Very Vera: Waxing Flowers

Daytime

Waxing cut flowers is an old, Southern floral preservation technique. If you have camellias, daffodils, or other sturdy spring blooms in your yard, try waxing them to keep them fresh longer! To start, gather your materials. You’ll need at least 2 pounds of paraffin wax, like Gulf Wax, mineral oil, an electric cooker or double boiler, a digital or candy thermometer, a large bowl of ice water, and a small, fine mesh strainer. To melt the wax using a double boiler, fill a saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil, then set a deep glass bowl on top. Put in your wax and the mineral oil. The ratio for oil to wax is a half cup of oil to each pound of wax. As the wax melts, use the thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. You want to bring the wax to 138 degrees. While the wax melts, create an ice bath with ice and water. Remove the ice when you’re ready to begin waxing. If possible, use blooms that are free of any moisture, which might mean picking them a few hours before you’re ready to wax. Remove any buds, but you can leave the leaves on the stem. Once the wax is melted, take your bloom by the stem, pulling back any leaves, and swirl into the wax until completely covered. Shake off the excess wax, then turn over to let the wax settle into the inner space. Carefully lower the bloom into the ice water. Once the wax has set, your bloom should last for weeks or even months if the wax coating remains intact! Use this technique all year to preserve your favorite blooms!

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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