Drying Roses (part 2)

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.

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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.

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