'Drying of flowers: a money-spinning aspect of floriculture industry' is an article of Kumar, S., A. Malik and V. Hooda, published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. Spring 10(1): 27-31.
This article from India, summarizes methods used to dry/preserve cut flowers to expand options for businesses already selling fresh cut flowers. Dried flower products have been exported from India for at least 40 years, and markets are expanding. Interesting that some New Zealand peony growers told me they tried flower drying, but silk flowers were becoming so realistic, that dried flowers were not worth the effort.
Businesses in India are looking for ways to use small flowers, those that might not be at the right bud stage for cut flowers, those with short stems, and more. The authors provide a short description of the methods for drying by air, water, sun, pressing, microwave, hot air oven, desiccation, freezing and glycerine. Most of these methods are well known and have a long history. Interesting that peonies are only listed under the glycerine method, although I have used air, sun, oven, and desiccation methods, and I have seen some beautiful freeze-dried peony flowers. I can’t say I’m a big fan of air dried peony flowers except as individual petals for potpourri. The most interesting part of the article was a list of plants suitable for foliage preservation– peonies aren’t on that list, either.