All Beauty Fades? How to Preserve and Dry Roses

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Sofy43

By preserving your roses, you can enjoy them for longer. But there are different ways to preserve or dry roses, and some are more environmentally friendly than others. We’ll show you the best ways to keep your roses beautiful for longer.

Whether you want to keep your flowers as a decoration or for their sentimental value, there are several ways to dry and preserve roses. The petals can either be dried and used for potpurri and crafts, or preserved using certain chemicals, which will artificially keep them looking young and fresh for longer. We’ll show you how to dry roses in the air and in the oven, as well as give you some dos and don’ts for preserving roses with chemicals.

How to Air-Dry Roses

If you want to dry your rose petals, air-drying is the easiest method. You can dry your roses both individually, or as a whole bouquet. Here’s what to do:

  1. Bind the stems of your roses together with a string. Make sure that the string isn’t cutting into the stems.
  2. Hang the flowers upside-down in a dark, dry place.
  3. Wait about 2-3 weeks for the roses to dry completely.

Note: If you want to preserve your roses instead of dry them, feel free to skip to the end of the article.

Drying Roses: Oven Method

dry roses
Use salt, laundry detergent, or silica gel crystals to preserve the color in your dried roses. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Olganik)

If you need a way to dry roses quickly, you can use your oven to speed up the process. But remember, this uses a large amount of energy. To help support the environment, only choose this method if it’s absolutely necessary. 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Spread a few handfuls of sand out on a rimmed baking sheet. This will help pull the moisture out of your rose petals.
  2. Spread the petals out on top of the sand. 
  3. Heat the oven to 100 °F and place the baking sheet on the middle rack.
  4. Heat for three to four hours, opening the oven door regularly to allow the extra moisture to escape. Alternatively, prop the door open with a wooden spoon. 
  5. Be careful when taking the rose petals out; they may crumble easily. 

How to Dry Roses: Preserving Color

Preserving roses with chemicals is the best way to keep the natural color in the petals, but if you want to dry your roses and it’s important to you to keep as much color as possible, there are a few things that can help:

  • Salt: Through the process of osmosis, salt naturally draws out moisture.
  • Laundry Detergent: Laundry detergent in powder form has an effect that is similar to salt. 
  • Silica Gel Crystals: Silica gel is also moisture-absorbing. These non-toxic little crystals usually come in small packets in products like shoes or handbags, but they can also be used to dry roses. You can buy them in bulk in plant nurseries, home improvement stores, or online on Amazon**. 

After choosing your means, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a container that is large enough to fit all of your rose petals. Fill your chosen powder into the bottom of the container.
  2. Lay the rose petals carefully in the container.
  3. Fill the remaining space in the container with the drying powder. 
  4. Close the container and allow to sit for two to three weeks. 

Preserving Roses with Glycerin or Hairspray?

dried roses
Preserving roses lets you enjoy your flowers for longer. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Enotovyj)

Glycerin, a compound often found in cosmetics, is often recommended as a means for preserving roses. Glycerin is a non-toxic, non-irritating, and odorless alcohol which has been assessed as a safe cosmetic ingredient. If you choose this method to dry your roses, be sure to choose a vegetable-based glycerin, as opposed to one derived from animal fats. 

How to preserve roses with glycerin:

  1. Mix one part glycerin with two parts water and pour the liquid into a vase.
  2. Cut the stems of the roses at an angle and place them in the glycerin water.  
  3. After the flowers have absorbed the liquid, the water will evaporate and the glycerin will stay in the plant cells. This preserves the texture and the color of the roses. 

Another often recommended method of preserving roses is hairspray. While this might be an effective way to keep your flowers looking nicer for longer, it comes at a cost to your health and to the environment

Tip: A potpourri of dried roses is a great decoration for your minimalist home. Also check out these other ways to decorate your house or apartment with natural accessories:

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original version here: Rosen trocknen: So konservierst du Rosenblätter richtig

** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support because we get a small portion of the proceeds.

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