The difference between Dried Flowers and Preserved Flowers

Dried and preserved flowers have been around for centuries, but have grown insanely popular over the past couple of years. 

We love how long they last compared to fresh flowers. How low maintenance they are compared to indoor plants. And the memories they create as they won’t be thrown away or eaten after they’ve been gifted.

What may have started as a trend, peaking in 2020, is now a core flower option. They are more sustainable than fresh flowers and last for years - for that reason alone, we don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon.

Both dried and preserved flowers are real flowers that have been dried out or preserved so they go from lasting 7-10 days, to 1-5 years. 

Dried flowers and preserved flowers have a similar lifespan but they have undergone two entirely different processes to increase their lifespan.

So what is the difference between drying and preserving flowers? Which is the best technique? 

Dried Flowers

Dried flowers are an amazing sustainable flower option. Dried Flowers started as real, fresh flowers that have undergone a dehydration process. They have had all of their moisture removed through a natural process - such as hanging them upside down, or drying out with silica gel, freeze drying (this needs to be done by a professional) or you can even dry them in the microwave!

So you may be wondering how to dry flowers? We have created the ultimate step by step guide, highlighting the following methods:

4 Ways to Dry Flowers:

  • Air Drying 
  • Drying with Silica Gel
  • Freeze Drying
  • Dehydrating in the Microwave
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    Dried flowers last just as long as preserved flowers, but they can lose some of their colour and shape when they are dried (depending on the method used). 

    Dried flowers are delicate but can have a great shelf life if handled with care and kept out of direct wind, sunlight and humidity.

    Preserved Flowers

    Like dried florals, preserved flowers also begin as real, fresh flowers that then undergo a preservation process to increase their shelf life.

    Preserved blooms and preserved foliage have had their moisture removed and replaced with a solution such as glycerine. This gives them a similar feeling and look to fresh flowers. 

    We are currently in the process of preserving some gorgeous spinning gum to use in our most popular Banksia dried flower arrangement.

    After the flowers are preserved, they will retain their natural feel, appearance and colour (unless dyed). They are a lot softer to touch and work with than dried flowers but they last for a similar amount of time.

    Dried and preserved flowers are rather interchangeable and are commonly used together in floral arrangements. We love both dried and preserved florals and all of our arrangements feature the two together. 

    We love both dried and preserved botanicals as much as each other. They are a great sustainable floral option compared to fresh flowers and the best part about them is that they last longer than 7 days, making them an amazing investment.

    We use both dried florals and preserved florals in our small, medium and large dried flower arrangements. We especially love dried banksia, paired with preserved eucalyptus - they look utterly amazing together!