Preserve Flowers From Your Garden With A Kitty Litter Hack

There's no doubt that kitty litter is a versatile product. Its sand-like texture, absorbency, and fresh scent allow it to correct a multitude of issues in and around your home. From soaking up extra moisture in a damp basement to providing traction on icy surfaces, cat litter is among the most versatile materials you can use throughout your home.

Not all of kitty litter's applications are so seasonally practical, however, as some of them are useful for crafts and indoor beautification. Because of the litter's ability to absorb excess moisture, some clever folks have discovered that you can use it to dry flowers that you want to preserve. Whether you are looking to preserve meaningful flowers from a special event, or you simply want to dry some pretty blooms from your garden to decorate your home, the cat litter trick works well — and it's inexpensive. Thankfully, many people have tried this hack and found success, and so can you.

How preserving flowers works

There are several ways that you can go about drying flowers. The most popular of these include the air drying method, microwave method, desiccant method, and pressing method. Air drying and pressing are likely the most straightforward and require the least amount of supplies. Yet, they are also quite restricting and don't work for all flower types. Air drying can be problematic for blooms that have a high water content as they can rot during the process. Plus, pressing only works well on small flowers with a few petals, as these types of blooms look nice when crushed between two heavy objects.

The microwave and desiccant methods are somewhat more intense and call for a few different items to perform the process properly. Still, both of them tend to have beautiful results that minimally change the look of the flowers. The two methods are actually quite similar; the real difference between them is how long it takes the flowers to dry. Each begins with putting your flowers in a container filled with a moisture-absorbing medium, such as silica gel or cat litter. Then, you can choose to wait or microwave the container to speed up the process, though it comes with some risks.

How to preserve flowers with kitty litter

To preserve flowers using cat litter as your desiccant, you'll need an airtight container, cat litter (cheap and unscented litter works great), and your choice of flowers. Keep in mind that not all flowers are suitable for this type of preservation. Typically, roses, pansies, peonies, daisies, larkspur, carnations, and zinnias are the best options for drying in kitty litter.

First, you must gather your flowers and cut off their stems, leaving just an inch from the flower head. Most flowers should be laid face-up in the container for the best results, but flatter ones can be placed face-down to preserve their shape. Start by carefully pouring your litter on top of the blooms. Each flower should be covered with at least an inch of the medium. 

Next, you'll either microwave them or let them dry out over time. The desiccant method tends to produce brighter and more attractive dried flowers. But, if you are in a rush, you might decide to use the microwave method. It's not instantaneous, but it takes less time. Place your container in the microwave with a cup of water and heat them for 30 seconds at a time. When the petals feel dry, pull them from the microwave and allow them to dry further for at least 24 hours. If you took the slower route, skip the microwave and close your container tightly to allow your blooms to dry over a period of 10 to 20 days.