Can Daffodils Be Dried? (Explained)

Can daffodils be dried

If you are here because you are asking ‘can daffodils be dried?’, then you might be having the same thoughts as me.

Just because your precious daffodils seem to be coming towards the end of their life does it mean they have no use anymore?

Dried flowers, if dried correctly, can last for a long time and look stunning.

They don’t require watering or feeding either.

So let’s jump in and find out more about this subject.

Can Daffodils Be Dried?

Yes, daffodils can be dried, and it is a fantastic way of preserving their beauty to enjoy year-round. The best way to dry a daffodil is to fill a container with a desiccant, such as silica gel, and place your daffodils inside and allow them to dry that way. The process can be sped up by using a microwave, which is a very effective flower dehydrator.

How Do You Press and Dry Daffodils?

Drying Daffodils

There are three widely used ways of drying daffodils.

Method 1: Using a Desiccant

A desiccant is a substance that absorbs water and keeps products dry and stable.

One of the most commonly used desiccants for flower drying is silica gel.

Silica gel has the same consistency as sand and when you buy it it will be blue, however as you use it it will slowly turn white which shows the gel is full of moisture.

To use silica gel to dry daffodils, follow these steps (or watch the video above!):

  1. Get a large plastic container with a lid and fill the bottom of it with a quarter of an inch of silica gel.
  2. Cut your daffodil stem to a length of a quarter of an inch.
  3. Bury the stem in the gel, so it is standing up in it.
  4. Slowly cover the rest of your daffodil with the gel, until it is entirely covered, be careful you don’t do this too quickly as it will ruin its shape.
  5. Wait for around 4 or 5 days.
  6. Slowly pour out the gel to a new container and gently shake your now dried daffodils out.
  7. If you want to ensure your newly dried flowers last even longer, spray them with a surface sealer and leave them to dry.

Silica gel is quite expensive, however if, after use, you place it in a glass baking dish and heat it in the oven at 275°F you will be able to use it.

Alternatively, a mix of 40% borax and 60% white cornmeal makes an economical substitute. 

It does however take longer to have an effect and you will need to leave your daffodils covered in it for two weeks.

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Method 2: Microwave Drying

Your microwave is actually a really good flower dehydrator and not only will it get the job done quicker, but it will also preserve more color and freshness than other methods.

The only downside is the fact you are limited by the size of your microwave.

Aside from your daffodil, the main objects you will need are a microwaveable container and a desiccant, silica gel as mentioned above or even cat litter will work well.

Then just follow these steps:

  1. Cut your daffodils to size so they fit in the microwaveable container.
  2. Pour around an inch of the desiccant into the container and bury the stem in the substance so your daffodil is standing up.
  3. Gently pour enough desiccant into the container so the entire flower is covered.
  4. Place the container inside the microwave along with a cup of water to prevent excessive drying.
  5. Microwave for one-minute intervals. You can check the consistency of the flowers by using a toothpick to see if they are dry. Daffodils should take around a minute or two.
  6. When they are done and the container has cooled, place a lid on it and leave it for 24 hours.
  7. Gently remove the flowers and carefully shake off or brush any excess gel.
Method 3: Leave Them to Air Dry
Daffodils in vase

Once you have enjoyed your daffodils in a vase, you can simply remove them and set them aside to dry.

When they have dried out, place them in a jar without water so the stems can dry out.

This can take anything from a handful of days to a couple of weeks depending upon the conditions in your room.

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You could also try tying the stems together and hanging them upside down somewhere, as this lets the whole flower dry.

Remember that as they dry the stems will shrink, so make sure they don’t slip through whatever you have tied them up with.

Pressing Daffodils

When it comes to pressing daffodils, the best way to do it is a bit more clear-cut.

Be aware though, that not all daffodils press well, some will turn brown or have tissue that is too thin.

To give yourself the best chance of pressing daffodils successfully, pick your daffodils on a dry, sunny day after the morning dew has gone.

In my experience, small yellow or orange miniatures hold their color best. 

All you need is a phone book and some plain newsprint paper you should be able to get from any art shop.

Pressed flowers in book

Then follow these steps:

  1. Cut the stem as close to the daffodil as possible, this will mean it lays flatter when you are pressing it.
  2. You can try pressing face on or sideways. I find that thinner longer daffodils are best pressed sideways, whereas shorter, thick flowers can be pressed face on.
  3. Open the phone book and place a sheet of newsprint inside, lay your daffodil on that and then place another sheet of newsprint on top.
  4. Then either close the book or, if you have more than one daffodil you wish to press, turn a few pages and repeat the process.
  5. Place something heavy on top of the book, and wait around two to four weeks and voila! You are done.

You can also buy flower presses for this purpose, but I find a phone book is equally effective and cheaper!

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Final Thoughts

In common with many flowers, daffodils can most definitely be dried, and pressed, quite easily.

We have outlined some methods for drying your daffodils above and, as with many things, it is always a case of trial and error to find what works best for you.

As a rule of thumb, air drying seems to work well for smaller flowers, but as flowers get larger it can shrivel them.

For that reason I would recommend drying flowers like daffodils (and roses, sunflowers, lilacs and dahlias), using a desiccant.

However you do it, you will be able to enjoy the vibrant yellow of a daffodil year-round once you have mastered the technique!

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