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5 Easy Ways to Preserve Your Valentine’s Day Flowers

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

Flowers are a wonderful gift for any occasion, especially Valentine’s Day. However, flowers often get thrown away after several weeks and do not last. Thankfully there are several ways to make them last and preserve their beauty right at home.


This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to preserve flowers. Remove your flowers from the water and dry the stems with a towel. Allow the stems to dry for 2-3 hours before tying your bouquet together with string. You can also use yarn, rubber bands, or anything you can find. Then, hang the bouquet upside down to maintain the flowers’ shapes as best as possible. To maintain the color of the flowers, place your bouquet in a dark area with good airflow/ventilation during the drying process.  


One of the more classic methods of floral preservation. This method is best for more delicate, small, and flat florals. This method is not good for thicket flowers, such as roses or gardenias. Cut the stems of the flowers down to the desired length and remove any excess leaves. Grab a hardcover book, preferably large. Open the book and line each side of the pages with wax paper to prevent pigment transfer and any sticking. Place your flower on the wax paper and gently close the book. Once the book is fully closed, place a heavy object on top of the book to press the flowers down between the pages. Allow the flowers to flatten in the book for about a week before removal.


Making beads out of flowers is a more difficult process and will take some time; however, this is one of my personal favorites. Rose petals are perfect, but most other flower petals can make beautiful beads. You can use either fresh flowers or dried flowers. Take your petals and a little bit of water and put them into a blender. Note that the color of the flowers will change during this process. During this step, add a drop of food coloring (a little goes a long way!).  

While the petals and water are blending into a “thick glop,” begin heating a pan on low heat. After your water and flowers are thoroughly blended without any large petal chunks, pour the mixture into your heated pan and stir constantly on low heat until it becomes a thicker paste. Once the texture resembles that of a dough, remove it from heat. 

Allow the dough to cool off and form into small beads. Make the beads about 1.5-2 times larger than the size of the finished product, they will shrink a lot during the drying process. Once you have small beads formed, place a needle or pin through the center to form the threading hole. Place pins on a pin cushion or other stable object for the beads to dry. Allow the beads to dry for 3-4 days before removing them from the pins.  

These beads are not waterproof and are a bit fragile. To reinforce them, rub oil or paint clear nail polish/resin over the surface of the beads.  


Like the air-drying method, this will preserve the entire flower and stem. However, glycerin will maintain the color of the flowers more effectively and will make the flower rubberier and more pliable. Choose a flower, or several, that are in the best condition and cut the stem diagonally to about six inches. Peel a bit of skin off the bottom end of the stem. Mix 2 parts warm water with 1 part glycerin in a vase, cup, or pitcher. To preserve the color of the flowers best, add a couple of drops of food coloring that matches the color of the original flower to the solution. Place your flower(s) in the vase for 2-3 weeks until preserved.  

saving the petals

Another fantastic way to preserve flowers is to save the petals. These petals can be used for decoration, memories, and can even be used for the flower girl on your wedding day. Preheat a conventional oven to 180° F. Remove the petals from your flowers and place them on a baking sheet. Do not overlap any petals and place them evenly across the sheet. Heat for 10-30 minutes, checking on them frequently. Once dry and slightly crisp to the touch, remove the petals and allow to cool. Place into an airtight container for best preservation.  

Here’s to longer-lasting flowers!

Adriana Cascio is a content creator from Chicago, Illinois. She is currently enrolled at the University of Georgia and is projected to graduate in May 2025. She is a Journalism major, minoring in both Women’s Studies. She has also earned a Certificate in News Literacy. During her time at the University of Georgia, Adriana is currently covering diversity and equity. She is beginning to conduct interviews and write stories regarding various local and UGA-affiliated organizations. She emphasizes the importance of ethics and the truth in her stories and research. She often finds passion and inspiration in small experiences and emulates these in her writing. Adriana has an interest in becoming an editor for stories covering women’s rights and equal opportunity for upcoming generations. She aspires to host a slice of life podcast about living life as a young woman. She is currently training and writing with Her Campus UGA. Adriana hopes to utilize her education in Journalism and Women’s Studies to advocate for inclusivity, diversity and human rights. Her passion stems from her desire for equality, education, and freedom of expression. Outside of the journalism industry, Adriana is a locksmith, volunteers with Axanar Animal Rescue, trains at a local boxing gym in Athens, Georgia, and plays on UGA's Women's Rugby Team.