Roses are the most delightful of flowers and bring joy and happiness to anyone who receives a bunch or even just a single rose. Plus, many gardeners take great pleasure in growing beautiful roses in their gardens.
But, what about if you’ve been given a rose on a special occasion or you have some spectacular blooms on your rose bushes that you would just like to keep forever. There are ways to preserve roses, and we’re going to look at the top 5 methods in more detail.
1. Air Dry Your Roses
Air drying has been used for centuries to preserve not only roses but also lavender and many different types of herbs. This method has the added benefit of also preserving the fragrance of the flowers.
However, there are disadvantages to this method. It can take a really long time for your roses to dry completely, and you may lose some in the process. Additionally, the flowers can be quite brittle when they’re fully dry, and you have to be careful not to break them.
Here’s how to air dry roses:
- Remove all the leaves from the stem as this will allow the flower to dry faster.
- Tie your roses into small bunches using a rubber band or a piece of string.
- Find a well-ventilated area that is out of direct sunlight such as under your veranda, porch or patio.
- Hang each bunch on a nail or hook upside down.
- Leave your flowers hanging until they are completely dry.
- Handle them carefully once you take them down so that you do not damage them.
To help your roses to dry a little faster and to preserve them better, you can spray them with hairspray before hanging them up to dry. Just use a light mist of hairspray to coat the flowers and then hang them up to dry. Once the roses are completely dry, respray with a little more hairspray, as this helps to maintain their color and shape.
2. Use Glycerin To Preserve A Rose
Glycerin is a substance that replaces the water in the rose. This means that when you use glycerin to preserve your rose, it will never dry out. Instead, the petals will feel rubbery and quite flexible.
The only disadvantage to using this method is that it can be quite expensive, and the rose will eventually fade. However, many people who use this method will add some food coloring to the glycerin to help to preserve the color of the flower.
Here’s what to do:
- Mix one part glycerine with two parts of boiling water.
- Choose roses that are still in top condition and nice and firm.
- Cut the stems at an angle and then, using a pair scissors or secateurs, cut a slit up each stem for about 2 to 3 inches. You can also smash the stems slightly with a hammer if that is easier for you.
- Place the stems in the solution once it has reached room temperature.
- Leave your roses in the solution for a number of weeks (2 to 6) until your roses have absorbed the glycerin and they feel rubbery to the touch.
3. Press Your Special Rose To Preserve It Forever
Flower pressing was a common pastime many, many years ago, and it’s the perfect way to preserve a treasured rose. Bear in mind, though, that the rose will be flat once it’s pressed, but this means you can display it in a frame if you want and admire it whenever you walk past it.
Here’s how to press a rose to preserve it forever:
- You can use either a heavy book or a proper flower press for this method.
- You also need a couple of pieces of blotting or parchment paper to absorb the moisture from the rose.
- Open up the book or flower press and place your rose on the paper.
- Put another piece of paper over the top of the flower.
- Close the flower press or book. If using a book, place another very heavy book or two on top of it. You could also place a heavy rock on top of the book instead.
- Leave the rose under the weight for about 2 to 4 weeks.
- Once enough time has passed, remove the weight and have a look at the rose. It should be perfectly pressed and not contain any moisture.
- Display the rose in a lovely frame to protect it from any damage.
4. Use Silica Gel To Preserve Your Roses
Using this method, you can remove all the moisture from your flowers so that they are perfectly preserved. Plus, you can use the silica crystals multiple times.
The only disadvantage to using this method is that the silica gel is quite expensive, and you’re going to need a fair amount depending on how many flowers you want to preserve. But, the gel can be reused multiple times once you’ve dried it out again.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Place the silica gel (available in craft stores) in a container that has an air tight lid.
- Cut the stems so that you only have around 2 inches of stem on each flower.
- Place your rose in the silica gel, stem side down.
- Pour more silica gel onto the petals of the flowers. Make sure that there’s plenty of gel between each petal. Be gentle when you do this so that you don’t damage the petals.
- Then pour in more gel gently around the flower and make sure that each rose is completely covered with the gel.
- Place the air tight lid on the container and keep it closed for around two weeks.
- After this time, open the container and gently pour the gel away from around the flowers. Your roses should be perfectly dry and preserved.
- Using a small paintbrush or soft makeup brush, gently brush all the gel off the petals of the flower.
- You can now display your preserved roses either in a shadow frame or under a glass dome as this will help to keep them from being damaged.
- To revive your silica gel, place it in an oven proof pan in the oven at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius). Once the crystals are back to their original color, you can remove them from the oven. Store them in an air tight container in a cool, dry spot.
5. Use Sand To Preserve Your Rose
In this method, the sand is used to remove the moisture from the flower. This is a cheap and easy method to preserve your roses. However, it can get a bit messy. It can be quite difficult to remove all the grains of sand from between the dried petals of the rose.
Here’s what you need to do to dry your roses using sand:
- Cut the stems off your roses, leaving only around an inch of stem attached to the bloom.
- Half fill a container with fresh, dry sand – you can actually use beach sand for this but it needs to be completely dry.
- Place the rose in the sand, stem side down and bring the sand up around it.
- Take some more sand and very slowly pour it over the flower, taking care not to damage or spread the petals too much. Use only very fine, sifted sand for this.
- Once the flower is completely covered in sand, place the container in a cool, dry spot for around three to four weeks.
- When completely dry, gently take the flower out of the sand and shake out as much sand as possible.
- You can even hang your dried flower upside down for a few days to ensure all the sand falls out from between the petals.