


CHIPS









Place 1/2" to 1" of the drying agent in the bottom of the container.
Place the first layer of flowers on top. If they have had wires attached to
the stem, bend the wires to fit the container. Flat-faced flowers such as
daisies may be placed face down; all others face up. Be sure that flowers
are spread apart so they do not touch or overlap. Place some of the dry-
ing agent over and around the flowers; be careful to retain form, keep-
ing petals in their natural positions. Cover the layer 1/2" to 1" deep with
dessicant and position a second layer of flowers in the container. Con-
tinue in this manner allowing space at the top to cover the last layer 1/2"
deep with dessicant. Cover the container and do not disturb.
Check for drying, using the following guide for minimum times.

Flower or leaf
Dessicant thickness Minimum times
Silica gel Thin textures 2 days
Medium textures 3-4 days
Heavy textures 5-7 days
Other dessicants Thin textures 4-5 days
Medium textures 6-9 days
Heavy textures 10-14 days








Drying is complete when flowers are crisp and dry to the touch, but
not brittle. The thickest parts are slowest to dry. If only the petals are
completely dry, the flowers may be removed and the drying process
completed by the air drying method.
To remove dried materials gently brush the drying agent away. Then
lift the flowers out, shaking off the remaining crystals. It is best to handle
the flower by the wire that was attached to the stem. Any remaining
dessicant can be shaken or brushed away with a soft artist's brush.
To prevent shattering, some flowers may need to have droplets of
white or clear glue dropped at the base of petals either before or after
drying. If applied before drying, allow to dry completely before placing
the flowers in a dessicant.
If flowers become misshapen in spite of careful burying in the dessi-
cant, steam them lightly and quickly rearrange the petals.

GLUE APPLICATION
Drops of clear glue will prevent shattering of daisy type flowers. Use top
or bottom or both.











Microwave Drying
Using a microwave oven for drying flowers is another method to
preserve flowers and other plant materials. Microwave drying, which
takes only a few minutes in the oven, provides material that looks
fresher and more colorful than that obtained by other methods.
Flowers should be placed in a supportive substance before placing in
the microwave oven so that natural form is retained. Silica gel, borax
mixtures, and expanded clay cat litter work well; silica gel, however is
the preferred substance. Use only glass, paper, or special microwave
containers in which to hold the flowers and dessicants. Do not cover the
container. Always place a small cup of water in the oven before cooking
to prevent excessive drying.
Cooking times vary, depending on the characteristics of the leaf or
flower. After cooking, flowers must be left in the drying agent for several
hours, and for some specimens an overnight standing period is recom-
mended.








When using a microwave oven, it will be necessary to experiment
with length of cooking time and length of time that the dried flowers
should remain in the dessicant before removal. Below are some sugges-
tions on cooking and standing times for specific flowers:

Cooking Standing
Flower time time


Roses
Daisy-type flowers: zinnias, marigolds,
daisies, chrysanthemums
Carnations
Large dahlias
Large chrysanthemums
Peonies
Small orchids
Large orchids


2 1/2 min. overnight

1 1/2 min. 10 hours
1 1/2 min. 10 hours
3 min. 36 hours
3 min. 36 hours


3 min.


36 hours


1 1/2 min. 24 hours
2 1/2 min. 24 hours


Pressing
The color and form of many leaves and some flowers can be pre-
served by placing them between layers of newspaper or pages of an old
phone book or catalog and weighting the top with a heavy flat object.
Foliage should dry within one week, flowers in two weeks. Wires can be
added to stems later for ease of arranging.
PRESSING
Left Place materials between newspapers and cover with boards or
cardboard.
Right- Place weights on stack to press.








Flat or single flowers work best; double or thick ones may mold
before they dry. Sprays of small flowers may be readily pressed and
dried. Ferns dry well in this manner, as do branches of thin-leaved
foliage and leaves, such as maple and oak which are especially attrac-
tive when in fall color.

