How long can you store dried flowers?

Dried flowers can last for many years if stored properly. The key factors that determine dried flower longevity are moisture, light, temperature, and pests. By optimizing these conditions, you can extend the life of dried flowers for decoration or craft projects.

Quick Answers

How long do dried flowers last?

With proper storage, dried flowers can last 1-5 years. Delicate flowers like hydrangeas may only last 1-2 years, while heartier flowers like statice can last up to 5 years.

What is the best way to dry flowers?

Air drying and desiccant drying are the best methods for preserving flowers. Air drying works well for many blossoms by hanging them upside down in a dry, dark area. For quicker drying, desiccants like silica gel absorb moisture from flowers.

How do you keep dried flowers from fading?

To prevent fading, store dried flowers away from light, especially direct sunlight and fluorescent light. Keep them in a dark, cool place to maintain their color for as long as possible.

Can you freeze dry flowers?

Yes, freeze drying is an excellent way to preserve flowers long-term. The extremely cold temperatures of freeze drying prevent deterioration by inhibiting bacteria growth and moisture retention.

What is the best temperature to store dried flowers?

Store dried flowers in a cool, dark place between 50-68°F. Temperatures below 50°F can damage dried flowers, while excess heat above 68°F accelerates deterioration. The cooler the better for preservation.

Factors Affecting Dried Flower Longevity

Several key factors work together to determine how long your dried flowers will last under storage conditions. Being aware of these factors allows you to optimize your storage methods for maximum dried flower life.


Moisture is the enemy of dried botanicals. Any residual moisture left in flowers will lead to bacterial and fungal growth, causing flowers to rot from the inside out. Properly dried flowers will have less than 10% moisture content. To prolong storage life, keep dried flowers in an area with low humidity.


Light exposure causes faded, dull color in dried flowers. Ultraviolet light is especially damaging. Store dried bouquets and wreaths away from direct sunlight or bright indoor lights. Keeping them in a dark closet or box is ideal for preservation.


Oxygen enables oxidation reactions within plant matter that degrades color pigments over time. Flowers stored in airtight containers have reduced oxygen exposure, helping maintain vibrancy. Use airtight bags, plastic containers, or glass jars for storage.


Warmer temperatures accelerate the deterioration rate of dried flowers due to increased microbial growth. Store flowers in a cool area between 50-68°F for best results. Avoid attics, garages, and other hot spots.


Insects, rodents, and other pests are drawn to the scent of flowers and can ruin preserved arrangements. Use insect repellents during the drying process and store finished flowers in containers to protect from pests. Monitoring for bugs will allow you to remove infested items before the spread continues.

Drying Methods

The drying method plays a critical role in how long your preserved flowers will last. The key is to dry flowers quickly at consistent temperatures to prevent mold growth. Here are some top methods for drying flowers for long-term storage:

Air Drying

Hanging flowers upside down to air dry is a classic approach. Hang flowers in a dark, dry indoor area with good air circulation. The stems should be tied together in small bunches. Air drying can take 1-3 weeks. Hearty flowers like lavender, yarrow, and statice are good candidates for air drying. More delicate flowers may shrivel or discolor.

Desiccant Drying

Desiccants absorb moisture rapidly from the flowers. Silica gel beads are commonly used but other desiccants like sand, cornmeal, and salt work too. Place flowers and desiccant in an airtight container for 1-5 days. The desiccant will change color when fully saturated with moisture. Desiccant drying preserves the flower shape and color well.


Pressing involves drying flowers between two heavy books or using a flower press to flatten them. Place flower between sheets of blotter paper, then add spacer boards on each side to distribute weight evenly. Leave pressed 2-4 weeks checking periodically. Pressing is ideal for delicate flowers like orchids and ferns.

Freeze Drying

In this method, flowers are frozen using liquid nitrogen then placed in a vacuum chamber. The frozen water within flowers sublimates directly to a gas, leaving no moisture behind. Although effective, freeze drying equipment is expensive. Companies provide custom freeze drying services for preserving flowers.

Silica Gel Drying

This combines desiccants with an airtight environment. Pack flowers in a container mixed with silica gel beads then seal the container. The beads absorb moisture from the flowers rapidly while the closed container prevents humidity. Lasts for many years and retains bright colors. The microwave can be used to dry and reuse silica gel beads.


Embedding preserves intricate flower parts perfectly. Delicate blossoms are placed carefully within a cast then embedded in a solid material like wax or resin. The clear cast allows visibility. Wax embedding can last for decades. Resins make a permanent flower specimen suitable for jewelry or displays.

