How to Dry Roses

A bouquet of colorful roses.
Roses are dried for a variety of reasons, for either medicinal or momento sake. Tibor Bognar / Getty Images

People sometime want to dry roses to create a memento of a special occasion. There are two popular DIY methods of drying roses: air drying and sand drying. Both processes work best with fresh, healthy roses that have retained all their color and have not started to dry, brown or wilt.

Air drying is simpler and less expensive than sand drying. Follow the steps below to air dry roses [sources: Rose Works, Rose Bushes].


  1. Remove all of the leaves.
  2. Bunch the bottom of the stems together so the roses fan out. Tie the stems together at the bottom with string or twine.
  3. Hang the roses upside down in a dry, dark place. Let them hang for two to three weeks to make sure they are completely dry.

Follow the steps below to sand dry roses.

  1. Dab any moisture off the petals and the stems with a towel.
  2. Using florist wire or glue, reinforce the stems and blossoms so that the flower heads won't droop.
  3. If you use wire, first push the wire through the inside of the stem up to the flower head, and then bend the top end of the wire into a hook over the rose head and pull down gently.
  4. If you use glue, place some glue in a disposable cup and dilute it with a little water. Dab a thin coat of glue at the base of each petal so it hardens and doesn't fall off. This can be done with a toothpick. Then, dab a thin coat of glue from the base of the flower all the way down the stem. Let the glue dry.

Once the flowers have been reinforced:

  1. Put some sand in a deep box. Place the roses upright in the sand.
  2. Totally cover the roses with sand, making sure they remain upright.
  3. Put the box in a dry, warm place. Let the roses dry for two to three weeks.
  4. Tip over the box carefully pour out the sand.
  5. Remove the flowers one at a time.


Dry Roses FAQ

How long do dried rose petals last?
As long as dried rose petals are kept in a dry, dark place, they can last up to three years. After this time, the petals will likely lose their color and may start to disintegrate.
What is the best way to dry rose petals?
There are a few common DIY methods of drying roses: air drying, using a dehydrator and pressing in a book. These methods work best with fresh roses that have retained all their color and have not started to wilt yet.
Can you air dry roses?
Air drying is one of the most common methods of drying and preserving full roses. This method requires you to hang the roses in a dry, dark place that has good ventilation for two to three weeks. Once they are completely dried, they’ll be brittle, so be careful when handling them.
When should you dry roses?
Make sure to wait until your roses have fully opened before drying and preserving them. Drying works best for fresh flowers that still have their color.
What are dried roses used for?
Roses are often dried to create a memento of a special occasion. However, there are many other uses of dried roses such as making wall art with them, floral bath salts or steams, rose water, potpourri mix and more.