How To Press Roses Flat - Preserving Pressed Roses

Flat Pressed Roses
(Image credit: coffeechcolate)

Can you press roses? Although it’s trickier than pressing single-petal flowers like violets or daisies, pressing roses is definitely possible, and it’s always worth the extra effort. Read on and learn how to press roses flat.

Preserving Pressed Roses: Can You Press Roses?

When it comes to pressing roses, varieties with single petals are a little easier. However, with a little more time and patience, you can also do multi-petal roses. 

Roses of any color can be pressed, but yellow and orange typically hold their color. Shades of pink and purple tend to fade faster, while red roses sometimes turn muddy brown in time. 

Start with a healthy, fresh rose. Hold the stem underwater while you use a sharp knife or pruners to cut about 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) off the bottom. 

Move the roses to a container filled with very warm water and a packet of floral preservatives. Let the roses sit in the water for a couple of hours until they are well hydrated. 

Remove the rose from the water and carefully pull off any unsightly outer petals. Add a small amount of vinegar to a cup of water and submerge the bloom for a moment. Remove the rose and shake it gently to remove excess water. 

Trim the bottom of the stem again, then put the rose in a container of fresh water with floral preservative. Let the rose sit in the water until the petals dry. (You can speed the process by patting the petals gently with a tissue).

Remove the stem by cutting it just below the rose. Work carefully and don’t remove too much stem or all the petals will drop off. 

Hold the rose with the bloom facing up, then gently open and spread the petals with your fingers, shaping each individual petal by curving it down. You may need to remove a few petals to get the rose to lie flat, but it won’t affect the appearance when the rose is dried. 

At this point, you’re ready to put the rose in a flower press. If you don’t have a press, you can use a simple DIY rose press.

Pressing Roses with A DIY Rose Press

Put the rose face-up on a piece of blotter paper, paper towel, or some other type of absorbent paper. Cover the rose carefully with another piece of paper.

Place the paper inside the pages of a large heavy book. Put bricks or other heavy books on top for added weight. 

Leave the rose alone for a week, then open the book gently and change to fresh blotter paper. Check the rose every few days. It should be dry in two to three weeks depending on the weather. Be careful; the dried rose will be very fragile.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.