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Practical Ways to Recycle Bouquets: From Wrappers to Petals

Person holding bouquet of flowers. Title of blog and logo overlayed

Whether it’s for a birthday, housewarming, graduation, or wedding, flowers always make an amazing gift. But what do you do with the flower bouquets after the event is over? Do you just dispose of them? Can you place them in jars for decoration? We have a few ways you can reuse, repurpose, or recycle your stunning blooms from petals to wrappers, especially if gently used.


bouquet of purple and white flowers

The petals are, of course, what makes a spring flower bouquet most beautiful. It is not unusual to feel guilty when throwing them away. The colorful and aromatically captivating petals will probably be screaming at you to hold on to them longer.

Instead of tossing them in the garbage after an event, there are a few creative ways to recycle used flower petals. Some of these include the following:

Drying Them for Use in Décor

Roses hanging upside down to dry the petals

Drying is one of the best ways to recycle flowers  that you want to hold on to. Well, decorating with dried flowers is not rocket science. Simply dry the petals with the stems still intact and hang them in distinct areas of your home to serve as wall décor.

For the best effect, be sure to place them with the petals facing down. Also, dried foliage can be delicate, and could break when disturbed, so make sure to choose the best spot to avoid this.

Make Potpourri

Mason jar filled with dry rose petals and buds with meditating Buddha figurine and aroma lamp with candle next to it.

Used flower petals can be a great source of perfume, especially for your home. When the wedding or other occasion is over, pick up the best-scented flower petals and turn them into potpourri. So how do you make potpourri exactly? 

You will find dozens of potpourri recipes out there, but it simply involves mixing flower petals and other ingredients/spices, then heating them in an oven to create a fragrant blend. Most people use spices like cinnamon, thyme, and rosemary, as well as orange and lemon. Essential oils and water are also commonly included in the mixture to add flavor and consistency.

Consider Composting 

Flowers and petals being added to a compost bin.

If you have a green thumb or you’re a fan of gardening, there’s no better way to recycle florals than composting them. These colorful blooms still have a lot of nutrients despite their life having been cut short .

If you’re wondering how, you may find this household guide to composting worth reading. Just isolate the petals, cut them up, and add them into your in-ground compost bin. There are rich sources of carbon and nitrogen in compost depending on how decomposed the flowers are.

Regift Them

Volunteer Worker giving Male Patient flowers in his Hospital Room

If your blooms still look fresh and bright after your ceremony, why not consider donating them or gifting them? You can even gift-wrap the flowers afresh before regifting them. Senior homes, hospitals, and charity organizations are some of the places you can donate slightly spent flower bouquets.


The process of wrapping bouquet of fresh tulips in eco-friendly craft paper.

Bouquet wrappers can be recycled in so many ways to make something unique, cute, and practical. Depending on what you are making, recycling bouquet wraps may require cutting, folding, shredding, or taping. Below is a list of ways you can reuse or recycle flower wrappers.

  • Make future party decorations
  • Create home décor items
  • Make desk organizers with packaging
  • And much more

Sustainable Alternatives to Giving Cut Flowers

Rainbow colored cacti in white potted planters

As we might have mentioned already, fresh-cut flowers can only last for so long. With the utmost care and maintenance, many cut flowers only stay alive for seven to twelve days, give or take. This means that fresh flower gifts end up being disposed of quickly, raising concerns over their eco-friendliness.

Thankfully, there are several alternatives so you can still show someone how special they are to you with flowers. For instance, you can gift someone with the whole plant instead of its fresh flower cuts. Other common sustainable options include:

  • Cacti and other succulents
  • Potted plants
  • Flower basket hangings
  • Artificial flowers like Silk and Fabric variants
  • A bonsai tree

While flowers make amazing gifts, no one said that gift-giving shouldn’t be sustainable and environmentally friendly. By recycling flowers or using sustainable alternatives, you are actually reducing your toll on the environment. These tips can serve as your guide to recycling used flowers after a party, event, or ceremony.

Do you have other ways to use your wilting flowers? Let us know in the comments below.

Author Bio:

Claire Jane Ward is an experienced eco-lifestyle and marketing writer with a passion for creating insightful and engaging content that’s easy to digest. She aims to help build a better future for the environment and its habitants by educating them to live sustainably in practical ways. Occasionally she spends her time playing with her cat while listening to her favorite podcasts.