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The best flowers for pressing

by Beth Abood |

We've had such a great response from customers to our very own Floreat flower presses, and we're sometimes asked about flowers that are good to use in them. So we decided to write this blog post for those wondering which flowers will come out of the flower press with vibrant colour, possibly even scent, and in good condition.  

Tips for picking flowers to put in your press:

  • Choose flowers that aren’t wilted, torn, or bruised.
  • If you're foraging, cut flowers that have just opened up when their colour is best - one that's been in bloom for a few days will be less vibrant, and how much colour the flowers will retain after pressing depends on how long they’ve been in bloom.   
  • Do it on a sunny day when the petals aren’t wet from rain or dew.

      Image Source: NY Mag, Photo by Kate Cadbury 

      Which types of flowers are best for pressing?

      1. Flowers that Lay Flat  

      Flowers that can lay flat on a table once cut from their stem (i.e. those with a single layer or two of petals) are much better for pressing than those with a more chunky, 3D head. Think Cosmos, Daisies, or Poppies vs. a large headed peony or rose. These types of flowers tend to hold their form and shape a bit better, losing only a little bit of depth. 

      Flowers with chunky centres can still be pressed. The petals just need to be carefully removed and pressed individually. Once dried in the press, they can be reassembled without the centre.  

        Image source: The Planthunter

        2. Flowers that Hold Their Colour

        This is a tricky one to know from the outset, just by looking at a flower. It often gets learned along the way from experience, so we've supplied a list below of flowers we know that are more likely to keep their original colour. It's a good idea to make a list or keep a diary somewhere of flowers you've trialed that hold colour well.

        3. Flowers with Fine Petals 

        Flower varieties that have thinner petals when fresh will hold less moisture (think of a poppy's tissue paper-like petals) and will therefore dry out much quicker than those with thick and fleshy petals (like a begonia flower). Thicker flowers can actually become mouldy in the flower press after a couple of weeks so it's better not to use them. 

        Poppy - Image Source: NY Mag, Photo by Kate Cadbury 

        Flower varieties that press beautifully in a flower press: 

          • Cosmos
          • Poppies
          • Delphinium (individual flowers removed from the larger stem)
          • Larkspur (individual flowers removed from the larger stem)
          • Calendula 
          • Chocolate cosmos
          • Anenomes 
          • Pansies 
          • Wattle foliage
          • Babies breathe 
          • Jonquils 
          • Misty 
          • Daisies 
          • Rose Petals 
          • Queen Anne's Lace 
          • Dahlias*
          • Zinnias*

        *Thicker flowers - remove the petals from the center, press each separately, and reassemble the petals without the center.

        If you'd like to learn more about pressing flowers in a press, we wrote a blog about it here. Happy pressing!

        Image Source: Instagram @kate_cadbury 

        Cover Image Source: The Planthunter, Photo by Raph Rashid 


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