Drying Roses

Roses are beautiful flowers that have graced homes for literally thousands of years. Roses are flawless, colorful, large, small and simply perfect in every way, except for one: a rose, being a living thing, eventually will die.

But there are ways to let their splendor live on! Drying roses is a great way to preserve their beauty. With very little effort and very little expense, dried roses can look just as exquisite when put together in an arrangement as fresh.

Rose Drying Techniques

Air drying and sand drying are two common rose drying techniques. Air drying is easiest and requires only a good pair of shears, some wire, a coat hanger and a dark dry location. Begin by cutting the stem from the rose, as close to the head of the rose as you can get. Then insert a piece of wire about 6 or 8 inches long into the rose head.

When drying roses they need to be upside down, so take the end of one wire and wrap it around the bottom part of the hanger. Continue wrapping the wires of each rose until the hanger is full. Leave some space in between each rose head so air can circulate. Then place the hanger into a dark, dry area (an unused closet works great). It'll take roses anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks to dry thoroughly.

Roses can also be hung in bunches upside down from a nail. Just leave stems intact, remove bottom leaves, gather a few stems together and hold with an elastic band. Place in a dark, dry area until dry.

The sand rose drying technique takes a bit more effort, but works great! You cut a rose while it's still at its peak, and cut the stem so that about one inch remains. Make sure the leaves 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 open box and begin filling it with white-colored sand until the roses can stand upright in the sand.

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 sand. Grab onto each rose as it becomes free of the sand and continue until all roses are sand-free.

Roses can also be dried using wax, glycerin or a desiccant but these techniques are a bit more involved. Another popular drying method is to place a rose between the pages of a book.

Dried roses have many uses. They're perfect in floral arrangements, decorative wreaths, wedding bouquets and favors, and framed artwork. Dried rose petals make great potpourri and confetti, too!

If you like dried flowers, you will love The Scented Room by Barbara Milo Ohrbach, it's the classic guide for potpourri, sachets, pomanders, flower arrangements, and floral room decor.

You can get my Free 51 Rose Gardening Tips here.