How to Preserve a Rose: Keep Flowers Fresh Forever

Roses are a great gift to give to loved ones regardless of the occasion. While fresh-cut flowers may look and smell amazing for a week or two, you unfortunately can’t keep them that way forever. However, there are various ways to preserve your roses so that they can last a lifetime. 

From air-drying to microwaving these blooms, there are many preservation techniques to choose from. But, results will vary, depending on the technique used. For that reason, we’ve created this guide so you can select the best method for you and your roses. We’ll discuss how to preserve roses in different ways and the pros and cons of each preservation technique, highlight a few maintenance tips, and dive into how to decorate with your newly preserved roses. 

Whether you’re trying to preserve a few flowers today or in the future, use this guide to help you get started. Keep reading for a comprehensive look at all of the ways to keep flowers alive forever.

#1: Air-Drying Roses

Air-drying is one of the most common ways to dehydrate and preserve roses. This method works by hanging flowers upside down, thus allowing the stem to dry straight instead of wilting. Plus, learning how to dry out roses using this method is simple. 

Pros:

  • Easy to do
  • Preserves the stems
  • Straightforward materials 

Cons:

  • Risk of molding 
  • Takes about two to four weeks 
  • Roses can shed their petals
  • Can gather dust

How to Air-Dry Roses

  1. Wait until the buds are about to open to start the air-drying process. This way, buds can gradually open as they dry out. 
  2. Remove all of the leaves since they can retain moisture and prevent your roses from drying completely. 
  3. Tie a string around the stems, making sure to not bend them. You can also use a rubber band.
  4. Hang your roses upside down in a dark and dry — but well-ventilated — location for a minimum of two weeks. This process can take up to four weeks. 
  5. Once your roses are completely dry, handle them with care to prevent them from falling apart.

#2: Freeze-Drying Roses

Freeze-drying your roses can keep your rose bouquets looking and smelling the same way forever by freezing the moisture out of the petals and stems. This preservation technique ensures that special rose arrangements, such as wedding bouquets or birthday flowers for your wife, can last a lifetime. However, this process can be expensive, costing anywhere between $150 to $700.

Pros:

  • Quick
  • Maintains form, scent, and color
  • Don’t have to worry about doing it yourself

Cons:

  • Requires special equipment
  • Can be expensive
  • Freeze-dried roses are very fragile

How to Freeze-Dry Roses

  1. To begin freeze-drying your roses, you’ll have to either purchase the right equipment or take them to a professional freeze-dryer.
  2. All petals should be separated before running the machine.
  3. Flowers are brought to below freezing temperatures.
  4. Moisture evaporates from the flowers.

#3: Pressing Roses

Pressing flowers is an old-fashioned method for preserving roses that works by pressing the moisture out of the petals. This flower preservation method will leave you with charming pressed roses that are ready to be displayed. 

Pros:

  • Simple and inexpensive 
  • Choose how petals are arranged
  • Can retain color

Cons:

  • Takes about a month
  • Must remove stems 
  • Can damage flowers if not careful

How to Press Roses

  1. Remove the stems.
  2. Get a heavy book and insert liner paper to prevent ink from rubbing off and transferring to your flowers. 
  3. Put rose petals on liner paper, making sure they’re not overlapping, and close the book.
  4. Check rose petals every few days.

#4: Microwaving Roses

If you don’t have time to wait a few days or weeks for your roses to dry completely, then this method may be for you. The radiation from the microwave will heat the roses, allowing moisture to escape in the form of vapor, effectively drying your flowers. While this technique can deliver results quickly, keep in mind that the outcome can vary from person to person and rose to rose. 

Pros:

  • Shortcut for pressing
  • Easy and safe process
  • Inexpensive 
  • Can control the whole process from start to finish

Cons:

  • Results are less reliable
  • Requires experimentation
  • Can dry out roses too quickly

How to Microwave Roses

  1. Remove the majority of the stem.
  2. Get two microwave-safe plates and a few coffee filters.
  3. Place flower petals between coffee filters, which go between plates.
  4. Microwave for one minute, and then check for dryness.
  5. Replace coffee filters and repeat until desired dryness is achieved.

#5: Preserve Roses Using Resin

Preserving your roses in resin allows you to place your blooms in one-of-a-kind molds to be used as paperweights, coasters, and trinkets. The rose will be sealed in the resin, ensuring the lively color doesn’t ever fade over time. However, you won’t be able to touch flowers once the mold has set and dried. 

Pros:

  • Create any object you want
  • Fairly quick process

Cons:

  • Requires skill with resin
  • Once the resin dries, you can’t change your design
  • Molds limit how you can display your roses

How to Use Resin to Preserve Roses

  1. Fill the mold halfway with resin and arrange the roses to your liking.  
  2. Pour the remainder of the resin on top.
  3. Let the resin dry, then pop your design out of the mold.

#6: Using Sand to Preserve Roses

Sand will extract the excess moisture from roses, allowing this romantic flower to dry in a few weeks. One of the best things about this method is that you can find sand just about anywhere, from playgrounds to the beach. As an alternative, you can also use kitty litter. 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Preserves full bloom 
  • Helps keep form

Cons:

  • Messy
  • Can take about 21 days to complete 
  • Results can vary 
  • Tedious to remove sand from petals

How to Preserve Roses with Sand

  1. Cut the stem and make sure to leave about an inch. 
  2. Carefully bury the stem and bottom of the bud in the sand.
  3. Pour the remaining sand over the rose.
  4. After about a month, gently remove the sand from the rose to prevent the flower from breaking.

