Floral Preservation Tips
You can preserve the fresh beauty of flowers for years in their natural vivid colors without a great deal of work or expense. Simply mix a combination of four parts of borax to one part of silica gel. You can make your mixture by hand; the borax should be run through a sieve before mixing with the gel to remove any lumps.
You should treat all of the flowers to be preserved immediately after picking. Cut off the stems close to the base of the flower. In the bottom of a plastic bag or an air-tight jar put down a layer of the preserving powder and lay a blossom face down on the powder. Pour some additional powder over the flower until it is well covered. Then lay another flower face down and cover it, repeating the procedure until the bag or jar is full. Put on your lid, or if using a bag, press down on it lightly to squeeze out all the air. Tie the bag tightly with string as close to the contents as possible to prevent air from coming in.
Now put your flowers and powder mixture away in a dry place for about four weeks without peeking at it. Never store it out of doors.
At the end of the four weeks, open the container very gently and remove the blossoms one at a time, blowing the powder off them. You may make a stem by running a piece of florist's wire through the lower side of each blossom. Now you have preserved flowers in their garden freshness.
A good method of prolonging the life of cut flowers is to put a small amount of ammonium chloride, potassium nitrate, sodium carbonate or camphor in the water into which the flower stems are inserted. One or more of these drugs will keep the flowers fresh by working to oppose germ growth and stimulate the cells. This method is, however, not permanent like the borax and gel solution. Preserving flowers can help you save your memories of a wedding corsage or a gift bouquet forever.