How to Dry Orchids

Kate Lee

Orchids are beautiful, exotic looking flowers that come in a variety of colors. Whether you want to preserve orchids from a corsage, some orchids you’re especially proud of growing or just some orchids you like, drying orchids can be a challenging, but fun, project.

Since flowers lose some of their color when they’re dried, be sure to choose orchids that are brightly colored, if possible. If you’re making an arrangement or dried flower craft, be sure to start with more orchids that you need in case some of them become damaged during drying. Since orchids are delicate flowers, you’ll need to dry them using silica gel.

  1. Cut off the orchids from the stems, close to the bases of the flowers.

  2. Put enough silica gel in the bottom of the microwave-safe glass dish to cover it with a layer that’s one to two inch thick.

  3. Place a few orchid flowers stem side down in the dish, spacing them far enough apart so that the flowers don’t touch. You may want to try just one orchid blossom first, so you can experiment with the drying process.

  4. Cover the orchids with silica gel, working carefully to avoid crushing the blossoms. Make sure to completely cover the each orchid.

  5. Put the cup of water in the back of the microwave. Place the dish with the silica gel and orchids in the center of the microwave.

  6. Set the microwave for about two to three minutes. (The time may vary depending on the type of microwave and the size and condition of the orchids. After you’ve done one orchid, you can adjust the time as needed for the rest of the orchids.)

  7. Use oven mitts to remove the dish from the microwave. Let it sit until the silica gel is completely cool.

  8. Remove the dried orchids from the silica gel, and gently brush them off.


Silica gel is available in craft stores or online. You can reuse silica gel after it’s completely cooled. Some silica gel is made to change color as it dries. If you don’t have a microwave, you can put the orchids in an air-tight container of silica gel and let them slowly dry for about a week. You may want to use a small paint brush to remove the silica gel from the orchids.


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.