Fancy yourself a dab hand at flower preservation? Or, are you still a newbie trying out the art of preserving flowers?
Well, whether you’re a newbie or an expert, you can definitely enjoy preserving lovely plants like the Hibiscus.
As all plant lovers know, Hibiscus can be enjoyed all year round, even if you can’t keep them in bloom.
Even when the blooms are all dried up, you can still find a way to memorialize their beauty.
Just snip the flowerheads, dry the petals and do whatever you want with them.
So, if you’re ready to learn about the techniques in drying Hibiscus flowers, stick around and read this article.
How to Dry Hibiscus Flowers?
There are several methods that you can use for drying hibiscus flowers. How you dry them depends on what you intend to do with them. The quickest method is to use silica gel to dry hibiscus flowers, but that’s only suitable for craft projects. The petals will be inedible. Paper pressing with non-bleached paper is better for edible flower pressing. To make herbal teas, the hibiscus flowers need to be free of pesticides and dried in the sun on a drying rack. A quicker method is to drop them into a food dehydrator.
3 Easy Ways to Dry Hibiscus Flowers
The Paper Pressing Method
Hibiscus is perfectly suited to paper pressing. And, the good news is, you’ll only need a book to start with this project.
Remember those thick phone books from back in the day that you use as a makeshift step ladder?
Those are the types of weighted books that are best to use for paper pressing hibiscus blooms.
Now, if you plan on using your dried flowers for a hibiscus tea, you will not want the inks from pages to spoil your brew.
Prevent that by sandwiching non-bleached notebook paper between the pages so the ink doesn’t come into direct contact with the flower.
Paper soaks up the moisture from the petals, but for it to dry completely, pressure needs to be applied.
The simplest way to apply pressure is to tie the book shut.
This method is the longest, taking 30 days at least to completely dry out a hibiscus flower. And that’s provided you don’t peak.
If you open the book sooner, humidity escapes and it’ll take even longer for the flower to dry.
Drying Hibiscus with Silica Gel
Using silica gel is a quick yet messy way of drying hibiscus flowers.
This method renders your flowers inedible, so do not use this if you intend on brewing an herbal tea or using dried hibiscus in cosmetics products.
In short, this silica gel drying method is best if you’re using the dried hibiscus for arts and crafts only.
But, safety first as always in every project that you do. Thus, you should handle the silica with gloves and wear a suitable mask as it is considered a health hazard.
That’s why you can’t use this method if you intend on consuming it or applying it to the skin.
To use this method, put a couple of inches of silica gel in a jar or container that can seal the air shut.
Snip off the flower head, leaving an inch or two of the stem intact.
Lower the stem into the silica gel until the flower petals are resting on top of it. Then gently pour in more of the silica gel until the entire flowers are covered.
Seal the jar and leave it for up to a week.
Using this method, the flowers will retain their vibrant colors.
They’ll be brittle when dried, so lift them out carefully.
Some of the silica will get trapped between the petals. Use a paintbrush or a makeup brush to gently dust off the particles.
And, as mentioned earlier, always wear a mask so you don’t inhale it.
Use a Food Dehydrator
If you’re going to do a lot of flower drying, you’ll do better by tooling up. A food dehydrator is the best equipment any pro flower dryer can have.
Invest in one of these if you want to do any of the following activities:
- Brew herbal teas using a myriad of flower recipes
- Make potpourri
- Create dried flower art or wreathes
- Pressing and framing gigantic 12-inch hibiscus flowers surrounded by a few red heart-shaped leaves of the Flamingo Flower Plant.
You’d be surprised at the creative art you can make from a wide variety of tropical houseplants.
The best part about a food dehydrator?
Well, a food dehydrator can dry bundles of flowers overnight.
If you were to use air drying outdoors on a wire rack, it’d take you at least a week per tray.
You can certainly air dry hibiscus flowers outdoors in the sun on a tray.
But it does take longer and you’ll need to strap them down because the slightest of breezes can blow them away.
Frequently Asked Questions about Drying Hibiscus Flowers
Are all hibiscus flowers edible?
No. Of over 200 species of hibiscus, only a couple are edible. Hibiscus sabdariffa is the most common type for brewing an herbal tea. The calyx of the Hibiscus Acetosella is inedible, but the leaves are and they’re used as a salad garnish. They have a lemony flavor, but as a garnish, it gives dishes a bright red coloring.
What’s the best way to dry hibiscus that keeps the colors bright?
Air drying flowers is better suited for color retention. Baking flowers in the sun will cause color bleaching. Somewhere hot and dark is best for retaining the bright colors of hibiscus flowers. It’s why food dehydrators work so well. They have scorching hot temperatures, but they don’t expose the bloom to too much light.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.