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Turn Your Old Bouquet into Fragrant Potpourri

Receiving a floral arrangement can be a great surprise! Flowers can cheer up your day and spread joy to anyone else who sees them, but after about a week they start to dry up and are just plain sad. What can you do to make your flowers last even longer? Make them into potpourri! Potpourri can be just as pretty as your floral gift and it offers a pleasant fragrance, reminding you of the gift each day.

The first step to making potpourri is to dry the flowers, which will begin to happen once they have lost their liveliness.

Since flowers will shrink as they dry, always collect four times the amount you will need for the final potpourri mix. There are many ways to dry your flowers, one is to fasten them together in small bunches and hang them upside down or carefully separate the petals from their stems and spread them out on a vented surface such as a window screen. This allows for proper air circulation and thorough drying. If the petals are packed together too tightly or overlap, they will decompose instead of drying.

The screen method is generally preferred as it allows for more moisture to be released, but leaving smaller flowers whole, and hang drying them can make your potpourri more attractive. The drying process generally takes about 1-2 weeks. You know the petals are completely dried when they look and feel crisp.

Along with the flowers from your bouquet, you will also need aromatic leaves that harmonize well with the flowers you already have. In addition, spices and peels and a fixative for holding scents will help make the aroma last longer.

Start by placing your dry flower petals in a glass jar or bowl that can be covered tightly. You can select a theme for the scent to complement the look of the potpourri such as country garden, lavender fields or the forest. Gently combine the flowers and leaves, and then mix the fixative with the spice, and blend into the flower leaf mixture with your hands.

You can leave some of the dry leaves whole, and crush others to release their scent. Spices and peels have a stronger aroma, so they should be used sparingly. For the best aroma, grind dried whole spices before combining them with the fixative and adding them to the mix. Use one tablespoon of fixative per cup of flowers and leaves. The most popular vegetable fixatives are orris root, which has a light lavender scent and Gum Benzoin, which has a sweet vanilla scent.

If you find you would like a stronger aroma for your potpourri, sprinkle essential oils one drop at a time, stirring between each drop. Seal and store your potpourri mixture in a warm, dry, dark place for about six weeks to cure. You can display potpourri in a bowl or jar, or it can be used in pillows or potpourri balls – however you like.

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Teleflora’s Find a Florist is the leading online florist locater in the US and Canada. Want to send a bouquet for the holidays, a special occasion or simply as a thinking of you? With a network of over 20,000 caring florists, Find a Florist makes it easy to locate a flower shop, anywhere in the country.

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