Special Preservation Techniques
Glycerine
Treatment of foliage with glycerine is unique. Although stems and
leaves turn brown by this process, they will remain flexible and pliable
indefinitely.
Place stems in a mixture of 1 part glycerine to 2 parts water, 2 to 4
inches deep. The glycerine solution will progress up the stem and into
the leaves slowly, turning them brown as it moves up. When the entire
branch is brown, it may be removed from the glycerine. It may be
necessary to add more of the solution to the container if it has all been
absorbed. Average time for this treatment is 2 to 3 weeks. This method is
best suited for preserving foliage of such plants as magnolia, ligustrum,
and other broad-leaved evergreens.
Other plant materials absorb glycerine through the leaf surface and
can be submerged in the solution. This can be done with ferns and with
single leaves of magnolia, poplar, and palmetto.


GLYCERINE TREATMENT
1. Place stems in 2 parts water and 1 part glycerine.
2. Watch for leaves to turn brown.
3. Finished leaf will be entirely brown.








Flat or single flowers work best; double or thick ones may mold
before they dry. Sprays of small flowers may be readily pressed and
dried. Ferns dry well in this manner, as do branches of thin-leaved
foliage and leaves, such as maple and oak which are especially attrac-
tive when in fall color.

Special Preservation Techniques
Glycerine
Treatment of foliage with glycerine is unique. Although stems and
leaves turn brown by this process, they will remain flexible and pliable
indefinitely.
Place stems in a mixture of 1 part glycerine to 2 parts water, 2 to 4
inches deep. The glycerine solution will progress up the stem and into
the leaves slowly, turning them brown as it moves up. When the entire
branch is brown, it may be removed from the glycerine. It may be
necessary to add more of the solution to the container if it has all been
absorbed. Average time for this treatment is 2 to 3 weeks. This method is
best suited for preserving foliage of such plants as magnolia, ligustrum,
and other broad-leaved evergreens.
Other plant materials absorb glycerine through the leaf surface and
can be submerged in the solution. This can be done with ferns and with
single leaves of magnolia, poplar, and palmetto.


GLYCERINE TREATMENT
1. Place stems in 2 parts water and 1 part glycerine.
2. Watch for leaves to turn brown.
3. Finished leaf will be entirely brown.








Skeletonizing
As the name implies, this treatment eliminates all tissue but the
"skeleton" or veins of leaves. Skeletonized leaves lend an interesting,
lacy appearance to dried arrangements. Heavy-textured leaves are the
best choices for this method of preservation.
Boil leaves 40 minutes in 1 quart water and 2 tablespoons of lye.
Rinse in cold water and scrape or brush the green pulp from the leaves;
however, be careful not to destroy the network of veins. To lighten the
color of the leaf skeletons, immerse in a 1 quart water and 2 tablespoon
household bleach solution for 2 hours. Rinse and dry.
Skeletonizing is a somewhat difficult and tedious process, and great
patience and care are essential for success with this method of preserva-
tion.
SKELETONIZING
1. Boil leaves in lye water.
2. Rinse thoroughly.
3. Scrape green pulp away.
4. Lacy veins remain.














Dyeing and Coloring
Natural color may be intensified or artificial color introduced to
dried plant materials by dyeing or coloring.
It is important to note that flowers are generally very fragile and may
need to be dyed before drying, especially if they are to be placed in a
dessicant. On the other hand, materials which are easily re-dried, such
as many grass seed heads, pods, and dried fruits, may be dyed after dry-
ing.
There are several methods for dyeing plant materials.
Dip Dyeing
1. Ink or food coloring should be mixed in water to which 1 table-
spoon alum per gallon has been added.








2. Fabric dye should be mixed with water to desired strength.
3. Floral dip dyes should be mixed as directed.
Method: Dip either fresh flowers or easily redried dry materials
in solution until the desired color is obtained. If the color be-
comes too intense accidentally, it is usually possible to lighten
it by rinsing it in clear water. Colors will lighten in the drying
process.
Dry the dyed materials by the preferred method.

