How to Dry Roses

3 Materials
2 Weeks

Recently, I received gorgeous pale pink roses from The Bouqs. With a monthly subscription, 30-60 stems are sent to me directly from the grower. Initially I signed up for their “grower’s bunch” and most of the time I was satisfied. But occasionally I would get a less than impressive bunch so I am now subscribing to roses each month. And I have never been disappointed. Since these pale pink roses are simply gorgeous and I want them to last, I am learning how to dry roses.

Pink roses from The Bouqs

Another reason I am drying these roses, is that I am trying to teach myself how to actually paint a rose. I am hoping, once they are dry, they will be good subjects for my learning.

Trying my hand at drawing roses

Pick the Best Blooms

Pick your best blooms

Before you decide to preserve your roses, don’t wait until they are drooping and sad looking. You will want to pick those roses that look their best. Remove any outside petals that are showing signs of decline. Trim the stem. Some recommend removing the leaves as they contain a lot of moisture and do not dry well. It’s your choice~I removed all leaves.

Remove leaves from stems

Air Drying Method

This is perhaps the easiest of all drying methods but it does require some patience. The final step to the process in keeping your flowers forever is to hang them upside down to dry. I gather a bunch of roses and tie them together, spreading out the stems creating airflow between the flowers. Here is my favorite twine holder. You can find a similar one here.

Gather stems together

Attach the roses to a hanger and place in a dry, dark place for 2-3 weeks. Doing so will ensure that the color of the dried roses is fully preserved and will help to prevent molding. I hang the roses in our wine cellar where it is cool and dark.

Roses drying on hanger

Drying with Dessicants

Packets of Silica Gel

Another way to dry roses is to use a desiccant. A desiccant is a hygroscopic material that serves to maintain a state of dryness. It is the opposite of a humectant which serves to promote moisture retention. Desiccants eliminate humidity from the air and create and sustain a moisture-free environment.

You can find various kinds of desiccants here.

Cut rose off stem

Since we have 2 big bags of silica packets, I line the bottom of a plastic storage container with them. Next, I cut off the stems to the roses, close to the base, only retaining the blooms. Also, remove any outer blossoms that are showing signs of deterioration.

Desiccant in the blossoms

Tuck the blooms in the plastic container, while retaining the shape of the blossoms. After cutting open the packets of silica gel, I pour the contents over the roses. Make sure you get some of the desiccant in between the blossoms.

Extra packets are placed around the roses to secure in place.

Roses in silica gel

Place plastic storage box in a dry, dark place for 2-3 weeks. This box will be in our pantry which doesn’t get any natural light.

Just Drying the Petals

Fast forward to 2 weeks later, and here is a glimpse of the roses that were dried in the silica. Naturally you need to shade all the silica beads out of the petals, but the color and shape is still good!

Homemade Chicken “potpourri”

Not being one to waste, I try and recycle or re-use our flowers. Often I just dry the petals after the flower is past its prime. Once I have a good size bowl of dried petals, I make chicken “potpourri”. The dried rose/flower petals are mixed with dried lavender, calendula, rosemary and any other herb that’s available.

Dried flowers and herbs in the nesting boxes

The potpourri is sprinkled on the hay in the chicken’s nesting boxes, which helps deter pests and bugs. Plus who wouldn’t like sitting on a bed of roses to lay eggs?

Please let me know if you have dried roses before. This is my first time and keeping my fingers crossed for great results.

Happy March 1st and thank you so much for joining me today.

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Life at Bella Terra
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2 of 7 comments
  • Linda Linda on Apr 12, 2022

    I have dried herbs by hanging them but never roses (not really a rose person). I have also tried silica gel (saved and had all my friends save those little packets that come in purses etc.) I have also used a flower press. I didn’t care for it, too much work. I use big heavy books. I once dried about 50-60 forget-me-nots and glued them to card stock strips. Then sealed them with clear contact paper as bookmarks for handouts to a group ( it’s the organizations flower) l belong to.

  • Life at Bella Terra Life at Bella Terra on Apr 12, 2022

    Wow! What an impressive forget-me-not project. I’m teaching myself how to paint roses so hopefully the fried ones will be good models. Thanks for sharing.