Using the Plant Specimen Preparation Kit to Dry a Plant

How to make a specimen using a drying mat

1 Place one specimen in the newspaper on one drying mat, then place another drying mat on top of the specimen, and finally place another specimen on top of the drying mat. Repeat the process.

2 After placing the plants and newspaper between the drying mats, secure the package with the rubber bands (top and bottom)

  • The drying mat may not be able to dry hard branches or other similar materials.

  • You can layer the specimens and the drying mats up to 3 sets of drying mats (18 mats total).
  • Make sure the plant is placed totally within the drying mat.
  • Do not leave drying mats in the open air for long periods. Drying mats quickly absorb moisture from the surrounding air. Drying mats that have been left out for long periods will lose their moisture absorbent qualities.
  • Move quickly when removing the drying mat from the bag. (You should be able to place the plants in the newspaper and between the drying mats and then put the mats into the plastic bag within 15 minutes.)

3 Place the package in one plastic bag. Exhaust the air from the bag and simultaneously fold the unused part.

4 Place that package in another plastic bag, exhaust the air from that bag and simultaneously fold the unused part.

5 Pull the Velcro apart on the air presser. Spread open the air pocket and place the press board on the press stage.

6 Put the drying mat package in the plastic bag (4) on the press board and put the press board on the package.

7 Fold the air pocket over onto the package and fasten the Velcro.

8 Insert the air pump nozzle into the inlet (white cap) of the air pocket.

9 Inject air into the air pocket of the air presser using the vacuum air pump. This applies pressure to the whole package. (When the press stage starts to warp, stop injecting the air.)

Injecting too much air may rupture the air pocket.

! When the plant seems dried but still fresh looking, the plant is dry.

! To dry a drying mat again

* If you are not using the air presser, place a press board on and below the package (drying mats in two plastic bags) and place a weight (about 11lbs or 5kg) on the top press board. (Make sure you exert the weight evenly so that the pressure is applied to the whole package.)

10 After 4 or 5 days, remove the air from the outlet (red cap) of the air presser and take out the package. Remove the drying mats from the plastic bags and check if the plants are dry. If they are not dry, place the plants (newspaper) in "dried" drying mats. In a few more days, the plants should be dry.