How Long Do Preserved Flowers Last?

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Fresh flowers add beautiful color and scent to a room, but it's always so disappointing when they inevitably shrivel up and die. A lower-maintenance way of bringing nature inside is to buy preserved flowers, but even these don't last forever. So just how long do preserved flowers last? The short answer is that it depends. The method of preservation and how they are handled, stored, and displayed can all influence how long preserved flowers will last.


Preserved vs. Dried Flowers

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Preserved flowers are different from dried flowers — or rather, dried flowers are a type of preserved flower, but they're not the only kind. Florists usually distinguish between dried flowers and preserved flowers because although they're both preserved, different techniques are used for each.


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Dried flowers are typically dried by hanging them upside down when freshly cut. Preserved flowers, on the other hand, are soaked in alcohol and dehydrating fluids and then often have colors applied. The preserving fluids replace the plant's sap and water. Preserved flowers tend to be more colorful than dried flowers. However, dried flowers generally last longer than preserved flowers.

How to Help Preserved Flowers Last Longer

Whether you have dried or preserved flowers, there are some simple things you can do to extend their life. Flowers that could potentially last for years if cared for properly simply won't last if they're not taken care of appropriately. To lengthen the life of your flowers, follow a few tips that are common to both dried and preserved flowers:


  • Keep dried and preserved flowers in a cool, dry room and away from heaters and direct sunlight.

  • Dust them periodically with something gentle, like a light feather duster or a cold, low setting on a hair dryer.

  • Don't get them wet. Keep them out of the bathroom and don't put them in water regardless of how "fresh" they might look.

Types of Preserved Flowers

Some flowers can be dried and preserved better than others. Some of the best flowers for drying include:


  • Amaranth
  • Artemisia
  • Baby's breath
  • Delphinium
  • Herbs
  • Hydrangea
  • Larkspurs
  • Lavender
  • Pansies
  • Roses
  • Poppies

When preserved and handled well, these flowers could last between several months and three years. If you take good care of them, they may last longer, but you may find that they start to disintegrate if you move them.


Flowers that are ideal for preserving include:

  • Carnations
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Roses
  • Gardenias
  • Gerberas
  • Hydrangeas
  • Orchids

Preserved flowers can also last between several months and a few years depending on how they're looked after.



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