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Drying rose petals

April 07, 2020

4 easy methods for drying rose petals to use in herbal tea, drawer sachets, craft projects, and scented décor.

Each method below uses petals harvested from high-quality roses. If you intend to use your petals in tea or edible dishes, choose organic, unsprayed roses. Beautiful dried petals come from large roses that are rich in both colour and scent. To remove the petals, start with the outermost petals and pluck them from the base using a swift motion. Alternatively, use scissors to snip the petals as close to the base as possible. During drying be careful to evenly spread your petals with 1cm spacing to avoid touching as layered rose petals will stick together and can rot.

Method 1 – Air drying

Drying rose petals using air is a natural approach that is both simple and effective. The catch is that this method requires ongoing effort as you will need to turn the petals daily to help them dry.

Step 1: Evenly place your petals in a single layer on a mesh surface, evenly spaced to avoid touching.

Step 2: Store your drying petals away from direct sunlight and breezes in a well-ventilated, low-moisture environment. Turn the petals twice a day to help each petal dry evenly and quickly. Continue this for at least one week.

Step 3: Once your petals feel crisp, store them in a clean, airtight jar until you are ready to use your beautiful, scented dried rose petals.

Method 2 – Conventional oven roasting

A rapid drying approach, oven drying rose petals takes around one hour. The oven is a great way to dry lots of petals at once using multiple oven racks, but you will need to monitor your petals to avoid burning and brown spots.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 80°C and line baking trays with baking paper.

Step 2: Evenly space your petals on the baking paper to avoid them touching.

Step 3: Bake the rose petals for 15-30 minutes, checking progress regularly and turning every 10 minutes if required.

Step 4: Once any petals feel crisp, they are done. Remove them from the oven immediately and once cooled store them in a clean, airtight jar. Continue until all the petals are dry.

Method 3 – Microwaving

The fastest drying method of all, microwaving does not preserve the fragrance making this method perfect for ornamental petals. If you have urgent dried petal needs, the microwave will deliver them in less than a minute.

Step 1: Line a microwave-safe plate with two paper towels.

Step 2: Evenly space your petals on the paper towel. Make sure none are touching. If you have more than 1 batch of petals, use new paper towels for each batch.

Step 3: Microwave for 30-40 seconds.

Step 4: Check for crisp petals and remove any that are dry. Continue microwaving in short intervals removing petals as they dry. Once cool, store then in a clean, airtight jar or use them straight away for non-scented rose petal crafts.

Step 4 – Book pressing

The ultimate set and forget solution, book pressing ensures flat dried rose petals. The drying time when using the book method is ‘wait and see’, so this approach is best reserved for leftover petals that you have no immediate plans for.

Step 1: Open a book with matte – not glossy – pages and line a page near the end with two paper towels. Use a heavy book to make flat petals.

Step 2: Evenly space your petals on the paper towel avoiding overlapping petals. Cover the petals with another layer of paper towel and close the book gently. Extra petals can be dried on other pages so long as the original petals are not disturbed.

Step 3: Leave the petals to dry in the book for at least two weeks before checking. If they are not dry yet, replace the paper towels and leave the petals to dry for another week or two. Once the rose petals are crisp store them in a clean, airtight jar.