How To Press Roses

Most people know the time-honored methods of putting flowers in books to press and dry them. This is still the cheapest and simplest method. All you need is a heavy volume or two to get going with this. The downside is that it takes a couple weeks, and you should change the paper every couple of days. Just make sure to put a piece of blotting paper on both sides of the rose so no ink or residue gets on your petals.

You can also buy or build a dedicated flower press. There are wooden designs that are popular. This is basically two long planks of wood with a screw nut on each side. There are also more-high tech versions with specially designed porous material, that helps wick up the moisture. These are more pricy, and tougher to make on your own. You can layer the flowers between the blotting paper and cardboard, and this pile up quite a few flowers at a time. The screws allow you to really press down on these. Just remember to change out the paper every couple of days. You can buy flower presses online, and expect to pay in the region of $20 for a standard one.

There is even a microwave oven press! I’ll admit I was a little skeptical of this one when I first heard about it. It turns out, it works more to steam out some of the moisture, before you go and put the flowers in a mechanical or book press. So it’s really more of a dehydration methodology than anything. Just be sure to use short bursts on low to test it out. Or, watch the Youtube video below, that should get you off to a flying start.


Usually a rose in a bouquet or arrangement will fade and dry within a few days, even with watering and care. If its a sentimental time or occasion, you may want to keep that flower as a keepsake. Proper preparation can make it happen.

Air Dry
The simplest and most cost effective way is just to use the good old-fashioned air dry method. This works great if you have a dark and dry spot. Simply hang your flowers upside down and allow about a week. Make sure that the bud is open to allow full drying. Gravity will help the petals keep their shape and allow moisture to drop off. Keeping the blooms out of light will help preserve the color. You can use a hair spray or clear acrylic spray once dried to help protect them and give them a little bit of a moist look. The problem with this method is that it will tend to shrink the blossoms, so its best for a large bloomer, like your hybrid teas.

Petals can also be dried separately. Simply cut them off from your plant and spread on a paper surface, again in a dark and dry spot. They should dry nicely in about 1-2 weeks.

Cut your rose blooms off but leave about an inch or two of stem. Put a wire up through the stem to help support the rose and keep its shape. Get a jar or bin large enough to hold the flowers and fill with light-colored sand while standing up the wire-supported cuttings. Gently cover the petals and buds. Allow 1-3 weeks to dry. Gently remove the dried specimens from the sand.

The Book
The old tried and true method. Just take your rose and place it in the middle of a heavy book. I recommend using wax paper or another coating to prevent staining the pages.