How to Dry Tulips

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Tulips are beautiful blooms that you can buy from flower shops and the floral departments of many grocery stores, or you can grow them yourself. Gardens that sell tulip bulbs can be a wonderful resource for cut tulips, and a beautiful place to visit when tulips are in bloom. By drying the tulips, you can enjoy them all year round. Tulips are generally too delicate to dry by simply hanging them up, so you’ll need to dry them using silica gel. You can speed this process up considerably by using a microwave.

Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need
  • tulips
  • scissors
  • silica gel
  • microwave oven
  • large microwave-safe glass dish
  • microwave-safe cup of water
  • oven mitts

Prepare Tulips for Drying

  1. Choose the brightest colors of tulips, since the blooms will loose some of their color during drying. Tulips come in a wide variety of colors, including some that have more than one color on the same blossom.
  2. Pick tulips that are close to full bloom, or not quite fully open, for drying. Avoid using tulips that are already losing their petals.
  3. Select more tulips that you need for your project in case some of them become damaged during drying.
  4. Cut off the tulip stems just below the base of the flower. You can substitute wire for the tulip stems when arranging them after they’re dried.
  5. Cut off any leaves from the stems. If you want, you can dry the tulip leaves separately, and attach them to the wires.

Dry the Tulips

  1. Cover the bottom of the microwave-safe glass dish with silica gel, until it’s about two inches thick.
  2. Place a few tulips in the dish, without letting them bump into each other. You can place the tulips stem-side down, or on their sides.
  3. Cover the tulips with silica gel, working carefully to avoid crushing the blossoms. Make sure to get the silica gel inside the tulips and cover them completely.
  4. Place the cup of water in the back corner of the microwave. Place the dish with the silica gel and tulips in the center of the microwave.
  5. Microwave the tulips for about three minutes. (The time may vary depending on the type of microwave and the size and condition of the tulips.)
  6. Use oven mitts to remove the dish from the microwave. Let the silica gel cool completely before touching it.
  7. Remove the dried tulips from the silica gel. Tip them over to empty them of silica gel, and gently brush them off.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can buy silica gel in craft stores or online, and you can reuse silica gel after it’s completely cooled. Some silica gel is made to change color as it dries, making it easier to tell when the drying process is complete.

  • You can also put the tulips in an air-tight container of silica gel and let them slowly dry for about a week if you don’t want to use a microwave.

  • Use caution when working with hot materials.

  • Do not eat silica gel, or leave it where small children could get into it.

  • Do not use the glass dish for food after you’ve used it for drying flowers.

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