Learn how to dry roses in a dehydrator!
Once you have carefully picked the rose petals off of the stems so that you can start the drying process, you’ll want to start that process as soon as possible. This is because the longer rose petals sit around and do nothing, the faster they’ll start to deteriorate and wither away.
Starting the drying process as soon as you pick them off of their stems is your smartest option because this way, you’ll be starting with fresh, dry flowers that were picked at just the right time and are now ready to go through the drying process.
SEE ALSO: 5 Easy Ways of Drying Rose Petals
The Process of Drying Roses in a Dehydrator
Drying roses always starts by laying them out flat and separated from the other petals so that air can get to them.
If your petals were damp or wet at one point, you have to make sure that they’re completely dry before you preserve them. If they are dry enough to work with, you’ll know it because the petals will no longer be soft to the touch. And they do have to be bone-dry before you put them through the drying or preserving process.
If you’re wondering what to lay them on, you have several options to choose from.
- If you like, you can place them side by side an inch or so apart on a paper towel, but make sure that it’s the super-absorbent type. Also, never allow any of the petals to overlap because you’ll want a decent amount of space between them.
- Mesh screens also work well, and the good thing about these is that you can usually stack them on top of one another as long as there is a space in between each layer. The mesh works well because it allows air to flow through the petals and preserve them much faster. You don’t want the screens to lie directly on top of any of the petals, either, because this can fray or tear the petals and disturb their beauty.
- If you don’t have paper towels or mesh screens, you can even use newspaper or some other type of paper if you like. It may not work as well as an absorbent paper towel or mesh screen, but the worst that’ll happen is that the drying process may take a little longer.
Just make sure that what you’re using has some measure of absorbency, because as the petals are drying, the moisture has to leach out of them somehow. If the item you’re using to lay the petals on doesn’t have some way to absorb the moisture, they may never dry out completely and they simply won’t look right when you’re done.
Once you have all of the petals in the right position and you know that air is able to flow through them, you can start the drying process. Sometimes people place wet roses in a dehydrator, but I recommend drying them a bit before using the dehydrator.
Drying roses in a dehydrator
There are numerous types of dehydrators that you can purchase, and you won’t have to get the most-expensive dehydrator just to get a good one.
Dehydrators have directions for preserving different items, and this usually includes flower petals and herbs. It’s best if you stick to the directions and not stray from them, including paying attention to how long the petals need to stay inside of the dehydrator so that they come out perfect in the end.
There are numerous types of dehydrators and the ones that offer the option to change the temperature usually work best for delicate items such as rose petals.
- For the most part, dehydrating your petals at a lower temperature, e.g., 95 degrees Fahrenheit, may keep them in there longer, but it’s better than using a temperature that is too high and risking scorching or burning the petals. Keep the petals in there as long as the directions say you should make sure that the process is complete. If you’re drying them outside, plan to keep them there for a minimum of two to four hours.
- You’ll be able to tell the petals are done because they’ll be wrinkled, dry, and stiff. Once you notice that they’ve reached this stage, however, you should still let the petals sit for about an hour before you do anything with them.
- Take them out of the dehydrator or the outdoor area and place them on your kitchen counter, trying not to touch the petals themselves if you don’t have to. After an hour, you’ll be able to move onto the next step, which is deciding what you’re going to do with the petals.
Storing Dried Roses
After an hour, you can gently remove the petals and store them, which means placing them in a glass jar with a lid that closes tightly so that no air gets into it.
You can leave the petals in there whole or go ahead and crush them up first, but it’s important to keep them in the jar until you need to use them.
Then comes the fun part — using them for decorative or even culinary uses of all kinds!