Preserving Flowers With Silica Gel
When it comes to preserving flowers with silica gel, things go back a long way, especially thanks to the versatility of the material used. From shoes to various kinds of condiments, almost everything comes with small satchels of silica gels. These satchels are sealed tight, but the packaging is relatively porous, allowing the gel to work its magic. However, preserving flowers with silica gel is quite an interesting turn of using a utility product and making it into a great tool for the hobbyists who enjoy working with flowers.
When it comes to using silica gel for your hobby, you can find it easily, use it easily and, what's more, it is extremely effective in delicately drying up your flowers and giving you everything you need to make your hobby perfect. Basically, you can really make major advancements in your hobby if you are willing to make a tiny bit of effort in sourcing silica gel and giving yourself a nice and easy way to preserve flowers.
How Silica Gel Works
Silica gel, even the kinds that you use when preserving flowers with silica gel, is a kind of granular or porous substance made from sodium silicate. Although it is called a "gel", it doesn't come with too many gel-like properties. It is quite solid and, in fact, harder than most things that you can find. However, the silica gel that you would probably use in preserving flowers is perfect for absorbing moisture and has a massive affinity towards it, especially when purified from its naturally available form.
Today, this very characteristic of the substance has ensured that it is used for a variety of reasons, mainly for keeping things dry though. You will find tiny packets of silica gel in medicine and food containers, while even things like gas masks come with a certain amount of silica gel in their mouth-pieces, ensuring that harmful gases and wet chemicals are absorbed. Today, it is found in any place where you need to keep moisture out of things, and is relatively easy to find as well.
Silica Gel in Flower Preservation
You can just head down to the local garden centre and get your hands on some silica gel to start preserving flowers with it. All you need to do is pick really mature flowers right after the morning dew has evaporated off of them. This is the best time to pick these flowers as they are going to be in the best shape possible, with the right amount of moisture content in them to provide suppleness to their body. As a result, you will get the best result possible when you start preserving flowers with silica gel.
Now, because silica gel has the ability to soak up moisture from anywhere, even the air around your flowers, you need to keep it in an air-tight container. This way, the only moisture that your tiny silica gel balls absorb is going to come only from the flower and within it. Silica is also quite quick when it comes to drying up flowers so within a couple of days, you will end up with moist silica gel balls and dry flowers. To know whether your silica gel has absorbed the moisture or not, all you need to do is look at its colour. Sometimes, manufacturers colour code their silica gel to indicate that they are full of moisture or getting there.
That means, they could be turning blue or orange, which are the general colours that are used in this kind of a product. There are, however, some flowers that will show better results than others due to their inherent characteristics. These include flowers like rose, aster, dahlia, chrysanthemum and others.
The best bit about using something like silica gel as a drying agent is that you can even have them in your display cases, as long as all the characteristics of the container match what you need in it. However, you do need to be careful of the moisture getting back into the flowers. If you have too few silica gel balls in the container, then you might not be able to absorb everything that you need to, and as a result, the flowers will still wilt and die under the semi-moist conditions they end up in.
Another important thing to remember when preserving flowers with silica gel is that sometimes, flowers may reabsorb the moisture that your gel is giving out. That might end up becoming a situation where your flowers start wilting even when the silica hasn't absorbed all the moisture there is to absorb. Keep your eye on these two simple elements and you will have a much better time, working on your hobby of preserving flowers with silica gel.