how to dry peony flowers

how to dry peony flowers

The big, blousy beauty of spring-blooming peonies simply doesn't last long enough. Retain some of their good looks by drying them for a colorful display that can last for years.

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Begin with newly opened blooms at their peak of freshness.

Cut 6- to 8-inch stems in midmorning, after the dew has lifted but before the heat of the day causes the petals to open more and go limp. Buds showing color can also be dried.

Remember that the colors will change as the flowers dry. Dark reds transform into a deep burgundy, brown, or purple, while whites may become creamy or pale yellow.

Drying Peonies with Silica Gel Silica gel, a desiccant you can find at crafts stores, takes less time and produces more vibrant colors than air-drying.

It's best used when drying the flower heads, although you can dry an entire flower and stem if you invest in a large amount of the product.

You will need a lidded container that will accommodate the height of the flower, plus another 2 or 3 inches. Pour about 2 inches of silica gel, which resembles coarse sand, into the container.

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