Dried vs Preserved Flowers and Foliage

We provide this information guide to shopping for our preserved and dried flowers, foliage and arrangements. We hope you find it useful. Pioneer Heritage Shoppe's primary focus is on natural products that support our environment and the American family farms! Please call us if you have any questions. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve your home decorating needs.

Preserving Flowers and Foliages All our wreaths are made with preserved 'real' flowers and foliage. All Flowers and Foliages are harvested at optimum stage, and post harvest processed for best results. We have been asked many times how these products are preserved. We have received the information below direct from the family farmers that supply us with their high quality preserved, and dried flowers, and foliages.

Premium Preserved Roses: Our premium preserved rose heads look and feel just like real roses! In fact, they are real roses and they're so real that you'll have to stop yourself from watering them. Our roses are preserved using an advanced preservation technique, but unlike freeze-dried roses, our roses are color enhanced to bring out their natural color. Preserved roses are wonderful to work with because they are very resilient. These roses are perfect for wreath decorations, wedding bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, centerpiece arrangements and much more. You will find we use these roses exclusively in our floral arrangements throughout our gift shoppe!

Preserved Flowers and Foliages: The preserved flowers and foliages we carry are hand picked, then dried in environmentally friendly professional drying machines. This specialized equipment produces low temperatures and rapid moisture removal producing dried flowers that are as fragrant, and vibrant as the living flower. This process allows our preserved foliages to retain the fresh natural aroma's of the living plant! This professional drying process is why when you pick flowers from your own flower garden they do not last as long or retain their color like those professionally preserved.

Preserving Methods

  • Systemically - Immersion: When we refer to a product as being preserved we mean that glycerin (and usually dye) has been added to the product. There are two methods by which we preserve (add glycerin to) foliage. Systemically and by Immersion (or dip-dye). It should be noted that all of our preserved (glycerin added) products are also dried prior to final grading and packing.
  • Premium preservation: All chemically and dyed preserves are listed on our site as "premium preserved" either by glycerin, systemically, or dip-dyed creating preserved florals and foliages that are soft and supple. Systemically refers to a method of preserving foliage by taking the glycerin solution up into the plant through the stem. Portions of the plant where water does not flow through (such as the bark and some flower petals) do not take up the glycerin and dye. This allows the preserved plant material to look more natural.
  • Immersion: Immersion - Dip Dyed refers to a product in which dye and glycerin is added to the plant by immersion of the plant material in a solution. One of the results of this processing is that plant bark also takes up the dye as opposed to systemic processing that leaves the bark its natural color.
  • Glycerin-Glycol Glycerin is a glycol (substance similar to antifreeze but) it is not toxic and less volatile. Sometimes referred to as a sugar, it is often found in products such as hand cream, frosting, cough syrup, toothpaste etc.. Its effect on foliage is to keep it soft for a long period of time (as opposed to dried foliage, which is usually brittle). Glycerin has two interesting properties, first it is hydroscopic meaning it will absorb water from the air, and second it has a very low vapor pressure meaning it will not evaporate (antifreeze has a much higher vapor pressure and will slowly evaporate over time).
  • Freeze-Dried Freeze-Drying Roses is an advanced preservation technique. The roses are placed in a drying machine and temperature is lowered to 30 to 40 degrees below zero. This process takes the excess moisture out of the plant. Freeze dried roses while nice can become brittle if not cared for properly. When you keep freeze dried flowers outside of an enclosed case they can rehydrate, and shorten their lifespan. Due to their shorter lifespan, we no longer sell freeze dried flowers.
  • Natural: Natural preservation is done naturally with professional equipment offering controlled air flow and no chemicals or dyes. So when you see a product that says "natural preserved" then that's what you are getting. The "natural" method means they are preserved professionally by a natural process of drying and preserving. Flowers done by this process feel more dried and less soft and supple. Natural drying refers to the removal of moisture with no glycerin added.


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