In the earlier months of my relationship with Daniel he brought me a huge bouquet of yellow roses (I love the yellow ones!) and I just had such a huge desire to keep them forever that I looked into possibilities. So I decided to dry them and thought about maybe using them in something. There are a lot of different ways to dry your roses, by the way. The time and tools required are numerous. Today I will be sharing 3 ways to dry roses at home with zero to few tools and a few ideas on how to use them once they’re done!
NOTE: Make sure if you intend to use your dried/fresh product for internal (eating) or external (use on skin) use be sure that the quality of your roses is food grade with no pesticides used on them!
To this day I use the roses from my rose bushes for rose toner, rose water (for flavoring baked goods), tea, soaps, and I’ve tried to use them for smoothies and ice cream. I have yet to master cooking with them so if you have an recommendations please share them in the comments!
STEP 1: Pick & Prepare your roses. I cut off the two fullest roses I had on my Love Rose bush (notice the curly edges of the petal, that’s just the kind of roses I grow) to make this article. I took a pair of scissors and snipped them off the bush after they had fully bloomed. You don’t have to wait until they fully bloom, you could even use the rose buds for tea! I just prefer to wait so I can enjoy their beauty.
STEP 2: Pluck the petals off of the stems DEPENDING on which drying method you choose if you choose Method #3 alternative then read the method instructions before plucking them from the stem. How to pluck, simply pull the petals off of the stem and be careful not to get any of the green.
STEP 3: Rinse in a strainer and gently dab-dry each petal with a paper towel. It is important that they dry completely or they could burn with Method #1 or get mushy/moldy in Methods #2 & #3!
NOW! Let’s get to the good stuff..
Method #1: Using an Oven or dehydrator.
This is the quickest method, but my least favorite, the petals lose a lot of their color, scent and essential oils. If you dry petals with this method I wouldn’t recommend using them for tea but more for decorations like potpourri or in soaps.
1. Take your freshly cleaned/paper-towel dried petals and place them on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet be sure that none of the petals overlap or they will be dried this way and sort of become one piece.
2. Set your dehydrator or oven on 200°F (about 90°C), once preheated place your sheet in the oven and leave for 25 – 30 minutes.
When the petals are completely dry they will be about 1/4 of their original size, stiff and crinkly, like this..
Method #2: Air Drying.
1. Place your freshly cleaned/pat dried petals in a large rectangular bowl or on a plate with the petals spaced out evenly (overlapping can cause the petals to dry into ‘one big petal’).
2. Keep it out of direct sunlight, don’t cover it so that it doesn’t have any moisture locked in. I kept mine on the kitchen counter until they were ready.
3. After 3 – 5 days your petals should be ready! They will be crinkly, darkly colored and I noticed these ones shrunk a little bit more than the oven-dried petals. These petals are perfect for all uses because they are very fragrant and still have all of their oils!
Method #3: Press Drying or Hang-Drying.
1. Take your freshly cleaned petals and grab a big book. The heavier that the book is the better!
2. Lay your petals in the middle or end of the book, flat on the page (or pages) close the book and set it somewhere that it won’t be disturbed and you won’t forget about it! Make a note on the calendar or in your phone.
3. About 2 to 2 1/2 weeks later your petals should be ready! They will be smooth and almost velvety soft yet paper dry.
IF you’re hang-drying your roses do not pull the petals off of the stems.
1. Take the roses and their (hopefully long) stems and tie a string around the middle of the roses’ stems.
2. With the roses tied together by their stems hang them (upside down: petals point to the ground and stems face the ceiling) on a spare nail or picture hook, out of direct sunlight in a preferably cool room.
3. After about 2 to 2 1/2 weeks you can take your dried roses, put a ribbon around them and place them in an empty vase or on a clean dish. They will be as fragrant as before but last as long as you’d like!
There’s a lot of really great uses for rose petals or dried roses, your imagination is the only limit :). One of my favorite ways to store dried rose petals or buds that are food grade is in a cute little jar with a pretty label on it. You can make the label yourself by hand or with a computer and of course, silky ribbons or bows are a great touch! And, non-food grade petals could also be stored in a cute little jar as well then placed on a side table or bathroom counter for some extra beauty.
I still have the yellow rose petals that Daniel gave me almost 3 years ago (2013) and they still have a lovely smell. Good drying and storage should not be underestimated! You can save a meaningful bouquet or a simply gorgeous flower and make it last for a long time. 🙂
I hope you guys enjoyed this article, I’ll also be sharing my favorite rose tea recipe today!
If you have any thoughts or questions please share them below I love hearing from you ❤ Have a great day!