How to prevent and clean mould on dried flowers
Dried flowers have recently become a huge trend, and make a popular choice for home decor. This is due to the fact that they are long-lasting and require minimal maintenance. However, these flowers are still susceptible to fungus and mould growth, just like living flowers. While the dehydration/drying process does help to reduce the risk of mould and rot, it is still possible that powdery mildew can develop on your flowers. This is a type of fungus that can thrive without the presence of moisture, making it a unique concern for dried flowers.
Keep reading to find out the best ways to prevent mould and fungus from developing on your flowers, and how to ensure your home won’t be affected!
Why do my dried flowers have mould?
You might be thinking to yourself - why on earth do my dried flowers have mould on them? Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence, especially if they are not properly cared for, and can be a pain to deal with if not treated immediately. Understanding why your flowers get mouldy can be the first step in making sure this doesn’t happen again!
The most common way dried flowers attract mould is if they are placed in an environment in which mould thrives - like having no sufficient sunlight, or being in a room with no proper air ventilation, and excess moisture. Another factor could be that your flowers initially had mould on them before going through the drying process. Even though this process involves dehydration, if your flowers had mould spores on them beforehand, it can cause the mould to spread later on. Just make sure that you check the quality of your dried flowers before purchasing!
How to get rid of mould on dried flowers: 3 helpful steps
We know it can be worrying to think about your flowers producing mould, which is why we have outlined 3 helpful steps you can take to ensure that your flowers are up to the highest standard, and least vulnerable to fungus or disease.
Check on your dried flowers regularly
Dried flowers are known to be very low maintenance, which can mean that it’s easy to fall into the habit of not checking up on them. This can be detrimental to your flowers, as mould can quickly spread onto their petals, and result in long-lasting damage. Therefore it is good practice to regularly check your flowers for any symptoms of mould growth.
These can include:
- The petals of your dried flowers will look like they have a dusting of flour on them.
- The petals will begin to yellow or become brittle.
- Circular white spots will appear on the leaves in your bouquet.
Making sure that you keep your flowers dust-free is a certain way to prevent any mould growth and will mean that you can keep a regular check for any of the above symptoms. Using a dry cloth, or compressed air canisters can be used for this, however, it is important that you are gentle, as dried flowers are notoriously delicate.
Control the environment
The easiest way to ensure your flowers stay mould-free is to control the environment in which they are placed. The key part in maintaining your flowers is to ensure that they get good air circulation, and avoid spaces that have humidity and moisture - as this is what often causes them to mould or rot. Avoid areas like your bathroom, as this is a high-humidity environment, and will endanger your flowers from becoming wet or damp. You will also want to keep your flowers protected from direct sunlight, as this can cause the colours to fade, and make the petals brittle.
Maintaining adequate spacing between your flowers will really help to prevent mildew growth - it is understandable that when you have a professionally arranged bouquet, you won’t want to separate them, and you might not have to. As long as you check up on your flowers regularly, you can keep them in good condition, and only have to separate them if you notice any signs of mould growth.
Use sulphur dust
If you have noticed powdery mildew on your dried flower bouquets there are certain organic pesticides that can help in restoring them back to their original glory. We would recommend sulphur dust, which you can find in your nearest garden centre. If you want a more cost-effective option, certain plant enthusiasts have been known to use baking soda - so the choice is yours, depending on what you believe would be appropriate for your flowers! Once you have your pesticide, you can either apply or gently spray (depending on the method), onto the petals of your bouquet. Make sure you wear safety gloves and goggles if you are using sulphur dust, as it can irritate your skin and eyes.
Side effects of mould on dried flowers at home
Keeping dried flowers in your home as a decorative element can help to add a touch of natural beauty and bring your room to life. However, it’s important that you keep in mind that dried flowers are vulnerable to mould growth, just like any other organic material. Noticing the signs too late can cause significant problems for your home, as mould can grow and multiply quickly, and will affect the surrounding areas of your flowers. Here are 3 places to look out for mould:
Mould on your furniture!
It is no wonder that dried flowers have become such a popular trend, as they can bring a stunning, rustic vibe to basically any home. Not to mention that they are a lot more cost-effective and environmentally friendly in comparison to fresh flowers! However, dried flowers can still fall victim to mould, which can quickly affect your home and your health. If you notice that your bouquets have developed mould, you will need to remove them immediately, and do a thorough clean of the affected areas - including your furniture! Catching the signs early on will ensure that your home won’t suffer from any significant damage caused by the mould.
Mould on your surrounding walls!
If you have noticed that your dried flowers have started to develop mould, it is important that you take action to prevent the spread of mould onto the surrounding areas in your home. This includes cleaning the affected area, and ensuring that it is dry. It is important to keep in mind that dried walls, despite their name, can still be vulnerable to mould growth. In fact, it can take as little as 48 hours for mould to start growing on drywall. To prevent this, you will need to keep your dried flowers in an environment that is dry and well-ventilated.
Mould on your mattress!
A common place many people like to keep their dried flower bouquets is on their bedside table. If this is you, make sure to keep an eye on the state of your flowers to ensure that they don’t start to develop mould, as it could very quickly spread onto your mattress. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like itching and difficulty sleeping. Knowing what to look out for and where to check can be vital in helping you to catch any potential mould growth early on, and take the steps to prevent it from spreading further.
Top tip: Regularly check for signs of mould on your mattress by changing the sheets biweekly, and airing them out!
The health risks of mould
The health effects of mould exposure can vary depending on the individual. Different factors can come into play, including an individual’s sensitivity to mould, the amount of exposure, and the duration of their exposure. Some people may experience allergy-like symptoms and asthma attacks. People who have been exposed to large amounts of mould for an extended period of time are likely to experience more severe reactions, such as a fever, or difficulty breathing.
It is essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with mould exposure, and take the steps necessary to prevent any mould in your home. If you have recently noticed mould growth on your flowers, and are worried about any symptoms you may be showing, get in contact with your doctor as soon as possible!