Dehydrated rose petals are used in potpourri, as framed art and in other craft projects. The petals keep much of their fragrance once dried, which adds to their appeal. A desiccate is used to dry the petals, usually silica gel, as it is readily available and gives superior results. Silica gel is available from florists in pound-sized or larger bags. Another benefit of silica gel crystals is that they are reusable, so there is no need to purchase new supplies each time you dehydrate petals.
Pour a 1-inch layer of silica into a plastic container. Choose a container with an airtight lid, such as a food storage container, for drying flowers.
Separate the petals from the rose blossom, plucking them off carefully to avoid damage or tearing. Choose only those that are healthy, with no brown spots or insect damage for dehydrating.
Arrange the rose petals on top of the layer of silica gel. Leave a ½ to 1 inch space between petals and ensure they are lying flat.
Spread a layer of the silica crystals on top the rose petals, covering them to a 1 inch depth. Arrange a second layer of petals on top of this, then cover with another layer of silica. Continue layering the petals and silica until the container is full.
Place the lid on the container and set it where it won't be disturbed for five days. After five days, open the container and remove one petal. If it feels completely dry and papery, the petals are done drying. If it is still moist, leave the petals in the container for another five days.
Pour off the silica, removing the petals as they are uncovered. Store the dehydrated rose petals in a sealed plastic bag until you are ready to use them.