What Are The Easiest Flowers To Press?
Updated 22nd June 2022
Flower pressing is an easy and rewarding activity to do at any age, with very little know how and the most basic of materials. Let’s start off with the easiest flowers to press and a few tips on the easiest ways of pressing flowers and you will have your first pressed flowers in a few weeks. It is that quick and simple!
What are the easiest flowers to press?
Here are some of the flowers that I have always found the easiest to press:
Pansies are great because they bloom from winter through to Spring and their delicate naturally flat faced structure press beautifully preserving their bright and vibrant colours and markings. You can’t help fall in love their pretty little faces, the Victorians certainly did, making flower pressing popular in the 19th century. ‘Three Faces Under A Hood’ is one of many nicknames they are known to have had which I think is just gorgeous and so fitting of their striking characteristics.
Pressed Love In The Mist
Also known as Nigella flowers, love-in-the-mist is a flower that self seeds and spreads everywhere making it common to find it in alley ways, curbsides and other areas left to go wild as well as been a favourite in people’s back gardens. Most commonly found in shades of blues, pinks and whites their spikey follage is so structurally striking when framed. White flowers don’t always press very well and have impact but even in their white form these press beautifully.
The humble daisy really gives a sense of childhood nostalgia of making daisy chains and enjoying their abundance and wide-spread growth. One of the reasons they grow so abundantly is that they thrive in poor soil conditions and manage to establish on the thinnest of little stalks. For flower pressers this is great news, they hold little water in their stems and heads and press and dry extremely quickly.
Another self seeder falling into the weed category these flower heads are so tiny they are great if you are thinking about using your pressed flowers for jewellery. They keep their strong blue colour and also press well on their stems and with their leaves if you want a whole specimen to frame.
Roses in their blousey billowing forms are notoriously difficult to press and prone to rotting and turning particulary ugly looking. However wild roses and dog roses with more simple structures and just one or a few layers of petals will bring you more success as they will dry faster and may keep some of their colour. Quite often these roses are repeat bloomers lasting throughout the season so if you have some in your garden it will give you multiple opportunities to practice.
Such fragrant little blooms with beautiful bell like structures, lily-of-the-valley has a mythical like quality and adds interest in structure if you are grouping pressed flowers together.
A spring staple in the UK, these are perfect starter blooms for the press! The common English bluebell is a pinky shade whilst the blue bluebells derive from Spain. If you happen to find a white bluebell, they are incredibly rare so leave it in the ground unharmed.
Another spring flower this one you wouldn’t necessarily think would press well with its bobble ‘berry’ like structure but they do dry very quickly and preserve their deep blueish/ purple tones.
If you are looking to press an abundance of flower heads then this is the flower for you. Lovely in size to fill a sheet of paper you can pick all the seperate flower heads off one stem and press them all individually.
I don’t know about you but brambles to me always conjure up memories of Brambly Hedge the seasonal children’s fictional stories written by Jill Barklem in 1980. The flowers which come before the blackberry fruit is extremely delicate but so easy and pretty to press as well as easy to find out in nature.
Pressed Hydrangea Petals
Their names just make you want to get planting in your garden, the French Hydrangea, Lacecap Hydrangea, Pink Hydrangea & Blue Hydrangea. Their blooming great heads are made up of lots of individual flat flowers that are brilliant for flower pressing. When I see hydrangeas I just can’t help but feel excited, the graduation of the pastel colours in their petals are to die for.
My absolute favourite to press, cosmos come is such a variety of colours and sizes and all press beautifully. The heads look lovely on their own or pressed on their stems. I love them pressed on their stems with a few of their fern like leaves still attached.
Learn Easy Ways To Press Flowers
The most simple way to press flower is to use a book that you aren’t too precious about, blotting paper, card, paper towel and something heavy to go on top like more books or any other kind of weight. Below is a little video of me demonstrating how I press flowers using a book.
How To Press Flowers In A Book
Pick flowers on a dry day preferably in the afternoon when any moisture from the night time should have evaporated. If they are still damp, put them in a vase if on a stem and let them air dry indoors for a few hours.
Dab any moisture from the stems before pressing.
Place flowers down head first onto the paper. If on stems, press flowers down lightly inthe position you want the flowers to be with your fingers. Don’t overlap flowers unless you want them to press together.
Quickly cover with a second piece of paper over the top.
Best paper to use for pressing is blotting paper as it absorbs moisture, but any paper can be used. If you aren’t precious in any way about your book, just use the book pages.
Best tip I can give is to use kitchen towel on top and below your blotting paper to soak up moisture from more chunky flowers. This prevents the flowers from turning brown.
For chunkier flowers, you could also cover with thicker piece of board to stop the flower shapes imprinting in the book.
Then repeat the below steps you are using for each page of flowers.
Board, Paper towel, Blotting paper, flowers, blotting paper, paper towel, board.
Turn pages and put flowers in another section of the book.
Place heavy books on top, or applying pressure evenly throughout making sure screws on press are as tight as they can be. Move to a warm place, such as an airing cupboard or damp-free room above a radiator. The quicker your flowers dry the better they press and preserve their colour.
Remove leaves and flowers of congested specimens to reduce the bulk without losing the character of the plant.
How Long Do Dried Flowers Last?
Pressed flowers will fade with time especially if hung in direct sunlight. Steps can be made to slow this down like using by using commercial sealants to using conservation glass or museum glass when choosing a frame. However your pressed flowers should last approx 3 - 5 years and the fun is definitely in pressing more flowers when you feel they are past their best!