Flowers mark some of the best days of our lives (Mother’s Days, wedding days, Valentine’s Days, etc.) and are gorgeous keepsakes—for at least a day or two. Then, inevitably, they start to wilt, droop and fall apart and we’re forced to sadly toss them away.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it’s easy to learn how to preserve a rose (or any flower, really) so you have it for years to come. It all comes down to following one of these four methods.
4 Ways to Preserve a Rose
1. The Book-Pressing Method
What you’ll need: Two heavy books (like a set of dictionaries), waxed paper and scissors
When to use this method: Pressing a flower in a book to preserve it is the easiest, lowest-lift method you’ll find on this list, but it will likely take longer than the others to complete.
How to do it:
- The first thing you’ll need to decide is if you’re OK with losing the stem of your rose, since it’s only going to get in the way of the pressing action once the bloom is between the book’s pages. If you’re OK with that, clip the stem from the bud right where the two meet and make sure you’re doing this before the flower is full-blown wilted.
- Open the book to its approximate center (no need to find the exact center), lay a piece of waxed paper over the pages—to protect the inside of your book—and lay the flower in the center of the page, close to the spine.
- This is where time factors in: Close the book on the rose and lay your second heavy tome on top to add some pressure and weight.
- It will take about a month for the petals to fully dry out, but you should check on it once a week to see if you need to replace your waxed paper, as it will soak up the flower’s moisture during the pressing process. If the paper stays wet, the flower will start to rot—and nobody wants that.
2. The Microwave-Preserving Method
What you’ll need: Two heavy ceramic plates, paper towels, scissors and a microwave
When to use this method: Waiting a month for gravity and physics to preserve your rose the old-fashioned way isn’t for everyone. If you want your rose preserved now, try this much quicker microwave technique.
How to do it:
- Lay one or two paper towels folded onto themselves on a plate.
- Clip the bloom from the stem and place it on top of the pile before adding another layer of paper towels.
- Add the second plate (face up) to the top and press down hard for ten seconds.
- Pop the whole thing into your microwave and nuke it on high in one-minute intervals until the flower is pleasantly preserved.
- Make sure to check on it after every minute to avoid burning.
3. The Air-Drying Method
What you’ll need: Rubber band, string
When to use this method: Since it’s unnecessary to cut the stems from the flowers in this method, it yields the best result if you’d like to preserve your bouquet as-is, meaning it can go back into your vase and on display after fully dried.
How to do it:
- Once your flowers start to dry, remove them from your vase and wrap a rubber band around the bouquet’s stems to hold them all together.
- Grab your string and tie it around the band, leaving a long length of the string attached.
- Find a window that doesn’t get much sun (to preserve as much color as possible) and hang the bouquet upside down from the curtain rod or blinds.
- Pop open the window to let in some fresh air, as this will help the drying process.
- Check on the flowers every few days for about two weeks until they’re completely moisture-free.
4. The Silica Gel Method
What you’ll need: Silica gel, Tupperware container
When to use this method: When you’ve spent a fortune on those blooms, you want to not only preserve them, but to also ensure that they look lively for as long as possible. And that’s exactly what silica gel can do for you.
How to do it:
- Start the process by trimming the stem from each flower.
- Next, you want to pour a layer of silica gel into your Tupperware. No need to overdo it, just pour enough so the layer can hold your rose bud up.
- Place your flower. It’s important to keep in mind that how you place your roses is how they’ll dry, so if you want them to retain their voluptuous shape, place them facing up.
- Pour in more silica gel. This time around, you can be a little more generous because you essentially want to bury your flowers in the solution. Be sure to get some gel in between the petals as well.
- Leave the roses inside the container for about two to three weeks. When you do remove them, make sure you shake out any remaining beads from within the petals.