Spray Dyeing
1. Commercial floral sprays: Used as directed, these are not harmful
to even the most delicate materials and are available in a wide
choice of colors including some metallics.
2. Ordinary house paints sold in aerosol cans: Use only on heavy
textured material such as branches, thick or large leaves, seed
pods, and cones.
Absorption Dyeing (Fresh materials only)
1. Florist absorption dyes may be used as directed on can for fresh
materials.
2. Ink, fabric dye and food coloring should be mixed to a solution
stronger than that prepared for dip dyeing. Place stems in the
solution and let stand until the desired color is obtained.
3. Water-soluble (absorption) dyes are sometimes mixed with glyce-
rine and water, thereby causing both the glycerine and dye to be
taken up simultaneously.

DYEING & COLORING
1. Dip Dyeing Swish flower in dye mixture.
2. Spray dyeing.
3. Absorption Dyeing Place stems in dye mixture.








2. Fabric dye should be mixed with water to desired strength.
3. Floral dip dyes should be mixed as directed.
Method: Dip either fresh flowers or easily redried dry materials
in solution until the desired color is obtained. If the color be-
comes too intense accidentally, it is usually possible to lighten
it by rinsing it in clear water. Colors will lighten in the drying
process.
Dry the dyed materials by the preferred method.

Spray Dyeing
1. Commercial floral sprays: Used as directed, these are not harmful
to even the most delicate materials and are available in a wide
choice of colors including some metallics.
2. Ordinary house paints sold in aerosol cans: Use only on heavy
textured material such as branches, thick or large leaves, seed
pods, and cones.
Absorption Dyeing (Fresh materials only)
1. Florist absorption dyes may be used as directed on can for fresh
materials.
2. Ink, fabric dye and food coloring should be mixed to a solution
stronger than that prepared for dip dyeing. Place stems in the
solution and let stand until the desired color is obtained.
3. Water-soluble (absorption) dyes are sometimes mixed with glyce-
rine and water, thereby causing both the glycerine and dye to be
taken up simultaneously.

DYEING & COLORING
1. Dip Dyeing Swish flower in dye mixture.
2. Spray dyeing.
3. Absorption Dyeing Place stems in dye mixture.








2. Fabric dye should be mixed with water to desired strength.
3. Floral dip dyes should be mixed as directed.
Method: Dip either fresh flowers or easily redried dry materials
in solution until the desired color is obtained. If the color be-
comes too intense accidentally, it is usually possible to lighten
it by rinsing it in clear water. Colors will lighten in the drying
process.
Dry the dyed materials by the preferred method.

Spray Dyeing
1. Commercial floral sprays: Used as directed, these are not harmful
to even the most delicate materials and are available in a wide
choice of colors including some metallics.
2. Ordinary house paints sold in aerosol cans: Use only on heavy
textured material such as branches, thick or large leaves, seed
pods, and cones.
Absorption Dyeing (Fresh materials only)
1. Florist absorption dyes may be used as directed on can for fresh
materials.
2. Ink, fabric dye and food coloring should be mixed to a solution
stronger than that prepared for dip dyeing. Place stems in the
solution and let stand until the desired color is obtained.
3. Water-soluble (absorption) dyes are sometimes mixed with glyce-
rine and water, thereby causing both the glycerine and dye to be
taken up simultaneously.

DYEING & COLORING
1. Dip Dyeing Swish flower in dye mixture.
2. Spray dyeing.
3. Absorption Dyeing Place stems in dye mixture.








Gloss Treatment
Spray heavy-textured materials with lacquer or varnish to add a
shine or permanent finish. Lacquer may also be thinned and brushed on
or the materials may be dipped into it.

Bleaching
Many foliage such as fern fronds can be lightened by bleaching, as
described in the section on skeletonizing. After a light color has been
obtained, the dried foliage may then be tinted with a commercial florist
dye.

