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What Is Freeze-Drying?

Freeze Dry Equipment

Preparing a bouquet
for preservation
Very simply, freeze-drying is a preservation process for fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables that maintains the natural shape and vibrant color of the botanical. Other methods of preservation are available but do not compare in the ability to produce an incredibly true-to-life product. Consumer Magazines and NBC Dateline recently rated freeze-drying the best preservation method available today.

How does it work?

We use the most advanced computerized equipment in the marketplace first to deep-freeze the botanical. Once solidly frozen, a vacuum is applied to pull all the water out in the form of water vapor. This process is called sublimation. Sublimation occurs when a frozen liquid goes directly to the gaseous state without passing through the liquid phase. The water vapor is then transferred to a separate chamber, formed into ice, and removed. After all the water is removed, the botanicals are slowly returned to room temperature. This is a slow process and cannot be rushed. With the correct procedures natural color, form, and flexibility are obtained unlike other preservation methods. The results are well worth the wait.

Is anything else done to the botanical?
Adding wire to each flower

Yes, each flower is pre-treated with an individualized, patented formula to help lock in color and enhance texture and durability during the freeze-drying phase. After this phase is completed, the botanical is treated with a protective coating, which combats the effects of humidity and sunlight (UVA rays).

How long does it take?

No short cuts are taken in our creation of the most natural and unique product in the floral preservation industry. Each flower is considered an individual work of art and handled with care throughout the entire process. The average Bridal Keepsake, freeze-dried and designed, is completed within 16-18 weeks.

Can anyone freeze-dry?
Heller & Reid Showroom

Professional floral freeze-drying is a combination of science and design. Sophisticated and expensive equipment is required! The technology was originally created for the pharmaceutical and food service industry and has been adapted to accommodate the special requirements needed for creating natural looking, preserved botanicals. Knowledge of fresh botanicals, manufacturing, and creative design are imperative in the success of quality freeze-drying!

Can all flowers, fruits, and vegetables be freeze-dried?

Almost all botanicals may be freeze-dried! Thin-walled fruits, such as grapes, do not freeze-dry well, and some flowers turn out better than others depending upon their cell structure. For example, flowers in the Daisy family have petals attached by very small sockets, which sometimes do not hold up during the freeze-drying process. Our pre- and post- treatments are essential in the process, aiding in maintaining true color and texture. Greenery used in fresh flower arrangements often turns a silvery gray when freeze-dried. For our Bridal Keepsakes, we replace greenery with air-dried, preserved stems or leaves of the same type to give a more natural look.

Can you recommended the best flowers for freeze-drying?

Yes, the following flowers are especially beautiful when freeze dried:

  • Alstormeria
  • Amaranthus
  • Aster
  • Astilbe
  • Calla Lily
  • Carnation
  • Cattleya Orchid
  • Daffodil
  • Dahlia
  • Delphinium
  • Dendrobium Orchid
  • Dianthus
  • Feverfew
  • Freesia
  • Gardenia
  • Gladiolus
  • Gypsophilia
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Liatris
  • Lilac
  • Lily
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Lisianthus
  • Peony
  • Phaleonopsis Orchid
  • Rose (all varieties)
  • Snap Dragon
  • Statice

This list is not comprehensive. Please call us at 800-742-9570 to ask about other flowers not listed.

Would you like more information?

For more information or specific questions, please contact us. We love to talk about our unique process!

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