Learn how to harvest rose petals for drying.
Because roses are such beautiful flowers, they are used to celebrate numerous occasions, and dried rose petals lend an ambiance to artwork, invitations, and even photo albums and all types of decorations. If you’re interested in drying rose petals yourself, you should know that there are rules for picking them at the right time so that your dried petals come out absolutely perfect.
It isn’t that harvesting rose petals is a difficult or time-consuming task, but you do have to follow certain rules if you want to make sure that they are not contaminated or even destroyed during the process.
SEE ALSO: 6 Easy Methods of Drying Flower Petals
How to Harvest Rose Petals for Drying
When is the best time to harvest rose petals?
As with most flowers, roses have very delicate petals, which is why they need to be handled in a certain way to survive. Again, it isn’t difficult to make sure that flowers can withstand the drying process, but they have to be handled properly with each step to look the way you want them to look once you’re done.
The first thing you want to do is pick a morning that is sunny but dry. If there’s too much dew on the petals, you’ll have to dry them off before doing anything else; regardless of how you choose to do this, it’s going to make the petals turn brown.
The best time to do this is mid-morning after the dew has fallen off of them but before the hottest part of the day arrives.
You’ll also want to wait until the petals have just opened. This is because once rose petals have been open for several days, they tend to lose a lot of their fragrance. And just because they’re dry doesn’t mean that you should wash them. Again, if they’re wet, you’ll be tempted to dry them off with a paper towel or by using some other method, and this will make them turn brown rather quickly.
When you’re picking the flowers off the stems…
- you should start by gently grabbing the stem,
- then gather the petals together in your other hand
- and pull them to remove them from the stem.
Do this firmly but gently, because it’s possible to tear some of the petals if you pull too hard. You’ll also want to make sure that when you’re holding the petals, you’re holding them gently. If you tug at the petals or hold them too tightly, the petals can bruise and ruin their beauty, making them unsuitable for drying.
What if rose petals are dirty?
Sometimes roses are dirty when you pick them, but do not worry. If this happens, you have two choices.
- First, you can shake them gently because this often removes the dirt and dust quickly.
- If that doesn’t work, you can gently wash them, despite what was said earlier, but if this is the option you choose, you’ll have to use them right away. This can cause complications because the longer you let the roses be, the closer they are to being unusable. In this instance, your best option is to shake them gently so that you won’t have to worry about rushing through the drying process to save the petals from turning brown.
Finally, you’ll want to leave some of the blooms on each plant so that they can return the following year. When you’re harvesting rose petals to dry them, take just what you need and no more. If you need a lot of petals, go ahead and take a few blooms from each plant so that each plant will still have blooms remaining. You’ll also want to make sure that you lay them in a single layer as you gather them because, once again, using them immediately always produces the best results.