Have you ever received a rose from someone special and wanted to preserve it? Whether you want to preserve a large bouquet of roses for decoration or just a single rose for sentimental reasons, you should handle dried flowers with care. There are several ways you can use to extend the life of your flowers; using silica gel or other household products, or by hanging upside down to dry. Whichever method you choose, be sure to treat the roses before cutting them for the best results.
Method 1 of 3: Using Silica Gel
Step 1. Choose your favorite flower and immerse it in the silica gel
Choose flowers that do not contain a lot of water. Roses should be dry to the touch, but not so dry that they lose their shine. The drying process will accentuate the imperfections of the rose, especially if it contains water. Pour silica gel (available at craft stores) into an airtight container to about 5 cm (5 cm) deep. Cut the flower stalks and leave about 5 cm, then place the roses in the silica gel with the stems facing down. In a circular motion, slowly pour the silica gel over the rose. Fill the container to the brim and make sure the container is tightly closed using masking tape.
- Note that darker roses will last longer after they are cured.
- Use a small container so you can better control the use of the silica gel.
- Make sure you sprinkle the silica gel between the rose petals, but don't squeeze or damage them. Use a small stick to help keep the petals upright and not overlapping when you sprinkle the silica gel.
- If you keep more than one flower in the same container, put silica gel at least 2.5 cm between them.
- Do not forget to write the name of the flower and the date when you put the flowers in the container.
- Don't forget to write down the name of the flower and the date when you put the flowers in the container.
- You can also put the gel and flowers in a microwave-safe container and then heat them for 2-5 minutes on a low setting. Leave it on for 24 hours before you remove the gel from the flowers.
Step 2. Remove the flowers from the silica gel
Carefully pour the silica gel into another container. Hold the rose stem, and flip it over so the flower is upside down. Use a small soft-bristled brush or cosmetic brush to clean the silica gel. Do it carefully. If any of the petals come off, you can reattach them with glue.
To connect the fallen flower petals, use a glue gun or a toothpick that has been smeared with a small amount of strong glue. Glue the fallen petals with a small dab of glue (so as not to show) on the outermost circle of the petals, at the bottom of the flower. Leave it for at least 24 hours for the glue to dry
Step 3. Prepare the varnish
Wear protection, including rubber gloves, a mask, and protective eyewear. Mix 60 ml of Pro-seal 2000 (or another brand) and 90 ml of denatured alcohol in a bucket.
- Some flower competitions prohibit the use of such preservative products.
- Pro-seal is a clear, glossy varnish commonly used for construction. While it can be used to preserve roses, make sure you handle them with care. Don't forget to wear gloves and protective eyewear.
- Denatured alcohol is often used as a household cleaner, but is toxic if swallowed. So, make sure you wear protective gear and wash your hands after using it.
Step 4. Spray varnish
Using a 180 ml capacity preval spray gun, spray your mixture of varnish (30 ml) and denatured alcohol (90 ml) so that it forms a thin layer over the entire surface of the rose. Spray varnish at 20 °C at 50% humidity or less.
Allow the varnish to dry for 24 hours or more. Once the varnish is dry, repeat the spraying process to add a second coat
Step 5. Restore the silica gel state
Remove moisture from the silica gel by placing it in the oven for an hour at 120 °C. When you see bright cobalt blue crystals, remove the silica gel from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Once cool, store the silica gel in an airtight container and secure it with tape.
Method 2 of 3: Drying the Roses
Step 1. Use the color guide to help choose the variety of roses you want to dry
There are many varieties of roses that retain their brilliance even after drying, from classic red roses to bright purple roses. Use the following guidelines to help choose the best variety for your needs:
- Red color combination: Veterans' Honor, Miss Flippins, Olympiad, AceyDeucy, Mountie, Hilde, Coffee Bean, Chelsea Belle, Black Jade, Christian Dior.
- Pink mix: Show Stopper, Fame, Adams Smile, Timeless, Hanna Gordon, Prima Donna, Rina Hugo, Giggles, Gemini, Valeria Jeanne, Doris Morgan.
- Orange color combination: Kanegem, Starina, Gingersnap, Tropicana, Impatient, Rio Samba, Denver's Dream, Hot Tamale, Fragrant Cloud, Mardi Gras, Perrine, Copper Sunset.
- Yellow color combination: Cal Poly, Julia Child, Henry Fonda, Behold, Summer Sunshine, Sunsprite, Midas Touch, Rainbow's End, Oregold, Bees Knees, Gold Metal, Rise'n'Shine, Glory Be.
- Apricot color combination: Holy Toledo, Honey Perfume, Amber Sunblaze, Tahitian Sunset, Apricot Twist, Michel Cholet, Angel's Blush, Jeanne Kenneally, Joycie, Autumn Sunset.
- Purple and mauve: Lavender Jewel, Barbra Streisand, Dr. John Dickman, Fragrant Plum, Vista, Ebb Tide, Winsome, Distant Drums, Wild Blue Yonder.
- Reddish brown color: Teddy Bear, Hot Cocoa, Copper Sunset
- Attractive color combination: Gizmo, Fourth of July, Fancy Pants, Purple Tiger, Neon Cowboy, Hurdy Gurdy.
