Drying Roses using Silica Gel and a microwave oven
It is possible to speed up the drying process by using a microwave oven. The basic process is the same. I buried the flower in silica gel in a microwave-safe container…. not a problem. Since my microwave is not very big and I am experimenting, I used put a single rose in the small round 2 cup Ziplock container. Unlike the conventional method, I left the cover OFF the container, as instructed, and also placed a glass of water in the microwave with it. I did find some conflicting instructions regarding how long to nuke the prepared container for. The written instructions that came with the silica gel said the time should be 3-3.5 minutes at half power, in one minute increments. A site on the web suggested 1.5-2 minutes at full power. Afterward, the container was quite warm so I left the container on the counter to cool. Since I was doing this right before leaving for work, it ended up the I left the containers to cool until evening.
Looks like it worked pretty well, though you might notice that the three photos are Cherokee Rose while the 4th photo is actually Great Maidens Blush.
The big issue I am running into is that they come out of the silica nice and crisp but, because the blooms subsequently absorb humidity and it looks like they re-hydrated a little bit. I also think that these small ziploc containers do not have a really air-tight seals. I went to the Container Store to see if I could find some containers with tighter seals, and something more clear so you see through; I think I have found two possibilities. I also ordered a bunch of little packets containing 10gr of silica gel ; I figure I can glue these packets to the underside of the lid and hopefully that will be keep the humidity inside the container a bit lower.
Ok, I am falling asleep so I am going to leave the next section for another time.