Whether you have dried flowers grouped in a beautiful wreath or bouquet, they can be a great addition to add beauty to your home. They are easier to maintain than fresh flowers, but you still need to care for them so they last as long as possible. Just like their living brothers, dried flowers are not immune to pests and diseases, which means they can become infected with mildew.
So how to prevent mold on dried flowers? You have to maintain a regular cleaning schedule and use appropriate tools such as salt, canned air, or a hairdryer. Secondly, you should control the environment and where to place your dried flowers. Store them in proper places and boxes if you don’t plan to display them for a long time. If you want to press flowers at home, picking the flowers at the right time is crucial.
If you spot mold on your dried flowers, what should you do? How to get mold off them? How should you prevent mold on dried flowers? We’ve done the research for you in this article. You’ll also learn basic care and maintenance tips to extend the life of dried flowers.
Why is My Dried Flowers Molding?
Let’s understand why dried flowers get molds so we can prevent it in the first place. Dried flowers tend to be moldy if they are not properly cared for. They may get mold in an environment that is suitable for molds to grow and thrive, like having no sufficient sunlight, no proper air ventilation, and excess moisture. Another important factor is that the dried flowers may initially have mold before they dry up. Having tiny mold spores on the flower may cause mold later on after the drying process.
If you press flowers yourself, they can go moldy during the pressing process. Remember your flowers will press better if they are pressed while they are still fresh. Once flowers start to wilt, they will dry up or grow mold. However, if you pick your flowers too early in the morning, the extra dew may cause flowers to go moldy afterward. Since pressing flowers is a way of drying them, fresh flowers with less moisture can dry quicker, whereas the thick and fleshy petals will most likely become moldy after a few weeks in a flower press.
How to Get Mold Off of Dried Flowers Using Salt?
Dried flowers require careful cleaning when they have mold, otherwise, you may end up ruining the delicate petals. You can follow these steps to get mold off of dried flowers. You will need sulfur dust, salt,
Step #1. Buy sulfur dust in a garden supply center.
Step #2. Wear safety gloves and goggles because using sulfur can irritate the skin and eyes.
Step #3. Use sulfur dust to brush the mold off of the flower gently. This step requires using salt, which you can pour into a bag. You then lay the flowers inside the bag. Pour more table salt on top of the flowers and gently shake the bag. It allows the salt to scrub the dust and dirt off the dried flowers.
Step #4. Remove the flowers from the bag then use a toothbrush or cotton swab to brush away any salt that may be clinging to the flowers.
How to Prevent Mold on Dried Flowers?
Clean dried flowers regularly
Regular cleaning can discourage the growth of mildew, dust, and other pests. As time goes by, dried flowers can become delicate, which makes them easy to ruin. Proper care should be taken whenever you handle the dried flowers.
- You can set a hairdryer on the lowest setting to blast away any dust that has collected on the flowers over time. Use the “no heat” setting to avoid damage to the flowers.
- If you have canned air used to clean computer keyboards, you can use that to clean dust in flowers too. But make sure the can is not too close to the flowers since the spray comes out fast.
- Another tip is to use salt to clean the flowers. Start by pouring table salt into a bag and laying the flowers inside the bag. Add more table salt on top of the flowers and gently shake the bag. Let the salt lightly “scrub” the dust and dirt off the dried flowers without you ever touching the delicate petals. Once you remove the flower, use a toothbrush or cotton swab to brush away any salt that may be clinging to the flowers.
- Use an old-fashioned feather duster to dust the dried flowers. This method works best on the sturdier arrangements.
Pick and press your fresh flowers properly
A general rule of thumb is that the drier the flowers are, the better they will press. The best time to pick your flowers for pressing is in the morning after the dew has dried or in the early evening before it returns. If it rains, you should give at least a day or two to let flowers dry out before picking them.
You should remove any obvious stamens before pressing. Use string or dental floss to hang flowers upside down in a cool, dark, dry, indoor spot. To prevent mold, always make sure to hang the blooms to allow maximum air circulation. When flowers are done drying, they will feel dry and stiff to the touch. It’s a smart idea to Invest in a flower-drying rack, a space-saving drying method.
Also, be picky with what paper/cardboard you use in your press. It’s best to buy paper or a board that is specifically designed for plant presses. If you source your own, make sure the paper is “raw” and doesn’t have any plastic coatings that will block moisture absorption. While you can certainly use books to press plants, it works best only with specimens. If you are pressing flowers more than occasionally, it’s best to invest in a real plant press.
Control the environment
- Dried flowers should be protected from direct sunlight and areas of bright light, which can cause the colors to fade and make the flowers brittle.
- Avoid humidity in the environment because it can cause the dried flowers to turn limp and brown, or even to get moldy. Excess exposure can cause some flowers preserved in a glycerin solution to “weep” from the stems or pores and drip onto nearby surfaces. Try sealing it with hot glue or wax if the dripping happens from a stem.
- Avoid placing dried flowers in the bathroom as the humidity is very high. Dried flowers shouldn’t be sat in or be sprayed with water. If they become wet or damp, there is a chance that they can develop mold.
- Keep the dried flowers away from the kitchen area. The kitchen is another water-heavy environment, especially near the kettle and stovetop. Dried flowers may pick up liquids such as food grease, which can also cause mold. So you should keep dried flowers away from the cooking area.
- It’s also important to remember that dried flowers shouldn’t be sat in or be sprayed with water. It is best for them to live somewhere that is unlikely to become damp, humid, or wet throughout your everyday use of the home. A bedroom, lounge, dining room, or study are probably preferable spaces to make the most of the dried displays.
- Ensure good airflow around your dried flowers and prevent temperature fluctuations. Even though dried flowers don’t need direct airflow, like near an open window, they can become moist in a stagnant or damp room. If they become moist they can become moldy. One thing that gets overlooked is the moisture captured in vases. You should check the stems now and then within the vase to see if the stems are nice and dry. If they look a little moist, think about putting them in a different vase.
Store dried flowers properly
If your dried flower wreaths are used only during the holidays, you should put the seasonal wreaths in the box in which they came. If you don’t have the original box anymore, store the wreath in any box that gives you enough room and gently secures it with tissue paper. The location of storage plays an important role too. You should avoid humid environments such as the basement or attic. Use cedar chips or a specially prepared nontoxic repellent formula when storing dried flowers to prevent moths or other insects from damaging them. After properly storing them in the boxes, seal them securely.
Dried flowers are really easy to take care of and with a few tips, you can help them look good and stay beautiful for years to come! They are delicate and they will change over time. Having mold on them definitely doesn’t look pleasant. By regularly cleaning and gaming knowledge on what they like and don’t like, you are preparing them for years of beauty and charm!