So you’re wondering if your particular bouquet will preserve well.
Yes, there are some flowers that preserve more easily than others, and there are some that, no matter what we do, don’t preserve well AT ALL.
Once preserved the flowers cannot keep that "fresh cut flower" appearance. We can use some coloring techniques to restore, protect or enhance bright colors. The expectation that preserved flowers will appear “just like they did” when fresh is not realistic, no matter how or who preserves them. Brown edges can usually be trimmed, and petals with significant browning can be replaced, if necessary.
Roses retain their shape and are hardy enough to make them relatively easy to work with during the design phase of the preservation and display process. Thankfully, we do get a lot of roses in bridal bouquets .. and they do add to the soft lines and lush beauty of a preserved piece.
Garden roses deserve a separate mention .. their petals are very closely tied together within the center of these flowers. These increasingly-popular bridal flowers are a challenge to preserve. The petals are not only closely knit, but curled and intertwined the closer you get to the middle of the flower.
Lisianthus, stock, delphinium, hydrangea, freesia, alstromeria . .. The petals on these blooms are thin, so preventing tearing or breakage is important. But their end-result is gorgeous. Lisianthus, either white or the lavender, pink or deep purple do beautifully. They stay “fluffy,” retain shape and personality after they’re preserved. Stock’s fluffiness is diminished a bit, but the texture remains. Hydrangea must be handled gingerly as they move into and out of the preservation processes. But awesome when done and soft and textural. Freesia often require some TLC due to their exceptionally thin and weak bloomed petals. Alstros look almost fresh when all is said and done, including their telltale spots and stripes.
Thicker-petaled flowers, like callas, dendrobiums, tulips, amaranthus, agapanthus and amaryllis do very well. Dendrobiums, although more of a tropical flower, do very well .. shape is well maintained, although some of the “transparency” of these petals is reduced upon preservation. Amaranthus and amaryllis must be separated from their stems to retain shape, but for all of these, preservation treats them well.
Lilies .. stargazers, asiatics (of all colors), Casa Blancas, white mountain and other hybrid lilies also preserve well. The colored ones change color .. stargazers and pink or lavenders become more purplish in tone, whites tend to soften or antique in color.
Carnations and peonies preserve beautifully as well.
Protea and succulents finish up from preserving fine. Stephanotis can be bleached before preserving to help keep that bright white look.
Daisies, gerbers and sunflowers can be labor-intensive (which, of course doesn’t bother us, as our entire process is that way, really) to ensure minimal petal loss and petal curling, but great when we are done with them.
Flowers to avoid for preservation are mums and dalhias. That tend to unravel or shatter no matter what we do.
Greenery: Ivy, ruscus, leatherleaf, petals from lilies and hydrangea, rose leaves .. all provide close to fresh shaping and coloring becomes deeper, but realistic. The tree fern and plumose, are NOT recommended for display within our keepsakes. No matter how we treat them, the flaking and loss of those tiny little leaves cannot be prevented.