Q:

How are flowers freeze dried?

A:

Quick Answer

Freeze drying flowers calls for the sublimation process, which involves placing the bouquet in a special machine that pulls the moisture from the flowers while keeping them at a very low temperature. This process allows for the flowers to maintain most of their shape and color without withering or shriveling up. Proper care of the flowers before, during and after the sublimation process is imperative for optimal results.

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How are flowers freeze dried?
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Full Answer

The freeze-drying process cannot ideally be accomplished at home. The machine used for sublimation is typically available at finer florist shops or businesses specializing in preserving and displaying floral bouquets for special occasions. While the exact process may vary depending on the floral business performing the freeze-drying process, the general steps are similar when properly freeze drying and preserving a floral bouquet.

To begin, the bouquet is placed in a special vacuum chamber, which is specifically designed to hold the flowers without smashing or disfiguring them. The chamber keeps the bouquet very cold, usually around 100 degrees Kelvin, for at least 12 hours. A vacuum draws moisture from the bouquet, condensing the moisture in a separate chamber. Some florists who have spray tints can reapply color to certain flower species; however, the majority of flowers can maintain a decent amount of their original color through the freeze-drying process. Once the process is complete, many companies will offer to contain the bouquet in a special glass or plastic dome to preserve the bouquet and prevent smashing.

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