There are several different methods for drying flowers, such as hanging them upside down in a dark and airy space or baking them in the microwave. The best way to dry rose petals and other flowers in order to maintain their shape and their color is to use a desiccant such as silica gel. Desiccants remove moisture from the rose petals by absorbing the water. You can find silica gel, specifically designed for drying flowers, at discount and craft stores.
Drying Rose Petals in the Microwave
Line the bottom of a microwave safe container with about 2 inches of silica gel.
Lay the rose petals gently on top of the silica gel. Place the rose petals so that they are not touching each other. Make sure the concave sections of the petals are facing up.
Cover the tops of the rose petals carefully with more silica gel. Be generous with the silica gel, but be careful not to flatten the petals as you cover them.
Place the uncovered bowl in the microwave. Set the temperature two levels above defrost, set the timer for two minutes, then start the microwave. When the microwave stops, check the rose petals to see if they are dry. More than likely, you will have to microwave them several times, depending on the strength of the microwave. Roses can withstand higher drying temperatures than some other flowers. If after two two-minute intervals they are still not drying, increase the temperature.
Continue microwaving the rose petals in two-minute increments until the petals are dry. Cover the container with its lid or a plate before removing it from the microwave, then uncover the container slightly so that a small amount of air can circulate.
Allow the slightly uncovered container to sit for 24 hours to cool completely, then remove the rose petals from the silica gel. Clean the petals with a fine brush and use them in potpourri or other craft projects.
Drying Rose Petals over Time
Repeat Steps 1, 2 and 3 from the previous section, but place the silica gel and the rose petals in a plastic container with an airtight lid. Seal the container after covering the rose petals with silica gel.
Leave the rose petals sealed in the container for 10 days. Do not disturb the container during the drying process.
Remove the dried rose petals from the silica gel.