Sustainability made simple

Never Throw Wilted Roses Out Again! How to Dry Roses 3 Ways

preserving roses
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Sofy43

By learning how to dry roses, you can preserve them and enjoy them for much longer. Some ways to dry roses are more eco-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 decoration or for their sentimental value, there are several ways to dry and preserve roses. The petals can either be dried and used for potpourri 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.

1. 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. For better results, remove the leaves before air-drying your roses.
  2. Bind the stems of your roses together with a string. Make sure that it isn’t cutting into the stems.
  3. Hang the flowers upside-down in a dark, dry place.
  4. Wait about two to three weeks for the roses to dry completely.

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

2. Drying Roses in the Oven

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

Here’s what to do:

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 protect the environment, only do this if it’s the only suitable option. 

  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. 

3. How to Dry Roses So the Color Is Preserved

If you want to dry your roses yourself at home while preserving as much color as possible, there are a few other things you can try:

  • 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. 

After choosing your means, follow these steps:

  1. Select rose heads that are dry to the touch and free of flaws, and cut their stems to about two inches.
  2. Choose a container that is large enough to fit them all. Fill your chosen powder into the bottom of the container.
  3. Carefully lay the rose heads in the container.
  4. Fill the remaining space in the container with the drying powder. 
  5. Close the container and allow it to sit for two to three weeks. 

Can You Use Glycerin or Hairspray?

Preserving roses lets you enjoy your flowers for longer. (CC0 / Pixabay / Kranich17)

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 and a safe cosmetic ingredient, which means that glycerin can be used on skin as well. Whichever way you use it, you have a choice between vegetable-based glycerin and glycerin derived from animal fats. 

Learn more: Is Glycerin Vegan? What Is It & Can You Eat It?

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. 

Preserving Roses With Hairspray: Not a Good Idea

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. Learn more about the impact on planetary and human health in our guide: Is Hairspray Bad for Your Hair?

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

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