How to Preserve a Rose Flower


Preserving roses, either for their beauty or for sentimental reasons, often is done by drying. Properly dried and preserved roses retain their form and much of their color. Borax, readily available where laundry detergent is sold, supports the rose blossom while drying it so that the shape and intricacy of the petals are retained. Preserve roses when they are still at the height of their bloom or not quite fully opened, as this prevents the loss of petals after drying.

Step 1

Mix equal parts borax and white cornmeal. Add 3 tbsp. non-iodized salt per quart of borax-cornmeal mixture to help preserve flower color during drying. Mix until they are evenly blended.

Step 2

Fill a shallow cardboard box with 1 inch of the borax mixture. Set the rose blossom on top the borax, facing upward or on its side, depending on its most natural position.

Step 3

Sift the borax mixture over the rose flower until it is completely covered. Work the mixture between petals with a toothpick to help retain the shape of the flower.

Step 4

Place the uncovered box in a 70 to 75 F, well-ventilated area to dry. Leave it undisturbed for two to three weeks.

Step 5

Brush the borax off the top of the rose when the drying time has passed. Slide your fingers under the flower and lift it out of the borax. Turn the flower upside down and gently tap the back to dislodge any borax between the petals.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not display preserved roses in humid areas or in areas that receive bright, direct sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Borax
  • White cornmeal
  • Non-iodized salt
  • Cardboard box
  • Toothpick


  • University of Missouri Extension: Drying Foliage and Flowers
  • Clemson Extension: Drying Flowers
Keywords: preserving rose flowers, drying roses, borax flower drying

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.