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Favorite method to dry roses?

Posted by anne_h z8 Vancouver (My Page) on
Mon, May 26, 03 at 17:45

I have a large rose bush that is hidden behind my garage. The rose loves it there, and blooms lots, but I can't see it from the house, so I cut all the roses and bring them inside. So I have lots of red roses to experiment with, but so far I haven't been very happy with my results. I've been hanging them upside down to dry, and they all end up looking dark, almost dirty. What can I do that will keep the colour better?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Favorite method to dry roses?

Hi, The best way to dry roses is to hang them upside down in a very hot and dark place. My attic is 120 degrees on a hot sunny day and is dark. also it is airtight and even if the weather gets rainy for a few days it keeps them ok till it gets hot and sunny again. The very deep red roses will dry almost black and there is no way around that. Bev.

RE: Favorite method to dry roses?

Beverly is right about the need for heat and the fact that some roses just won't give the color you think they should. Any pink or red rose is likely to have some amount of blue pigments in it, and these seem to predominate when the roses dry. The effect seems stronger with larger roses. Our best luck with drying pink roses to remain pink is with polyanthas like The Fairy or with a semi-climber/groundcover called Raubritter that gets bunches of smallish light pink flowers.

The best luck we've had in getting red dried roses has been to start with an orangeish-red polyantha, Mothersday.

In addition to hanging upside down, we also dry some roses on racks -- just 1/2 inch hardware cloth on wooden frames that we support with sawhorses. We cut the stems fairly short for this, and put them through the grid of the hardware cloth so the rose is supported upright. This works best for rose buds up to blooms that have just opened. A fully-opened old-fashioned rose that's several inches across will dry down to a rosette the size of a quarter this way. If you put some regular window screening on top of the hardware cloth, you can use one of these racks for drying rose petals.

But heat is crucial. We tried drying roses at our atticless home with pretty miserable results. Now, we use the top level of a barn, and it's really difficult to work up there during the day because of the heat, but the roses dry in about a day or two.

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