#7: Using Silica Gel

Instead of drying your roses with sand, you can use silica gel to obtain similar results in less time. The silicone gels work the same way as sand as they both pull the moisture from your roses. An essential part of this method is to use an airtight container, such as a jar or plastic bin, to prevent your blooms from getting too dry. 

Pros:

  • Can reuse supplies
  • Control over results
  • Easy to monitor progress 

Cons:

  • More costly
  • Requires close monitoring
  • Easy to over dry

How to Preserve Roses with Silica Gel

  1. Cut stems down to about an inch.
  2. Bury stems and bottom of bud in silica gel crystals placed in an airtight container.
  3. Pour the crystals over the rest of the rose, making sure to get it in between the petals. 
  4. Check on flowers every day for several weeks until desired dryness is achieved.

#8: Preserve Roses with Hairspray

While this method isn’t very common, using hairspray to preserve your roses can help them retain their color and shape for longer. Hairspray may also prevent roses from easily falling apart, so you can enjoy a well-preserved bouquet of roses. 

Pros:

  • Easy
  • Keeps roses alive longer

Cons:

  • Can overdo it
  • Must be done every few days

How to Use Hairspray to Preserve Roses

  1. Hold hairspray a few inches from roses and spray them evenly while in their vase.
  2. Remove the rose bouquet and hang upside down using twine or dental floss in a dark place until dry.
  3. Put them back in the vase with water. 
  4. Repeat every few days.

#9: Preserving the Rose with Glycerin

Learning how to preserve a rose with glycerin can keep your roses intact. When roses are placed in glycerin, they’ll gradually soak up the liquid, replacing its water with the sugar alcohol substance. This method allows roses to keep their form and texture without having to worry about wrinkles developing. However, the color will continue to fade over time.  

Pros:

  • Natural texture remains
  • Easy to do
  • Can be painted

Cons:

  • Color fades over time
  • More costly method
  • Takes several weeks

How to Use Glycerin to Preserve Roses

  1. Create a glycerin solution using one-part glycerin and two-parts water.
  2. Place the stems into the solution.
  3. Leave the roses in the glycerin for several weeks.

Maintenance Tips for Preserving Roses 

Teaching yourself how to keep flowers forever is a great way to hold on to a floral arrangement with sentimental value. However, to help treated flowers look amazing, you must know how to take care of them. Here are few maintenance tips, so you can enjoy your preserved blooms for as long as possible: 

  • Keep roses in a cool, dry place indoors and away from direct sunlight since exposing your roses to the harsh sun may cause their vivid color to fade much faster.
  • Use hairspray on petals or blooms after the preservation process to protect them from damage.
  • Avoid any contact with water.
  • When cleaning your preserved roses, use a stream of dry air or a soft duster.
  • Don’t bend, press, or squash rose petals and stems.
  • Try not to handle the roses unless you absolutely have to.

Remember, the key to ensuring your treated roses remain beautiful is to properly take care of them.

Which Method Should You Use to Preserve Your Roses?

As we’ve covered in this guide, there are several ways to preserve your roses—from classic air-drying to professional freeze-drying. Despite this, not all of the preservation methods will produce the same results. Some may cause your roses to become much more fragile, while others can cause their color to dwindle. 

Ultimately, the method you should use depends on your desired outcome and needs. Here are a few guiding points to keep in mind as you look for a suitable rose preservation technique: 

  • Budget: While there are ways to preserve your flowers using household items and without breaking the bank, you may not get the quality you want. Professional flower treatment options can leave you with gorgeous flowers in a short time. However, these methods are quite costly.  
  • Petals or whole blooms: There’s a difference between preserving rose petals and whole blooms. Petals will require less time to preserve, while whole blooms can take a couple of days or weeks. You’ll also need more materials to preserve whole blooms.
  • Time: Think carefully about how much time you can dedicate to a DIY project. If you have a busy schedule, going to a professional who can preserve your roses may be the best option. 
  • Experience level: Not all DIY flower preservation methods are beginner-friendly. Some, like the resin technique, require you to know how to properly apply epoxy resin.

If you’re still unsure which method you should use, try experimenting with a few test flowers.

How to Display Your Preserved Roses

Once you’ve successfully learned how to preserve your roses, you can display them any way you want. From using them as wall decorations to arranging them in a lovely wreath, the possibilities are endless. If you need a little inspiration, here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing:

  • Place pressed flowers in a shadow box or frame and hang them on bare walls.
  • Use a vase or pot to display your flower arrangements in any room of the house.
  • Hang dried roses upside down to create a chic gallery wall of flowers.
  • Use resin to create coasters for your kitchen and bar.
  • Keep pressed flowers with you at all times with a clear phone case.
  • Create ornaments from preserved roses to hang during the holidays or at all times of the year.

Flowers, whether preserved or not, are a great way to add a pop of color to your home. For more ideas, take a look at our guide on how to keep a rose forever and repurpose a bouquet

Create Long-Lasting Memories with Preserved Flowers

While some preservation methods may require more time and resources than others, there are several ways that you can keep your memories alive with preserved flowers. All of the techniques mentioned above can help you preserve a rose and create precious mementos that you can cherish time after time. 

If you want to try preserving roses at home without needing a special occasion, check out our assortment of just-because flowers. These blooms are delivered fresh to your doorstep, so you can get to your DIY project and learn how to preserve a rose as quickly as possible.