Step 2. Use a thick book and paper napkins (or paper that absorbs liquid easily)
Protect the pages of the book by placing a paper napkin on each side of the flower because the pigment in the petals and flower stalks can stain the paper. Place the roses between the pages of the book, separated every 3 mm. Cover the book and overlap it with another book or heavy object. Allow the flowers to dry for a week before checking their condition.
- Change paper towels weekly and allow roses to dry for 3 weeks or so.
- Make sure the roses are as dry as possible before doing the drying process in the book. Don't put roses straight out of the vase. Shake the roses gently to remove excess water.
Step 3. Use a waterless iron
Place the roses between the paper towels and heat the iron on the lowest setting. Make sure the iron is free from water as the moisture from the moisture can damage the drying process. Flatten the roses with the book after covering them with 2 paper napkins. Press the iron against the top of the paper towel for 10-15 seconds. Wait for 10-15 seconds and repeat the same process.
Do not move the iron like when ironing clothes. You simply press the iron on the top paper napkin. Check the condition of the flowers by gently lifting the top of the paper towel and making sure the flowers are dry
Step 4. Air dry the roses
When the roses are about to bloom, hang them in a dry, dark and warm place. Make sure the area is well ventilated and allow the flowers to dry for 2-3 weeks. Hang the roses upside down by tying the flower stalks together using string.
- Hanging the flowers upside down will prevent moisture from being trapped inside the petals. Moisture can cause mold which will damage the flowers.
- The rose will shrink after it dries. You may have to re-tighten the flower ties if they become loose.
- Be careful when handling dried flowers as they can be very fragile.
Step 5. Protect your dried flowers
Do not expose dried roses to direct sunlight. Avoid placing flowers under a table lamp. Store dried flowers in boxes or glass cases to protect the flowers because they are very fragile.
Method 3 of 3: Extending the Life of Cut Roses
Step 1. Use a sterilized vase
Wash the vase with hot water and soap. Use a bottle brush to scrub off any stubborn dirt, then soak the vase in the 5% bleach solution for a few minutes.
- Prepare a 5% bleach solution by mixing 1 cup of bleach with 4 liters of water. You can also sterilize the shears with this solution before using them to cut flower stalks.
- The bacteria in the vase can make freshly cut roses worse if you don't clean them.
Step 2. Water the rosebush and select the flowers to cut
It's best to water the roses the night before you plan to cut the flowers. Roses will get more material because they absorb a lot of water. While watering your roses, pay attention to which flowers to cut so you can store them in the fridge as soon as you cut them in the morning.
Step 3. Cut the roses at the right time
The best time to cut roses is in the morning. You can cut it in the morning until noon, or usually from 05:00 to 10:00, depending on the weather conditions at the time. Cut roses early in the dry season. On the other hand, you can cut flowers later in the day if the weather is cloudy.
- Try not to cut the roses in the middle of the day because at that time the flowers have the least amount of material.
- Make sure the flowers are placed in a cool place. Roses will last the longest in cold temperatures, and will spoil quickly in hot temperatures. If the weather is cold, you can cut the roses later.
Step 4. Before cutting roses, consider the level of bloom you want
The level of rose bloom will depend on the intended use of the flower. To make the roses last as long as possible, for example for a bouquet, cut the roses right after the buds have opened. The variety of roses also dictates when you should cut them as some have to be cut once the flowers are more blooming.
For example, the rose of St. Patrick and Moonstone have many petals and can be cut off after more blooms
Step 5. Cut and cut back the flower stalks
Cut the stalk diagonally with clean, sharp scissors. By cutting the stems diagonally, the flowers will not stand flat in the vase and prevent water absorption. Place the roses in warm or cold water after cutting. Cut back the flower stalks after soaking in water to remove air bubbles that can cause the flowers to wilt early and shorten the life of the rose.
If you are using roses for a bouquet, remove any leaves that will be submerged in water
Step 6. Moisten and chill the bouquet in the refrigerator
Fill a bucket of water so that the flower stalks are completely submerged in water, while the flower buds remain dry. Let the flowers absorb water in a dark, cool room for 1 hour. Place the flowers in the refrigerator at 3 °C until you are ready to use them.
Cut roses will last longer if you store them in the refrigerator overnight
Step 7. Choose long-lasting rose varieties
Florists have created roses that last a long time once placed in a vase. If you use roses from your own garden, pay attention to which varieties last longer after cutting. Crossed roses tend to last longer than old roses.
Varieties that tend to last longer once placed in a vase include:
- Red Intuition
- St. Patrick
- Veteran's Honor
- Black Magic
- Andrea Stelzer
- Louise Estes
- Elizabeth Taylor
Step 8. Use flower preservative products and change the water in the vase frequently
Flower preservatives can be purchased online or at your local florist or gardening supply store. You can add preservatives to the vase to extend the life of the flowers. Change the water in the vase frequently so that bacteria don't have a chance to grow. Soft water may contain salt so it is not good for roses.
Cut the rose stems in the water every day when you change the water in the vase
Handle dried roses with care, as they will be very fragile
- If you don't use paper towels or paper towels when pressing the flowers in the book, the rose color can damage the pages.
- When dry, your roses will be very fragile. For that, you have to handle it with care.
- If the flower is hung upside down, the color will fade.