Color Changes Due to Drying
As mentioned earlier, color retention is greatest with the fastest-
acting dessicant; therefore, silica gel and microwaving are superior to
other methods. The following are some general observations regarding
color changes which one might expect to occur during the drying proc-
ess:
1. Pink generally becomes red, although borax may turn pink
flowers to mauve.
2. Red generally becomes more purple or bluish.
3. Pure blue acquires a lavender or purplish color.
4. Magenta turns to lavender.
5. Yellow and orange are usually well-preserved and possibly inten-
sified.

Storage
When plant parts have been preserved, utmost care should be taken
to prevent their damage. Specimens should be packed in closed boxes
or in sealed plastic bags containing mothballs. Packets of silica gel
should also be placed in the boxes to absorb any moisture in the air.
Dried plant materials are highly flammable, and precautions should be
taken to prevent fire hazards.








Gloss Treatment
Spray heavy-textured materials with lacquer or varnish to add a
shine or permanent finish. Lacquer may also be thinned and brushed on
or the materials may be dipped into it.

Bleaching
Many foliage such as fern fronds can be lightened by bleaching, as
described in the section on skeletonizing. After a light color has been
obtained, the dried foliage may then be tinted with a commercial florist
dye.

Color Changes Due to Drying
As mentioned earlier, color retention is greatest with the fastest-
acting dessicant; therefore, silica gel and microwaving are superior to
other methods. The following are some general observations regarding
color changes which one might expect to occur during the drying proc-
ess:
1. Pink generally becomes red, although borax may turn pink
flowers to mauve.
2. Red generally becomes more purple or bluish.
3. Pure blue acquires a lavender or purplish color.
4. Magenta turns to lavender.
5. Yellow and orange are usually well-preserved and possibly inten-
sified.

Storage
When plant parts have been preserved, utmost care should be taken
to prevent their damage. Specimens should be packed in closed boxes
or in sealed plastic bags containing mothballs. Packets of silica gel
should also be placed in the boxes to absorb any moisture in the air.
Dried plant materials are highly flammable, and precautions should be
taken to prevent fire hazards.








Gloss Treatment
Spray heavy-textured materials with lacquer or varnish to add a
shine or permanent finish. Lacquer may also be thinned and brushed on
or the materials may be dipped into it.

Bleaching
Many foliage such as fern fronds can be lightened by bleaching, as
described in the section on skeletonizing. After a light color has been
obtained, the dried foliage may then be tinted with a commercial florist
dye.

Color Changes Due to Drying
As mentioned earlier, color retention is greatest with the fastest-
acting dessicant; therefore, silica gel and microwaving are superior to
other methods. The following are some general observations regarding
color changes which one might expect to occur during the drying proc-
ess:
1. Pink generally becomes red, although borax may turn pink
flowers to mauve.
2. Red generally becomes more purple or bluish.
3. Pure blue acquires a lavender or purplish color.
4. Magenta turns to lavender.
5. Yellow and orange are usually well-preserved and possibly inten-
sified.

Storage
When plant parts have been preserved, utmost care should be taken
to prevent their damage. Specimens should be packed in closed boxes
or in sealed plastic bags containing mothballs. Packets of silica gel
should also be placed in the boxes to absorb any moisture in the air.
Dried plant materials are highly flammable, and precautions should be
taken to prevent fire hazards.








Gloss Treatment
Spray heavy-textured materials with lacquer or varnish to add a
shine or permanent finish. Lacquer may also be thinned and brushed on
or the materials may be dipped into it.

Bleaching
Many foliage such as fern fronds can be lightened by bleaching, as
described in the section on skeletonizing. After a light color has been
obtained, the dried foliage may then be tinted with a commercial florist
dye.

Color Changes Due to Drying
As mentioned earlier, color retention is greatest with the fastest-
acting dessicant; therefore, silica gel and microwaving are superior to
other methods. The following are some general observations regarding
color changes which one might expect to occur during the drying proc-
ess:
1. Pink generally becomes red, although borax may turn pink
flowers to mauve.
2. Red generally becomes more purple or bluish.
3. Pure blue acquires a lavender or purplish color.
4. Magenta turns to lavender.
5. Yellow and orange are usually well-preserved and possibly inten-
sified.