Storage Methods for Dried Flowers

Proper storage methods prevent moisture and air exposure which speeds deterioration of dried bouquets, wreaths, and arrangements. Here are effective options for storing dried flowers after drying is complete:

Airtight Containers

Airtight plastic bins, acrylic boxes, and glass jars prevent humidity and oxygen from reaching dried flowers. For acrylic displays, add silica packets inside to absorb moisture. Vacuum seal bags also remove air from contact with the flowers.

Acid-Free Tissue Paper

Wrapping dried flowers in acid-free tissue minimizes fading from light exposure. The dyes used in acid-free tissue won’t bleed onto petals. Change the tissue periodically if moisture appears. The tissue also prevents crushing of delicate petals and leaves.

Dark Storage Area

Choose a closet, cabinet, or drawer away from light sources to store dried flowers. Attics and basements are poor choices due to temperature extremes. Light and UV rays accelerate fading of dried flowers so a dark space preserves color. Avoid placing flowers in direct sunlight.

Cool Low-Humidity Environment

Store dried flowers in an area with a temperature between 50-68°F and low relative humidity. Higher heat and humidity allow mold growth and speed deterioration. Move flowers away from heating vents, stoves, and other warm spots. Use a dehumidifier if needed.

Insect Repellent

Insect repellents keep dried flowers safe from pests. Lavender oil or cedar chips/blocks naturally repel many insects. Cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil deter spiders from arrangements. Paradichlorobenzene (mothballs) fumes also repel insects but keep away from direct contact.


Desiccant packs absorb humidity from the air around dried flowers. Silica gel, clay desiccant beads, or moisture absorbing packets prevent moisture buildup in storage containers. Use 1-2 packs per container and replace yearly.

Displaying Dried Flowers

When dried flowers are removed for display purposes, take steps to protect them from conditions that hasten deterioration:

Use UV Protectant

Spray dried flowers with UV protectant sealant to shield colors from fading in sunlight. Apply very light coats to avoid an overly glossy finish. Reapply protective coating every 1-2 years if needed. Handle flowers gently to avoid damaging the sealant layer.

Keep Out of Direct Sunlight

Don’t place dried flower arrangements in direct sun. Position them in areas with bright indirect light to avoid sun damage. Rotate the arrangement periodically so all sides receive equal indirect light. Keep away from intense artificial lights as well.

Control Room Humidity

Display dried flowers in an area with average humidity around 50% or less. Higher humidity causes limpness as flowers reabsorb moisture. Dehumidifiers can maintain optimal humidity. Bring flowers back into dry storage each night.

Use Light Dusting

Dust dried flowers lightly with a soft brush every few months to remove settled dust and particulate matter. Take care not to disturb fragile petals and leaves. Wipe surfaces near the display periodically to reduce settled grime.

Watch for Insects

Check dried flowers closely for any insect damage after displaying for a period of time. Look for small holes, webbing, eggs, frass, and exoskeletons. Treat arrangements with insecticide or essential oils if pests are found.

How Long Do Specific Dried Flowers Last?

The longevity of dried flowers depends on the individual flower properties. Here are general guidelines for how long various dried blossoms will last:

Dried Flower Type Expected Longevity
Lavender 2 to 5 years
Statice 3 to 5 years
Baby’s Breath 2 to 3 years
Roses 1 to 3 years
Hydrangeas 1 to 2 years
Pampas Grass 1 to 2 years
Larkspur 1 to 3 years
Delphinium 1 to 2 years
Dahlias 1 to 3 years
Yarrow 2 to 5 years
Protea 1 to 2 years
Rhododendron 1 to 2 years
Daisies 1 to 2 years
Ferns 1 to 2 years
Orchids 1 to 2 years
Calendula 1 to 2 years
Chinese Lantern 1 to 3 years
Sunflowers 1 to 3 years

Signs Your Dried Flowers Need Replacing

Monitor preserved floral decorations for any changes that signal it’s time to replace them:

  • Fading of vibrant colors
  • Wilting or shriveling of petals and leaves
  • Brittleness – petals and stems snap easily
  • Clumped or matted appearance
  • Spots of mold or bacterial growth
  • Evidence of insects – webbing, frass, holes
  • Strong musty odor
  • Excess dust and shedding
  • Condensation inside storage container
  • Increase in humidity level inside storage container

Catch deterioration early before it spreads to other dried flowers stored nearby. For pieces with sentimental value, consider gently replacing only the deteriorating flowers on a wreath or arrangement if possible.


With proper drying, storage, and handling, dried flowers can maintain their beauty for years before needing replacement. Keeping dried botanicals away from light, heat, humidity, and pests is key to preservation.periodic monitoring lets you identify problems early. Always use an acid-free backing material for arrangements displayed long-term. Follow these tips and your dried flowers will continue gracing your home for many seasons to come.

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