Silica gel is a manufactured desiccant often found in new shoes, dry food packages, and other products that may spoil by liquid or humidity. The silica gels—usually appearing as hard, tiny beads—absorb moisture to maintain a food or items’ freshness. The silica gel’s blue crystals may turn pink when they have absorbed moisture, signaling that they are working and that you need to replace them to absorb other damage-inducing liquids. \n\nYou can use silica gel to preserve flowers. The desiccant takes the liquid out of flower stems and petals to expedite the drying process. This drying method is popular for florists and crafts enthusiasts alike, efficiently preparing pansies, marigolds, and flower petals of all kinds for wreaths, wedding bouquets, and rustic keepsakes. Silica gel is popular for DIY flower drying because it is a speedy method that, unlike pressed flowers, maintains the vibrancy and look of a freshly picked blossom.\n\nYou will need the following supplies to create dried flowers with silica gel:\n\n1. __Silica gel__: You can find the gel, which comes in tiny crystals a few millimeters wide, at most craft stores.\n2. __Flower heads__: Pick fresh flowers from your garden, or head to the local nursery to assemble an assortment of flowers. You can easily dry most flowers with silica gels—daisies, [zinnias](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-plant-and-grow-zinnias-in-your-home-garden), larkspur, hydrangeas, carnations, [dahlias](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-grow-dahlias-in-your-flower-garden), or roses.\n3. __Scissors__: You will need a pair of scissors to cut off the flower stems from the heads before the drying process begins.\n4. __Airtight container__: You will need to place a layer of flowers into an airtight container for the drying process to ensure no extra moisture gets in and disrupts the flower preservation process. Make your container big enough that, when closed, it does not squish and disfigure the flowers.\n5. __Paint brush__: You can use a thin paint brush to brush off any specs of dust that may remain on your petals from the gel after the drying is complete. You can also paint your dried flowers to enhance your floral design.\n6. __Gloves and masks__: Silica gel is non-toxic, but the bits of dust they emit can be unsafe to inhale. You may want to wear protective gloves and a mask when handling the silica gel.\nFollow these step-by-step instructions to preserve wedding flowers successfully, or create potpourri and home decor out of dried flowers:\n\n1. __Choose and trim your flowers__. Almost all flowers are dryable using the silica gel method. Gather your flowers and pick the freshest-looking ones. If you are getting them from a garden, select them late morning when they are the most open and a little dewy. Pat them dry and then trim, cutting off all but the heads.\n2. __Place gel and flowers into your plastic container__. Ensure your container is dry and clean, then pour in the silica gel. You’ll want an inch of silica gel to cover the bottom of your container; then, place flowers face-up atop the beads. Place silica beads beneath any delicate petals, then gently pour beads atop the flowers to cover.\n3. __Seal and store__. Tightly seal your container and leave it in a safe, dry place that is neither too hot nor too warm—room temperature will do. Leave the container undisturbed for about three days; flowers with thicker centers may need up to a week to fully dehydrate.\n4. __Remove and decorate__. After a few days, open your container and check on your flowers. They should be dried. Delicately remove them, and use a paint brush to wipe away any extra dust or bits on the petals. Keep the beads for future use, and thoroughly wash the container before using it to store food. Then, use your newly dried flowers in whatever fashion most enlivens your home, project, or decor.\nGet the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com) for exclusive access to video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Kelly Wearstler, Ron Finley, Bobbi Brown, RuPaul, and more.\nDrying flowers with silica gel is a way to preserve fresh blooms.