Roses are beautiful flowers that have graced homes for literally thousands of years.
These colorful, fragrant, captivating flowers have been symbols of love, friendship, peace and tranquility throughout their long and noble history.
In short, they're simply perfect in every way.
Except for one: a rose, being a living thing, will eventually fade and pass away.
However, there are many ways to let their splendor live on!
Drying roses is a great way to preserve their style and beauty, with very little effort and very little expense.
Roses, when dried, can look just as exquisite in an arrangement as when fresh from the garden.
Rose Drying Techniques
Air drying and sand drying are the two most common rose drying techniques. Air drying is the easiest method and requires only a good pair of shears, some wire, a coat hanger and a dark, cool and dry location.
Begin by choosing younger buds that have not fully opened or passed their prime.
While you can cut and dry a rose bloom at any point during its life cycle, younger buds tend to hold their shape better and are easier to handle when dry.
Start by cutting the stem from the rose as close to the base of the bud as you can get. Then insert a piece of wire about 6 or 8 inches long into the bottom of the bloom.
Florists wire works very well, though any thin wire that will hold its shape when twisted is fine.
Also, save and dry the stems by placing them on layers of newspaper (remember to remove all the leaves).
When both flowers and stems are dry you can gently wrap the wire around the the stem to give the rose its natural look.
Removing the stem first allows for more even drying and lessens the chances of mold or decay setting in. Good air circulation is important when drying any plant or flower.
When drying roses they need to be hung upside down, so take the opposite end of the wire and wrap it around the bottom part of the hanger.
Continue wrapping each individual wire until the hanger is full.
Leave some space in between each flower so plenty of air can circulate.
Then simply place the hanger in a dark, cool and dry area of your home or garage and, thats it! Your done!
It'll take roses anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks to dry thoroughly, depending on the weather or the temperature in your home.
When drying roses you can also hang them in bunches upside down from a hanger or nail. Just leave the stems intact, and remove the bottom leaves.
Gather a few stems together and bind them with wire or an elastic band. Again, simply place in a dark, cool and dry area until fully dried. This easier method works very well, although good air circulation is a must.
Drying Rose Petals
Drying rose petals is a simple task. Wait until the bloom has fully opened but has not yet started to fade.
Take a small pair of sharp scissors and cut around the base of the petals, all the way around the flower.
At this point simply spread the loose petals out on some newspaper or paper towels and leave them to dry for a few days.
Drying roses in sand takes a bit more effort, but works great!
Cut the rose while it's still at its peak, then cut the stem so that about one inch remains.
Make sure the flower petals and stem are dry (no dew or other water). Place florist's wire into the stem and up into the head of the flower.
Next, find a deep, plastic tub or box and begin filling it with white-colored, dry sand until the roses, when placed upright, can stand on their own in the sand.
Tip: Sand from your local building supply house has been washed and sifted. This means it's clean and contains no salt or impurities which might damage the flower during its drying. Always take the time to first completely dry the sand before you start.
Next, carefully begin adding sand around the base, and under and over each of the petals. The goal is to use the sand as a way to maintain the shape of the rose. Continue filling the box with sand until each rose is covered.
Move sand-and-rose filled box to a drying area and leave it there for 1 to 3 weeks. Take extreme care when removing dried roses. Slowly tip the box to begin emptying the sand. Take hold of each rose as it becomes free of the sand and continue until all of the dried blooms are sand-free.
Another popular and simple method for drying roses is to place a rose between the pages of a large, heavy book. This method has been popular for hundreds of years and remains a favorite today.
By placing a rose between 2 sheets of wax paper before placing it in the book, you will protect both the flower and the heavy tome from damage.
Roses can also be dried using wax, glycerin or a desiccant, but these techniques are a bit more involved and not really suitable for a novice or beginner.
Dried roses have many uses.
They're perfect in floral arrangements, decorative wreaths, wedding bouquets and favors.
Dried rose petals make a great potpourri or multi-colored confetti.
Also, (if organically grown) rose petals can be used to flavor and decorate candy, salads, or oils and vinegars too!
Try your hand at drying roses. It's simple, fun and can be an enjoyable project for kids and grown-ups alike.
Good Luck and Happy Gardening!
Everything Roses Home
Choosing the Right Rose
Common Diseases and their Cures
Cutting Roses for Display
Preparing for Exhibits and Shows
How to Prepare Roses for Winter
Your Healthy Gardens Home