Dry flower business project
Flowers are the sign of purity, strength, kindness and love and Flowers are an incredible part of our country, India. India has a rich heritage with so many cultures all over. We have different religions & cultures being followed here and every culture has its own significance and beauty. Flowers are an essential element of Indian cultures and rituals.
Indian culture is known for its purity and kindness and Flowers are even used in every event such as concerts, parties, weddings and even in the restaurants and many more. Many cultures even begin their day by granting flowers to their Goddesses. Distinct flowers are used for medicinal purposes too.
The value of flowers is on the heavier side, having a great demand in the market for almost every purpose. People’s love to grow flowers in their garden because of its beauty and medicinal value.
Having so much demand in the Indian market, farmers have started a flower growing business which gives them the highest returns of any specialty crop. Anyone who loves gardening and has skills can start this business and create an extra source of income.
Basically, dried flowers have a huge demand and are one of the most profitable sources to the growers, and it doesn’t require much space or effort and can be grown at homes or home gardens itself.
We will study in detail about the Dry flower business in this article.
General Introduction to Dry Flowers
Fresh flowers are not available throughout the year and cut flowers too cannot be stored for a longer time. This brought the concept of Dried flowers. The limitations of fresh & cut flowers necessitated the use of flowers in dehydrated form. The dehydrated flower & its preparation gradually became popular but now they can be easily accessed.
Some flowers in the initial times could be easily dried, preserved and processed in nature and some of them were naturally dehydrated. These flowers along with ferns, grasses, leaves, mosses, berries, sea pods and some plant parts could be used as decorative items and are available locally.
Plants were dehydrated initially just by hanging them but it didn’t retain its color & shape. So much experimentation was done to preserve its original color and shape and now the technique has been standardized to retain the color brightness & beauty of the flower even after dehydration. And these dried flowers are very beneficial to both the domestic & international market.
Dry Flowers are also called “Everlastings” because they last so long when they are dried and are a perfect flower crop for a backyard flower grower. Drying the flowers allows them to keep them around to display for several months and even years after the plants have stopped blooming.
Why Dry flowers are selected for Business
Dry flowers are very popular among flower lovers because they provide distinctive indoor decoration and are inexpensive. This business allows them to work from indoors and is highly lucrative for housewives and mothers also. It can also be started on a part time basis and has a great export potential.
The business can be started in a small backyard on your own and can earn huge profits. These flowers and their arrangements are very long lasting and require little care and attention. It doesn’t require any previous experience or elaborate equipment to start this business.
It can be used for home decoration or any special event like weddings or birthdays, also in packaging & parcels. They are used in bouquets, pressed flower pictures, potpourri, hats, wreaths, kissing balls, shadow boxes, heart brooms, shaker boxes, window ornaments, door swags, cards, jute bags, books, wall quilts etc.
It has great demand in both Indian and International markets and India is the first in dry flower export having a variety of plants available. Dry flowers include the dried shoots, seeds, barks, etc as well apart from the flower parts. It enhances the appearance & beauty of the products in which it is used.
Techniques in Dry Flower making
Dry flower production involves two important steps that are:
Flowers are cut in the morning hours after the dew has evaporated from the plants. After cutting, the stems are grouped into a bunch and are kept for drying but don’t keep it for long in sunlight.
The different methods used in drying process are:
- Sun drying – Sun drying is the most easy and cheap method but the flowers can’t be dried during rainy months. The flower bunches are hung upside down using ropes or bamboo splits. Chemicals are not used but chances of fungal attack is high. Good aeration is very essential in this method.
- Freeze drying – It is an improved method over sun rising and its equipment is costly but the quality of the flowers is very high and it fetches a good price.
- Pressing – This method requires blotting paper or ordinary papers but it causes a high amount of damage to the flowers and the flowers become flat.
- Glycerine method – This method produces very high quality products and the flowers are filled with glycerine after removing the moisture.
- Polyset polymer – This method requires very less drying time and the flowers get dried by spraying polyset polymers. It also improves the colour of the final product.
