PLUS how to preserve fall leaves
Leaves change color in fall because shorter days, less sunlight, and cooler temperatures stop the photosynthesis process that allows trees and other plants to make food. The chlorophyll that keeps leaves alive and green breaks down, revealing vibrant fall colors.
The intensity of fall colors depends on the temperature. Warm fall days with chilly nights produce prolific pigments. A saturated spring and mild summer also contribute to a showy fall.
Summer drought puts a damper on fall colors. Freezing overnight temperatures in early autumn also curb the colorful show.
How to Preserve Fall Leaves
1. Gather leaves.
2. Combine 1 part glycerin*: 2 parts water in a bowl.
3. Submerge leaves in liquid. Weigh down with a plate.
4. Soak leaves for 48 hours.
5. Drain liquid. Pat leaves dry. They will feel soft and pliable.
6. Use leaves as bookmarks, for fall decorating, or as autumn 2021 keepsakes.
*Glycerin is a clear liquid, often used in pharmaceuticals. You can find it at any drug store. It preserves leaves by absorbing natural moisture and replacing with glycerol compounds that uphold leaf texture and form.
Image by Ylanite Koppens