A major challenge in utilizing living botanical materials, such as cellular leaf structures, as templates is that they are filled with water and conventional dehydration strategies often collapse or degrade the intricate botanical structure. This restricts the ability to introduce water reactive precursors into such structures. We have developed a room-temperature chemical method using acidified 2,2-dimethoxypropane to dehydrate water-rich botanical materials (e.g., fern leaves and water-rich jade succulents). This mild dehydration process leaves much of the porous cellular leaf structure intact even with ∼90% mass loss. These chemically dehydrated templates have been utilized in the growth of porous and ordered leaf replicate structures consisting of TiO2 and SiO2 via sol-gel precursor impregnation methods. These white metal oxide products exhibit external and internal structures that look very similar to their original templates, but are shrunken intact versions of the original. This paper details the chemical procedures that enable one to effectively use sensitive botanical templates in metal oxide growth. The physical and structural properties of several dried porous templates and macroporous anatase TiO2 and amorphous or crystoballite SiO2 products will be described. Recent efforts to use these botanical templates to produce other porous metal oxides (e.g., Co3O4, NiO, and CuO) using both halide and acetate precursor impregnation strategies are noted. Porous metal oxides with interconnected pore walls may have use in electrochemical energy storage systems, including in photocatalytic, photovoltaic or battery systems.