About Gardening: Preserving Flowers

by Mira Dessy

Dear Mira,
Got your name from the doller stretcher and would like to know if you have any information on "crystalizing flowers" with alum. Somewhere I read an article (which I can't find) that you could place fresh flowers in a vase of water and alum, the flowers would soak up the liquid and crystalize after which they could be put in boquets and kept for months as dried (crystalized) flowers. I have used all the search engines to no avail, so I would appreciate any help you could give.
Sue P.

Dear Sue,
I have heard of preserving flowers in alum, but I have never really heard of the method that you would use. I suppose you could try putting them into a solution of alum and see if that works. Another way I have heard to preserve flowers is to put cornmeal and borax (50% of each) in a shoebox, put in the flowers, gently top with more cornmeal and borax and then let sit for a while in a cool dark place. The cornmeal and borax remove the moisture from the flowers and because they are laying down in the middle of the mixture, they stand straight and the petals are preserved nicely. I'd be interested to know what happens with the alum solution.

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