How to Dry Marigolds? You can easily learn how to dry marigolds using a simple process that I show you in this article.
Marigold is an annual herb with yellow-orange flowers and is known for its antiseptic and healing properties of minor skin wounds, as well as having antiviral properties. Marigolds can be dried and used in healthful teas, oils or tinctures.
Steps How to Dry Marigolds
- Collect the marigold flowers as soon as they are wide open. You can leave them whole or, if you want to speed up drying, remove the petals.
- Place the marigold on a flat surface, such as a sheet of parchment paper.
- Leave some space between one flower and another.
- Place the sheet of parchment paper with the calendula in a dry, warm place not exposed to the sun or light.
- There must also be good air circulation. You can use a dehumidifier to create the ideal drying environment.
- Let the marigold dry for several days.
- Mix the marigold flowers or petals several times a day to dry them completely.
- Check that the marigold is well dried before finishing the process.
- Take a petal and fold it, if it breaks it means that it is well dried.
- Store the dried calendula in a container that keeps the air out as much as possible, such as a glass jar.
Keep the container in a cool, dry place.
Alternative Ways to Dry Marigolds
|Ways to Dry Marigolds Flowers|
|1. Air drying|
|2. Using a Book|
|3. With a Press|
|4. Oven drying|
1. How to Air Dry Marigolds
For air drying marigolds, you need a dark room (without direct sunlight), dry and not too hot with excellent ventilation (attic, garage). The drying time depends on the size of the marigold plant.
- Cut the marigolds flowers as soon as they begin to bloom, remove 2-3 or all of the leaves if you only need the flower itself.
- Make small bundles, tying 5-10 stems at the base.
- Tie with a rubber band or string every 2-3 stems, as well as the whole final marigold bouquet, so that it does not disintegrate after drying.
- Avoid excessive tension in your ties, so that moisture does not accumulate in the tie places.
- Hang the marigolds bouquets upside down on the stretched rope (twine, fishing line), at least 15 cm from the ceiling, spacing them from the hooks of 10-15 cm (you can use paper clips or clothespins).
- Take care that the marigolds flowers are airy in each bunch, and the stems do not touch each other.
- Leave the marigolds flowers to dry in hangers for 15-30 days.
- If the petals are thick and dense or if the conditions are not optimal, the duration can be extended up to 35-40 days.
- As soon as the marigolds flowers are dry, the petals will be hard and fragile to the touch.
2. How to Dry Marigolds Flowers using a Book
This is the most common technique for drying marigold flowers because it is the simplest. Choose the heaviest book you can find: a dictionary or a yearbook, for example. Moisture from the flowers may cause the pages to curl, so use a book you don’t care for.
How to dry marigolds flowers using a book step by step:
- Cut marigolds flower stalks short to half an inch (2 to 3 cm).
- Open a thick book in the middle and cover with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Place a marigold flower between two sheets of paper and slip everything between two pages of the book. Depending on the thickness of the book, you can dry several marigolds flowers at once.
- You will need to space them far enough apart so that moisture from one does not transfer to the other.
- Place marigolds flowers next to each other and cover with more parchment paper
- Use other books or a brick to put weight on the book that contains the flowers.
- Be careful, when closing the book, not to move the flowers, so as not to crumple them.
- Close the book.
- Change the absorbent papers every three or four days.
- After two or three weeks, the marigolds flowers will be completely dry.
- To remove them, use tweezers because the dry flowers are very fragile.
- Pull off pressed, dried flowers with tweezers and use for herbarium or as table decoration.
3. How to Dry Marigolds Flowers using a Press
Another method of drying marigolds plants is to press them. However, not every plant is suitable for this procedure. For a good result, flowers, leaves or grass should be chosen that store little moisture by themselves.
There are special presses for drying flowers, otherwise you can make them yourself or press with plywood. Under a press, you can lay several layers of marigolds flowers.
Here are the steps to dry marigolds using a press:
- Cut two rectangles of plywood 23 inches by 8.5 inch (30 cm by 22 cm).
- Drill holes in the four corners of the two boards: check that the holes line up when the boards are stacked.
- Arrange the marigolds flowers in a single layer and place them on a board (cardboard, plywood) covered with rice paper towels, newspaper, office paper or tissue paper.
- Place one or two marigolds flowers between two sheets of paper and, a bit like for a sandwich, make layers: wood, paper, marigold flower, paper, wood.
- Place the load evenly (stack of books, a bag of sand, etc.).
- Use wing nuts and bolts to attach everything.
- Change the papers every four days (to prevent browning of the flowers).
- To speed up drying, remove the soaked paper every 1-3 days, and put the new one back on.
- The average drying time under the press for marigolds is from 5-7 to 15-20 days.
- Remove the marigolds flowers from the press and lay them for 2-4 days on a 1-2 cm layer of fine sand (or fine semolina of wheat) on a tray or in a box and sprinkle some sand on top.
You can, of course, buy a flower press online or at craft stores.
Depending on the humidity of the marigolds plants, you then have to wait about two to four weeks until the flowers are completely dry.
4. How to Dry Marigolds Flowers In Microwave
If you are impatient, you can speed up the process by using a microwave or oven. For drying in the microwave, the marigold is placed between two layers of paper and kitchen roll and two microwave-safe, flat weights.
Microwave flower presses can be purchased online but you can easily make one. Use two ceramic tiles and rubber bands to hold them together.
Steps to dry marigolds flowers in microwave:
- If you are making your own ceramic press, line each inside face with a piece of cardboard the same size as the tiles.
- Place the flower between two sheets of paper towel and make a “sandwich” closed with rubber bands.
- Set the microwave to a low temperature (too high a temperature will brown the flowers) and heat your press for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Let cool and start again.
- To save time, you can use several microwave flower presses by alternating them: while one is cooling, the other is heating in the microwave.
- A piece of kitchen paper serves as a protective base and cover for the flowers.
- Place the small stack in the microwave at 600 to 800 watts for 60 seconds.
- After about a minute and a half at medium level, the flowers are already pressed dry.
- Once the marigolds flowers are dry, complete the process using the book method (see above) or the traditional wooden press.
Owners of a microwave speed up the procedure and duration is reduced to a modest 2 minutes. Instead of in a book, squeeze fresh flowers or herbs between two ceramic tiles.
The same procedure also works in the oven. Here, however, the whole thing takes a little longer: at low temperatures of around 176°F (80 °C) and with the flap slightly open, around 30 to 60 minutes.
Marigold flowers for drying must be collected in the early morning, before the heat of the day has burned out most of their beneficial properties. At the same time, it is best to collect only slightly opened buds: the concentration of aroma in such specimens will be much greater.
As you can see marigolds can be dried in several ways. Following any of these methods will guarantee you that your marigold flowers will dry properly.
Marigolds are best dried the old way. Pick the flowers, pluck or cut the petals with scissors and lay them out in the shade in a dry place.
You can string flowers (with seeds) on a thick thread like beads and hang to dry.
Start to dry marigolds once the buds have fully opened. Do not wait until the first signs of wilting appear. The fresher and more magnificent a bouquet, the more perfect the result.
It takes two to four weeks for fresh marigold flowers to turn into dry flowers using natural air drying techniques. If you let Marigolds flowers dry in the oven or dehydrator, it only takes a few hours.