Storage
When plant parts have been preserved, utmost care should be taken
to prevent their damage. Specimens should be packed in closed boxes
or in sealed plastic bags containing mothballs. Packets of silica gel
should also be placed in the boxes to absorb any moisture in the air.
Dried plant materials are highly flammable, and precautions should be
taken to prevent fire hazards.











Plants and Their Parts

Suitable for Collecting and Drying

Scientific Name Index


FOLIAGE


Scientific Name
Acer
Agave
Alpinia
Araucaria
Artemesia
Asclepias
Aspidistra
Bambusa
Berberis
Bromeliaceae
Buxus
Caladium
Callistemon
Carya
Casuarina
Cecropia
Coccoloba
Cocculus
Cordyline
Crataegus
Croton
Cycadaceae
Cyperus
Eleagnus
Eriobotrya
Eucalyptus
Fatshedera
Fatsia
Ferns
Ficus
Hamamelis
Hedera
Heliconia
Herbs
Hosta
lex
Illicium
Juniperus
Lichens
Ligustrum
Lycopodium
Magnolia
Mahonia

Melaleuca
Myrica
Nandina
Palmaceae


Air Glycerine
Dry Treat
X
X X
X X
X X


Common Name

Maples
Century Plant
Shell Ginger
Monkey Puzzle Tree
Wormwood
Milkweed
Cast Iron Plant
Bamboo
Barberry
Bromeliads
Boxwood
Caladium
Bottlebrush
Hickory
Australian Pine
Cecropia
Sea Grape
Snail Seed
Dracaena, Ti
Hawthorn
Croton
Cycads
Papyrus
Russian Olive
Loquat
Silver Dollar etc.
Aralia
Fatsia
Many genera & species
Figs
Witch Hazel
Ivy
Heliconia
Most genera & species
Plantain Lily
Holly
Anise
Juniper, Cedar
Lichens
Privet
Club Moss
Magnolia
Grape Holly, Oregon
Grape
Punk tree
Myrtle
Heavenly Bamboo
Palms-Many


X
X X
X X


Press Skeletonize
X X


x x
x x
x x
x x
x x
X
x
x x
X
X
X X X
X
X X
X X X
X
X X
X
X
X X X
X X
X
X X
X X
X
X
X X X
X X
X X
X X X
X X
x
x

x
x x
x x x
x
x x
x
x
x x x
x x
x
x x
x x
x
x
X x x
x x
x x
x x x
x x














Scientific Name

Pandanus

Podocarpus
Prunus
Quercus
Rumex
Russelia
Selaginella
Taxodium
Taxus
Tetrapanax
Thuja
Trevesia
Vaccinium
Viburnum
Yucca
Zamia


Common Name

Chenille Plant
Yarrow
Lily of the Nile
Floss Flower
Hollyhock
Golden Trumpet
Onion
Aloe
Lily of the Incas
Mallow
Amaranth
Marguerite
Flamingo Flower
Snapdragon
Zebra Plant
Blue eyed Daisy
Wormwood
Spriaea
Blackberry Lily
Shrimp Plant
Calendula
Calla
Sweet Shrub
Camellia
Princess Plume &
Cockscomb
Mum, Daisy, Feverfew
etc.
Thistle
Virgin's Bower
Daisy & Daisy-Like
Flowers


