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20 Simple Ways to Preserve Roses

Shruti Bhat
Be it birthdays or anniversaries it always feels nice to give and receive roses, especially when it's for or from that special someone who means the world to you. And it is disheartening when you see those roses wilt away little by little. However, you need not throw them away.


The best way to retain the color of roses is to dry them before they fully blossom.
Everyone who has ever received roses is well aware of the short lifespan of these beautiful blooms. For those of you who wish to make their roses last a little longer, read on to know how.
When you find that the roses have outlived their lives; there's still a ray of hope to further preserve them longer in the best possible shape. One important tip that you must remember is to dry flowers in shade.
Direct sunlight will cause the petals to dry out faster, which will compromise both the smell and color. Therefore, make sure to keep them in a cool and dry place.
For those who are creative at heart, can reuse these dried roses for making a number of things viz. potpourri, shadow boxes, candle making, handmade paper, floating petals for decoration, or simply as a dry flower bouquet in a vase for decoration.

Simple Ways to Keep Cut Roses Fresh

Hair Spray

Spray the roses with hairspray for them to look fresher for a longer period. Remember to spray only the outer surface of flowers.


Pour ¼ cup of soda in the water that contains your roses. Sugar from the soda will help your roses look fresher for a longer while.


A few drops of vodka or clear spirits along with a spoon full of sugar will do the same trick. This process kills the unwanted bacteria while providing the flowers with the sugar they need.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Add 2 tbsp. of vinegar in the vase water along with a tsp. of sugar. It works just as good as the vodka substitute.


Add ¼ tsp. of bleach in a liter of water again accompanied with a tsp. of sugar.


Add a tsp. of sugar in some water and stir well. Place your roses in this water.

Copper Coin

Toss in a copper penny, along with a tsp. of sugar. The copper penny acts as an acidifier which helps your roses to live longer.

Simple Ways to Preserve Roses

Dry Roses in a Vase

Vase-drying roses is one of the easiest ways of drying roses. All you have to do is place the roses in water and completely forget about them for a week or two.
After a couple of weeks you will be left with vase full of dried roses which have more or less retained their shape.

Upside Down Drying

To prevent the rose stems from wilting, hang the roses upside down and leave them in a warm dry place for a week or two for them to wither away. This will retain the shape of the roses and prevent the stems from bending at the buds.

Dry Roses With The Microwave

Instead of waiting for weeks for the roses to dry, you could always speed up the process with the help of a microwave. All you have to do is, place the rose one by one in a bowl and cover it with cat litter. Run the microwave on high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Once the kitty litter has cooled down, dust off the excess.
If kitty litter isn't your thing, you could always try silica gel. Pour some silica gel in a microwavable container, and bury the flowers in it. But remember not to press or flatten them. Just keep a close watch on it and keep it a one to two heat levels above defrost for 3-5 minutes.
Check their progress recurrently, and change the temperature accordingly. Once they are completely dry. Take them out of the microwave and cover them, leaving half a centimeter open for the steam to escape. Leave it for 24 hours. After 24 hours, clean the roses with a fine brush. You can spray them with an acrylic spray for it to remain timeless.

Dry Roses With Press and Preserve Method

Press method is another easy way to preserve your gorgeous roses. All you'll need is a heavy book such as an encyclopedia or a phone book, and parchment paper. Line the parchment paper in the heavy book. Pluck out bruises petals.
Pat dry the roses before placing them on the parchment paper. Cover the flower with another paper and close the book. Add extra weight onto the book so that the bud is pressed down. Leave this book and weight alone for 10 - 15days.

Dry Roses With Silica Gel

Silicon gel is in the granulated state. Fill half a jar with silicon gel and completely bury the flower. After a week or so, once the roses have dried up, gently and carefully remove flowers and dust them off with a paint brush. Larger flowers may take a little longer to dry.

Dry with Hairspray

Bundle up the roses as per your liking and tie them together with a string. Hang them upside down in a warm and dry place. Let them dry out completely. Spray the roses with a light mist of hair spray. Once the hairspray dries, you are free to use the roses.

Dry Roses in Glycerin

Remember the following ratio 2½ cups of water to 1 cup of glycerin. Stir in ½ tsp. citric acid power to the mix and stir till it dissolves well. Clean the rose stems off any thorns and leaves. Measure roses and the vase separately. The glycerin mixture should be of the same weight of the roses.
For example, if the roses weigh 5 ounces the glycerin mix should weigh the same. Place the stems of the roses in the vase and pour in the glycerin mixture.
In other words if the vase weighs 6 ounces, pour the mix till the scale shows 16 ounces (5 ounces of the roses + 6 ounces of the vase + 5 ounces of the glycerin mix). Shift this vase to a warm dry place, away from sunlight. Leave it there for around a week.
After a week remove the roses from the glycerin solution and transfer them into a clean and empty vase. Tie them up with a string and hang them upside down for a couple of weeks, or till they have completely dried.

Freeze Dry Roses

You can employ professional services that can help you freeze dry your roses, but this can be a little expensive.

Simple Ways to Preserve Rose Petals

Air Dry

Gently pluck out all the petals off the rose, and place them in a single layer on a mesh screen. Overlapping the petals will make them stick to each other as they dry. Place this screen in a warm and dry place away from sunlight.
Sunlight will rapidly change their color. Damp places will cause the petals to rot. Turn them around every day to ensure that they do not stick to the mesh and both sides get adequate exposure. Keep turning them till they are completely dry. This may take a few days.

Dry Rose Petals with the Help of a Microwave

Layer a microwave-safe plate with a thin layer of paper towel. Place a thin layer of rose petals on it. Remember not to overlap them. Cover the petals with another thin layer of paper towel.
Set the microwave on high heat for no longer than 45 seconds. Touch the rose petals to ensure that they are no longer damp. Repeat the process till the rose petals are completely dry. Once done, place the petals in a ventilated room for them to dry further.

Dry Roses with a Dehydrator

Place the rose petals in a dehydrator. And like before, remember not to overlap them. Set the dehydrator on low to prevent them from burning. Since the temperature is on low, this process can take hours to a whole day for them to dry out completely. Once done, spread them out on an old newspaper and let them cool off naturally.

Dry Rose Petals with Press and Preserve Method

All you'll need is a heavy book such as a phone book and parchment paper. Line the parchment paper in the heavy book. Pluck out the petals and pat dry any moisture off the rose petals.
Place them on the parchment paper and cover them with another paper and close the book. Leave this book alone a week or two. There you have it, flattened rose petals.