Gardening

How to Preserve Rose Petals

Roses are stunning flowers that come in a huge variey of shapes, colors and sizes. They are the symbol of love. To keep their color and fragrance for a long time they are to be preserved. Preserving rose petals is a great way to keep the memories of a particular occasion as such.

There are four methods to preserve rose petals:

  • Air-drying
  • Freeze-drying
  • Moisture transfer
  • Coating

Before starting with the methods of preserving, its the time to select the right kind of roses. Select them a day before they are opened fully and insure they are insect free. The dried petals will not retain the same color of fresh petals. Dark red, purple roses will dry very dark and turn black at times. Bluish pink and white color roses turn brown on drying. Red, pink, orange and yellow roses become light colored on drying.

Air-drying:

The easiest method of preservation. The required stuff are fresh roses, florist wire, dry, dark closet and a paper clip.
Select the roses and prune the lower leaves.
Bind the stems together with a wire and make sure the blossoms will not touch each other. Or else the petals dry unevenly.
Open the paper clip in a s-shape and slip one end of it under the wire. Hang the other end on a stretched twine or a coat hanger inside the closet.
As the roses are hanged upside down, they are dried properly within 5 – 10 days.
This method preserves some of the rose’s fragrance and also the stems which are used in arranging for a display.

Freeze-drying:

This method is very slow and is expensive.
The process where in the moisture from the rose is transferred to a container using a cold vacuum chamber.
The process generally used in special occasions and moreover there are companies who are specialized in this task for business purpose.

Moisture transfer:

The method uses an absorbent which dessicates the roses by transferring their moisture to a medium. The common medium used is silica aerogel.
The other drying agents are cornmeal, sand and borax.
In this method the flower’s original shape and color is preserved but not much of the fragrance.
Select a container and add silica up to an inch an the bottom. Take the flower and prune away the stem leaving an inch below the sepals. Place the rose upside down on the silica layer. Separate the petals and add more silica gel on to them. Seal the container and keep as such for 3 – 5 days.
Instead of taking a long time in drying, a derived technique is used which takes a bit less time. This involves the combination of silica with microwave oven.

Coating:

This method of preserving roses dates back to Victorian era.
The roses are dipped in hot paraffin.
The roses in this method lasts only for 7 – 14 days.
This method is helpful when you try to preserve roses for a special holiday arrangement.

Here are some tips:

  • Do not dry the petals using artificial sources. This may rob their fragrance.
  • Before proceeding with the preservation techniques, dip roses in a mild mix of water and soap, dry them. This helps in destroying insects and their larvae present.
  • Be careful with the thorns present while handling roses.

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