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How to preserve a rose

Updated on July 4, 2017

Want to preserve your roses so you can have them forever?

How to save roses is an important question, because a rose isn't always just a rose. It is often connected with important memories.

Did you receive a rose or bouquet with roses for your birthday? Perhaps you have the happy occasion of a wedding and need to preserve your wedding bouquet? Or perhaps you have lots of roses in your garden? Here you will find a number of ways to preserve your flowers so that they last forever.

Much depends on the state of the bloom - has its petals fallen off? Has it turned brown? Is it looking a bit limp? There are different ways to preserve flowers depending on whether they are very fresh or beginning to go limp. Please read carefully below about how to preserve a rose or other flowers in different states of freshness.

save a rose
save a rose

Let's begin with - how to keep your bouquet looking fresh longer

Perk up your tired bouquet!

If your flowers arrive looking a little tired, or start to look limp too soon, you can revive them with this method:

Prepare fresh water in a clean vase. Add cool water and even better, a splash of Sprite.

Prepare a pot of boiling water, and once boiling, stick the very end of the stems in the boiling water for about 30 seconds.

Then cut the end of the stems off and put the roses in the vase with clean water that you have waiting for them. You will be amazed at the improvement.

1. Saving your flowers forever as beads in a necklace - Learn how to make beads from flower petals

Making beads from rose petals is not quick, but it isn't difficult. If you visit, you will find instructions for making your roses into beautiful beads that will last forever, and you won't have to dust them!

The traditional method for making rose beads yields rich dark burgundy or velvety black beads, and they can be mixed with other kinds of beads to make a lovely necklace that will keep your flowers forever.

Rose Beads - Everything you need to know about making beads from your wedding and other special occasion flowers
Rose Beads - Everything you need to know about making beads from your wedding and other special occasion flowers

Making rose beads isn't hard if you know all the tricks. This book will give you a great overview of rose bead making, which flowers will give you the best results, has tips on colors, and lots of pictures for inspiration.


Bouquets can be saved as beads forever

Bouquets can be saved as beads forever
Bouquets can be saved as beads forever

2. Use glycerin to preserve the fresh feeling of the living flower

It's easy with glycerin

What is positive aspects about using glycerin to preserve flowers?

Your flower will not dry out, and it will keep its graceful and lively form. That is because the glycerin replaces the water in the plant, and the plant never "dries." The leaves and blooms will keep their texture and not get all wrinkled. The final feel is a bit rubbery, but it will be flexible.

What are the drawbacks of using glycerin to preserve flowers?

While glycerine keeps the supple texture of the leaves and flowers, the color will fade with time. That is why people who use glycerin to preserve their flowers often add food coloring or other dyes.

Another drawback is that glycerin is expensive, and it takes anywhere from two - six weeks.

Glycerine for flower preservation

NOW Solutions Glycerine Vegetable, 16-Ounce
NOW Solutions Glycerine Vegetable, 16-Ounce

One pint (16 oz) for a smaller bouquet

Glycerin Vegetable Kosher USP - 1 Quart (43 oz.)
Glycerin Vegetable Kosher USP - 1 Quart (43 oz.)

One quart (24 oz) if you have a lot of flowers.


3. Freeze Dry your Roses! - A bit expensive, but lovely

freeze dried rose bouquet
freeze dried rose bouquet

Freeze drying flowers is complicated, and can be expensive. But the result is lovely.

If I wanted to freeze dry some flowers i would look online or ask my local florist, who may work with a freeze drying company and know which one is good. Freeze drying takes the moisture out of the petals, and the result is lovely. Freeze dried flowers keep their scent, so that is an added bonus.

To preserve or not to preserve?

Do you like to preserve things? Does an old rose hold the charm of the fresh one? What if your house ends up full of dusty old preserved flowers... or does having that rose bring back memories of a wonderful day and that is what matters. Take your side and tell us more!

4. Air drying flowers - The simplest method

preserving roses
preserving roses

You can tie flowers into small bundles and hang them from the ceiling, where the air is warmest. Make sure they are out of the direct sun, and in a well ventilated place. You should take the leaves off before you hang them, because the leaves keep the flowers from drying slowly, and you risk mildew otherwise. Make sure you keep the heads separated if the flower has thick, moist petals.

Air drying flowers takes a week to several months depending on the flower you are drying. Air dried flowers will be brittle, so you will have to handle them carefully.

5. Pressing flowers the new way! - Using the microwave to press flowers!

You may have seen pressed flowers before. We had some ferns in a shadowbox frame hanging on the wall when I was a child which I was fascinated with. They looked so ancient and elegant. Of course, if you press flowers, they become flat. This is a good method for less "meaty" flowers, and ones that are already mostly flat, like pansies.

The old way of pressing flowers used newspapers or an old telephone book, which have more absorbent paper. If you want to do it the old fashioned method, put the flowers on the paper so that they do not overlap. You can add layers of flowers and finally put a board or heavy piece of cardboard on top. On top of that, put something VERY heavy, like a pile of coffee-table books or a rock!

The pressing time will be 2-4 weeks, depending on the moisture in the flower.

BUT! I think using a microwave to dry flowers is a great idea. Watch this video to see how it is done.

Kit for microwave preservation

Microfleur 9" (23 cm) Microwave Max Flower Press
Microfleur 9" (23 cm) Microwave Max Flower Press

You can use this microwave flower press to press your flowers very quickly. I think you will be very surprised at the results. I was!


6. You can use sand to preserve flowers too

Any way that pulls the water out of a flower so that it dries and doesn't rot is a good way to preserve flowers. You may not have the money in your budget to freeze dry your flowers, but there are other good ways like this one.

This video shows you how to use sand to dry flowers.

White Sand

This is the white sand you can use to preserve your flowers.

7. How to preserve flowers with silica gel - This works well for roses!

This doesn't count as a cheap method, but silica gel can be used multiple times.

Some of the silica gels contain blue crystals, to show how much moisture has been absorbed. They turn pink as they absorb the moisture from the flowers, and then you will know when to dry the gel in order to use it again. That is very convenient - so make sure you get a brand that has the blue crystals in it.

You can bake the gel to get the moisture out, and use them again. If you preserve your rose in gel, you will have to put it in a container that is very tight, or else seal the top with tape so the humidity from the surrounding air doesn't leak in.

Silica Gel

This is what you will need if you want to use silica gel to preserve your flowers.

keep a rose
keep a rose

A poem for you!

Roses, by George Eliot

You love the roses - so do I. I wish

The sky would rain down roses, as they rain

From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?

Then all the valley would be pink and white

And soft to tread on. They would fall as light

As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be

Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!


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