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Preserved Plants 101: A Beginner’s Guide

August 01, 20234 min read

Preserved Plants 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Lifestyle Collective, August 1, 2023

By Emma Di Salvo

Fresh flowers are lovely, but you must admit that the time and effort it takes to keep them alive can be a nuisance. Especially if you’re anything like me! 

People have discovered a way around this in recent years – preserved plants. I know what you’re thinking – preserved plants, really? What’s the point? Well, let’s take a look and find out more.

Enjoy Your Plants For Longer

It’s easy to see the appeal of fresh flowers. They look great, smell amazing, and bring life to even the dullest spaces. However, a major drawback is that they only last for a short time. 

The unique thing about preserved or dried flowers is that even years down the line, their colours still remain, and they look just as beautiful as they did the day you bought them. This makes preserved plants and flowers not only worthwhile on a practical level but also an excellent idea for a present. 

I was gifted a foxtail plant for my 30th birthday, and it is still going strong…..a certain amount of years later! Okay, okay, 4 years later. The point is, it is still just as vibrant and green as the day I received it. Check out the different types of preserved plants; you may be surprised at just how many beautiful choices there are.

Perfect For People On The Go

Compared to fresh plants and flowers, preserved plants take home the prize for being the easiest to take care of. The most obvious difference is they don’t need watering. Watering plants and flowers can be a bother, especially for people with busy lives and/or who travel often. 

This problem can be avoided if you opt for preserved plants instead. You also don’t need to worry about pruning and cutting off dead leaves or changing the water in the vase. Keep life simple and have more time to concentrate on the things you love rather than worrying about being a plant killer!

A Wide Range Of Uses

What many people find appealing about preserved plants is their versatility. They make fantastic ornaments, and just like fresh plants, they can transform any living space into a tranquil and relaxing place you want to spend time in. 

You can display them in a vase, hang them, create stunning wreath-style decorations, and, of course, let’s not forget about potpourri!


Potpourri is a mixture of dried flowers with other ingredients, such as herbs, spices and essential oils. People have enjoyed potpourri for thousands of years. As you can imagine, its ability to freshen rooms and mask unwelcome smells was extremely useful before scented candles and aromatic room sprays were invented! 

Potpourri was also very popular in the 70s, with many using it in their homes. In recent times, it seems to have lost its appeal. I say it’s time we gave potpourri another chance!

Limitless Location Options

Because preserved plants don’t rely on the things fresh plants do, such as sunlight, water and soil, it makes it much easier to select a space to display them. 

You don’t need to place them by a window if you don’t want to, and you don’t need to worry about them getting dehydrated and wilting. You simply put them where you want to, carry on with your day, and enjoy them without getting your hands dirty.

Do Your Part For The Planet

One of the things I love about preserved and dried plants is knowing I’m doing that little bit for the environment. Again, while fresh flowers are lovely, they are not sustainable. Reducing your carbon footprint and being mindful about using fewer resources is essential to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. 

The more demand for fresh flowers and plants, the more will be cut down and imported from other counties, increasing dangerous Co2 emissions. Furthermore, because fresh plants don’t last as long as preserved plants, they need to be replaced more often, ultimately leading to a heck of a lot of waste for the landfills. 

And that is all without even considering the overuse of one of the planet’s most precious resources: water. 

How To Dry Flowers And Plants

If you’ve been swayed by the above and would like to dry your own plants and flowers, it is really very straightforward; just follow these 5 simple steps:

1) Get rid of any excess foliage from the flowers

2) Cut the stems – leave at least 6 inches

3) If you have a bouquet, use a rubber band or string to tie it all together

4) Hang them upside down somewhere dry and dark that is well ventilated

5) The whole process will take around 3 weeks

Preserved plants offer the best of both worlds. You get all the beauty of fresh ones without all the fuss. Since they don’t rely on soil, sunlight or water, they can be kept practically anywhere. 

They last longer than fresh plants and are eco-friendly. I mean, what’s not to love? 

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Emma Di Salvo

As a freelance writer living in Malaysia, I feel extremely lucky to be able to write and explore Asia at the same time. When I'm not travelling, I love being at home with my husband, 2 cats and rabbit. I'm a big foodie and passionate about the film industry.

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