Preserved flowers sold by 29th February are the result of a preservation technology that has started in Japan and maturing in many other countries including Ecuardo, Columbia, Korea and China. The technology uses chemical process to draw out …. So that fresh flowers can be preserved in its most delicate and natural shape and form, some even retaining its original fragrance.
Currently, the technique is applied on roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies, callas, peonies, etc. Both flowers, leaves and stems can be preserved using the same process.
3 step preservation process, depending on the process, may take up to a week.
1 ) Cutting
Fresh flowers are cut to prepare them for the preservation process. Depending on whether the stems need to be preserved, the cut may be below the Peduncle, or at the lower part of stems.
2) Dehydration process
Flowers are put into alcohol dehydrating fluid for 1-2 days to allow moisture and colours to escape flowers in bubbles, resulting in flowers turning white. Solvents such as ethanol is used for the dehydration process which results in bleaching.
3) Preservation and colouring
To substitute for the natural moisture which has been drawn out from the flowers, preservation fluids such as glycerine and glycol, with strong hydrophilic (having the tendency to mix with or dissolve in water) property, are used. Its function is similar to the “conditioner” that we apply to our hair or “fabric softener” that we apply to our laundry at the last step of cleaning, to trap moisture in our hair and clothing. This process is known as “preservation” which allows flowers to retain their texture and natural look.
During the preservation process, colours are simultaneously added to the preservation liquids to re-colour the bleached flowers. Therefore, preserved roses come in a wide range of colours. Colours used are often food colouring, naturally-extracted dyes.
The dyed flowers are taken out of preserving liquids and put into racks that carefully prop the flowers in a upright position, separate from other flowers to prevent being stained by their colours. Once air-dry, the process is complete, and flowers are ready to be used for floral arrangement, the making of music boxes and other forms of presentations.
Elongating life of Preserved Flowers
To elongate the life of preserved flowers, it is advised to keep humidity level to 50%. Humidity and temperature need to be maintained, and humidity is of concern during the rainy season. Depending on the conditions in which preserved flowers are kept in, they last on average 2 years to a maximum of three years.