Press Skeletonize


FOLIAGE


Glycerine
Treat


Common Name

Screw Pine
Southern Yew
Podocarpus
Plums & Cherries
Oaks
Dock
Firecracker Plant
Selaginella
Cypress
Yew
Rice Paper Plant
Arborvitae
Snowflake Plant
Huckleberry
Viburnum
Yucca
Coontie


x x

x
X
x
x x


FLOWERS


Dessi-
cate


Press


Natural Air
Dry Dry

X
X X
x
x
x





x
x x



X





x
X




X


X
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
X
X
X
X
X
X
X


Scientific Name

Acalypha
Achillea
Agapanthus
Ageratum
Alcea
Allamanda
Allium
Aloe
Alstroemeria
Althaea
Amaranthus
Anthemis
Anthurium
Antirrhinum
Aphelandra
Arctotis
Artemesia
Astilbe
Belamcanda
Belaperone
Calendula
Calla
Calycanthus
Camellia
Celosia

Chrysanthemum

Cirsium
Clematis
Compositae


X
x
x
x
x
x

x x
X
X
X
X
X

X X


x x
X


X X

X X















Scientific Name
Consolida
Cornus
Cosmos
Crinum
Crossandra
Cynara
Dahlia
Delphinium
Dianthus

Echinops
Erica
Eupatorium
Gaillerdia
Galphimia
Geranium
Gerbera
Gladiolus
Gomphrena
Grevillea
Gypsophila
Helichrysum
Heliconia
Hibiscus
Hippeastrum
Hydrangea
Iris
Ixora
Justicia

Lantana
Liatris
Lilium
Limonium
Mathiola
Molucella
Narcissus
Orchidaceae

Passiflora
Penstemom
Pentas
Protea
Pyrostegia
Reseda
Rhododendron
Rosa
Rudbeckia
Rumex
Russelia
Salvia
Sarracenia
Senecio
Solidago
Spathodea


Common Name
Larkspur
Dogwood
Cosmos
Crinum Lily
Firecracker Plant
Artichoke, Cardoon
Dahlia
Delphinium
Pink, Sweet William,
Carnation
Globe Thistle
Heather
Boneset
Blanket Flower
Thryallis
Geranium
African Daisy
Gladiola
Globe Amaranth
Silk Oak
Babies Breath
Straw Flower
Lobster Claw
Hibiscus
Amaryllis
Hydrangea
Iris, Flag
Ixora
Jacobinia, Brazilian
Plume
Lantana
Liatris
Lily
Statice
Stock
Bells of Ireland
Daffodil
Cattleya, Cymbidium
et. al.
Passion Vine
Beard Tongue
Star Cluster
Protea
Flame Vine
Mignonette
Azalea
Rose
Blackeyed Susan
Dock
Coral Blow
Sage
Pitcher Plant
Groundsel
Golden Rod
African Tulip Tree


x X






x

x x

x







x






x x


x
x x
X






X X


X

x X


FLOWERS


Air Glycerine
Dry Treat






X






X X
X






X X


Skeletonize



X


x
x

x x
x x


x
x
x
x

x
x
x

x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x

x
x
x
x
X










FLOWERS


Air Glycerine
Scientific Name Common Name Dry Treat Press Skeletonize
Spathyphyllum Spathe Flower X X
Strelitzia Bird of Paradise X X
Stokesia Stokes Aster X X
Tagetes Marigold X
Tritonia Montbretia X X
Verbena Verbena X X
Viola Pansy, Violet X X
Zingiber Ginger, Pine Cone Lily X X
Zinnia Zinnia X


FRUITS

Scientific Name Common Name Natural Dry Air Dry
Abelmoschus Okra X X
Acacia Mimosa, Acacia X X
Acer Maple X X
Aesculus Horse Chestnut X X
Agapanthus Lily of the Nile X X
Agave Century Plant X X
Althaea Hollyhock, Mallow X X
Araucaria Monkey Puzzle Tree, Norfolk
Island Pine X X
Asclepias Milkweed X X
Bixa Lipstick Tree X X
Blighia Akee X
Bombax Red Silk Cotton Tree X X
Bromeliaceae Most species (Air Plants) X X
Bucida Black Olive X X
Caesalpinia Poinciana X
Callistemon Bottlebrush X X
Casuarina Australian Pine X
Campsis Trumpet Vines X X
Capsicum Peppers X
Carthamus Safflower X
Carya Hickory X X
Catalpa Indian Bean X X
Ceiba Kapok X
Cinnamomum Camphor X
Cirsium Thistle X X
Clerodendron Glory Bower X
Clusia Scotch Attorney X
Clytostoma Trumpet Vine X
Cochlospermum Silk-Cotton X
Cocos Coconut (Fruit Calyx) X
Combretum Combretum X
Crescentia Calabash X X
Cycadaceae Cycads X X
Cynara Artichoke X X
Dalbergia Sissoo X
Datura Angels Trumpet X
Diospyros Persimmon X
Dipsacus Teasel X X
Dombeya Dombeya X
Enterolobium Ear Tree X X