- Silica driers – This method is used to dry a very delicate type of flowers and plants. It uses Silica or Silica Gel to improve the quality of flowers and to make the flowers intact.
The flowers are dyed in this method. The best color for dry flowers is “Procion”. Dyeing of the flowers involves the following steps:
- Take 4 kg of dye powder to mix with 20 litres of water
- Dilute this dye solution in 800 litres of hot water
- Mix 2 litres of acetic acid in this solution
- Add Magnesium chloride for soft flowers to enhance the color
- Soak the dried flowers until they absorb the color.
Selection of Dry flowers
Different flowers are of different nature, so are really fast at drying and some are not. Flowers like ‘Sedum’ don’t dry well because of their high water content. The best way to learn which flowers dry well is experimenting with them.
Here is a list of some flowers that are good choices for drying purposes.
- African Marigold
- Anise hyssop
- Globe Thistle
- Globe amaranth
- Lady’s Mantle
- Mealy Cup Sage
- Love in a mist – seed heads
- Pompom Dahlia
- Poppy – seed heads
- Straw flower
Equipments Required for Drying process
The various equipments or tools and the materials needed in the drying process are:
- String or hooks for hanging the flowers
- Paper clips
- Airtight plastic or glass containers
- Flower presses or ceramic tiles
- Cut flowers
- Rubber bands
- Silica gel
- Laundry borax
- Paper towels
General Recommendations before drying
Below are some instructions that need to be followed for the drying process
- Choose the right time to harvest, basically late mornings
- Hang flowers for Air drying as it is the simplest way to preserve cut flowers
- Ensure the proper conditions like the flowers should not be hanged on direct sunlight or for longer periods as it could color fade them
- Allow plenty of drying time
- Try drying with Silica gel for flowers with high moisture content
- Dry in Microwave to speed the process of drying
- Press the flowers
- Keep the dried flowers in good conditions and use it in arrangements after drying process completes
- Store the flowers properly
Steps to start Dried Flowers business
The following are the steps to start a dry flower business.
- Understand the market – It is advised to do the market research before starting a business and collect as much information as you can like size of the market, competitors, future potential of the business, demand of which flowers are the most etc because the success largely depends on the demand in the local market.
- Learn the process of making Dry flowers – The process is categorized into 3 steps:
- Crop selection
- Proper Drying technique
The growers need to properly learn all these and then decide what, when and how to dry.
- Research the market – Collect detailed market research and know about your competitors and their products & pricing etc.
- Name your Business – Select a name for your business that is attractive & catchy to the customers which they can relate to.
- Create a Business plan – To make any business a success, you need to make a proper plan. You need to first make the objectives of starting the business, operating plan, management plan, financial plan, products & services offered, and marketing plan. You can even contact the business plan generators for help.
- You should pay attention to certain aspects like – Executive summary, Challenges, Solutions, Market scope, Competitor analysis, SWOT analysis, Operational plan and Finances.
- Calculate the Investment required for your business – It requires majorly two things – Land & Gardening supplies. After these two, you just need compliance and marketing expenses. Apart from these fixed costs, there are certain recurring costs like gardening supplies, salary of staff, land leasing, equipment maintenance, etc.
- Register your Business – To start and run a business legally, it is essential to register it. Talk to the competent authority of your local area and select the business structure that suits you most.
- Networking – The next and the last step for this business is Networking, or where the flowers should be sold. For this you can contact hobbyists, event planners, retail stores and end customers who use dried flowers. You can even have a website with a relevant company name to reach out to more customers. Create brochures with photos of dried flowers and distribute them to potential customers. Also, you can create a business profile on social media platforms where you can post events & news of your company.
Dry flowers have a huge demand worldwide. The proper technique and methods of drying could make these flowers more attractive and elegant. The products made out of these flowers are sold at a heavy rate and it enhances the beauty of the products. Dry flower is a very profitable business and is one of the fastest growing crop trends in Agriculture today having high demand for all types of flowers, especially unique and hard to grow varieties.