Making the Memories Last: How to Preserve Roses

how to preserve roses

When it comes to the world’s most beautiful flowers, roses are the undisputed king. This delicate bud is the epitome of love and joy, and a favorite gift to give during celebrations. Sadly, as pretty as roses are, they wilt quickly.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to toss that new bouquet in the trash. There are plenty of ways you can stop roses from wilting, and keep them as fresh as the day you received them. So, if you’re wondering how to preserve roses, stick around for this guide on the world’s most beloved flower.

Roses: The Most Fragrant History

Before diving into how to preserve roses, let’s first look at their history a bit. And what a history it is. As befitting the world’s favorite flower, roses have been around for quite a long time.

Some botanists believe the flower could be as much as 35 million years old. However, the first recorded instance of people cultivating roses appears in Central Asia, some 5000 years ago. They’ve been the world’s obsession ever since, with myths and legends sprouting around them.

In China alone, the flower was all the rage during the Han dynasty period—so much so that the Emperor had to order his subjects to prune wild rose bushes since they were starting to overtake regular crops. The flower remained popular in the courts and beyond, however, and it quickly spread to Europe and other continents as well.

Though botanists initially planted wild rose bushes, through crossbreeding, they managed to create several different varieties. Today there are over 150 different rose species, and just as many rose hybrids. However, three stand out as the most common in backyards and gardens worldwide:

1. Old Garden Roses

Old Garden Roses

Image source: Pinterest

Known as heritage roses, Old Garden Roses are a classic rose species known for one distinctive characteristic — they bloom only once a year, during the summer season.

However, despite being so scarce, this species is surprisingly resilient! They handle heat and cold very well and are fairly immune to diseases. Not only that, but they also have a high petal count and a strong fragrance. Therefore they’re the perfect addition to any garden!

2. Wild Roses

Wild Roses

Image source: Pinterest

The original rose species, wild roses, don’t have any cross breeding history or any trace of hybridization. For this reason, they’re almost always pink. They’re also known for their multiple sets of uniquely shaped petals. All these characteristics make them stand out in any garden.

3. Modern Garden Roses

Modern Garden Roses

Image source: Pinterest

Possibly the most common rose variety you’ll find in any flower garden, Modern Garden Roses are the natural successor of the old Garden Variety. Botanists created them sometime in 1867, as a hybrid that can bloom continuously, instead of just blooming once a year.

Though this is convenient, the trade-off was sad that the roses ended up less resistant than the Old Garden variety.

How to Preserve Roses: 4 Ways

Preserve Roses

Now that you know what kind of rose makes up your favorite bouquet, it’s time to uncover how to preserve roses. Though freshly cut roses can last for 7 days if you care for them correctly, they will inevitably die off.

However, if you refuse to part with your flowery gift, don’t fret. There are five different methods you can apply to stop your roses from dying. Even better, some of these options won’t just delay the roses’ decaying, but they will preserve them forever!

1. Air Drying

The fastest and simplest way to preserve your roses is to air dry them. However, if you want to do this successfully, you must begin the process before the rose starts to wilt! You can check how fresh it is by examining the amount of moisture in the stem. If the stem is too wet, then that’s a good sign the rose has already started too.

After selecting a fresh bud, simply apply these basic steps:

• Cut the stem and trim the leaves
• Hang the flower upside down and leave it in a cold and dark place.

After a week the flower will have dried out, and you can enjoy your new favorite ornament.

2. Spraying Them With Hairspray

The second method on our ‘how to preserve roses’ list is hairspray. Hairspray firms up the bud, and traps moisture in the petals. It also helps the flower hold its shape and maintain its glossy sheen.

To successfully preserve your roses with hairspray, simply spray the stem and petal gently several times. Then, hang the flower upside down, go dry it, and presto! You now have a perfectly preserved flower.

3. Preserve the Roses in Glycerin

This method is for the creative souls out there! If you want your bud to look like a glossy sculpture, you can always put it in a vat of glyceride. After a certain amount of time, the flower will soak up the chemical, thus displacing the moisture within. As a result, you’ll get a perfect bud that will stay looking fresh forever.

4. Freeze-dry the Roses

The last entry on our how to preserve roses list is for those who are serious about preserving their bouquet. When it comes to making sure something lasts forever, then you can’t go further than freeze-drying. This process involves slowly extracting moisture from fresh buds and sealing them in a vacuum so that they’ll maintain their shape.

Admittedly, freeze-drying is a bit more complicated than other methods on this list, since it requires specialized equipment. Therefore, if you choose to do it, make sure to hire a professional for the best results!

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.