How to differentiate dried flowers from preserved flowers

Dried flowers or preserved flowers: which flower is right for me? 

Everything you need to know about this popular floral resurgence.

Dried and preserved flowers have seen a resurgence in recent years, just check out Pinterest or Instagram, these social media platforms are full of stunning everlasting floral arrangements at weddings and in homes. Trends come and go, but the popularity of this sustainable flower option doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Unlike fresh flowers, which have a very short lifespan and require constant care, dried and preserved flowers require very little care and can last for years under the right conditions.

But, do you wonder what is the difference between dried and preserved flowers? This is a question we are often asked. Although dried flowers have a similar shelf life to preserved flowers, they have a very different appearance and go through a completely different process to achieve the final result.

dried flowers

Essentially, dried flowers dehydrate, getting rid of their natural moisture. This is accomplished through a variety of methods and some flower and foliage varieties are much easier to dry than others. Traditionally and most often, drying can be accomplished by air drying: hanging the flowers upside down in a cool, dry, dark place for an extended period. The stems are spread out to ensure they dry evenly.

Once fully dried, the appearance of the flowers becomes duller as a result of the dehydration process. The foliage and petals become brittle, often shrink and crinkle, and the colors will continue to fade as they age through natural processing. Although they often remain in beautiful earthy tones. 

Dried flowers are delicate, but with careful handling and avoiding direct sunlight and moisture, they can last for years.

preserved flowers

Flower preservation is a scientific method for prolonging the life of fresh flowers. Preserved flowers undergo a special process whereby a special blend of glycerin solution is used to replace their sap.

As a result of this process, the preserved flowers retain their natural look and feel. They are much softer to the touch and more flexible compared to dried flowers. Preserved flowers can be sensitive to heat, humidity, and sunlight; however, with minimal care, preserved flowers have a long shelf life and can last 2-4 years (or even longer in a sealed container).

Both dried and preserved flowers are equally beautiful to us, the combination of both making beautiful yet sustainable arrangements.

We love the earthy tones of dried flowers, and when it comes to preserved flowers, we especially love the foliage, colorful hydrangeas, and Paniculata, of course!