Scientific Name
Erythrina
Eucalyptus
Euonymus
Ficus
Clycine
Gossypium
Gourds
Graminae
Heliconia
Herbs
Hibiscus
Hippeastrum
Hydrangea
Illicium
Iris
Jacaranda
Kigelia
Koelroeteria
Lagerstroemia
Lilium
Liquadambar
Litchi
Lunaria
Lycium
Macadamia
Magnolia
Melaleuca
Melia
Merremia
Molucella
Nandina
Nelumbo
Nigella
Orchidaceae
Pachira
Palmae
Pandanus
Pandorea
Papaver
Parkinsonia
Paulownia
Physalis
Picea
Pinus
Pittosporum
Porana
Probiscidia
Protea
Punica
Pyracantha
Quercus
Raphanus
Rhapiolepis
Rhodomyrtus
Rumex
Russelia


FRUITS


Natural Dry


Common Name
Coral Tree
Gum Tree
Spindle Tree
Figs.
Soybeans
Cotton (Calyx)
Many Types
Grasses (most species)
Lobster Claw
Dill, Anise, etc.
Hibiscus, Mallow
Amaryllis
Snow Ball, Hydrangea
Anise
Flag, Iris
Jacaranda
Sausage Tree
Golden Rain Tree
Crepe Myrtle
Lily (most)
Sweet Gum
Lichi
Honesty
Peppers
Macadamia Nut
Magnolia
Honey Myrtle
Chinaberry
Woodrose
Bells of Ireland
Heavenly Bamboo
Lotus
Love-in-a-Mist
Orchids-Most
Shaving Brush Tree
Palms-Most
Screw Pine
Bower Plant
Poppies
Jerusalem Thorn
Princess Tree
Chinese Lantern
Spruce
Pine
Pittosporum
Snow Creeper
Unicorn Plant
Protea
Pomegranate
Firethorn
Oaks
Radish
Indian Hawthorn
Downy Myrtle
Dock
Coral Blow


Air Dry
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X

X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X










FRUITS


Scientific Name Common Name Natural Dry Air Dry

Rhus Sumac X X
Samanea Monkey Pod Tree X X
Schinus Brazilian Pepper X X
Solanum Many Species X
Sorghum Sorghum X X
Spathodea African Tulip Tree X X
Spathyphyllum Spathe Flower X
Sterculia Sterculia X
Swietenia Mahogany X
Tabebuia Trumpet Tree X X
Tectona Teak X
Terminalia Tropical Almond X
Thespesia Portia Tree X
Triphasia Limeberry X
Tsuga Hemlock X
Typha Cattail X X
Wisteria Wisteria X X
Yucca Yucca, Spanish Bayonet X X
Zamia Coontie, Sago Palm X X























This publication was promulgated at a cost of $1,357.85, or22.6 cents
per copy, to inform Florida residents about how to preserve plant
materials for decorative purposes. 11-6M-81


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORI-
DA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, K. R.
Tefertller, director, In cooperation with the United States Department F
of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the
May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to pro-
vide research, educational Information and other services only to Indi-
viduals and Institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or national ori-
gin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are
available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk
rates or copies fdr out-of-state purchasers Is available from C. M. Hinton, Publications
Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Galnesvllle, Florida
32611. Before publicizing this publication, editors should contact this address to deter-
mine availability.




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