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How to Keep Roses Alive Forever: An Easy Guide

Whether it’s for a romantic reason like Valentine’s Day, or simply for the looks alone, a lot of people around the world have fallen in love with the look of roses. I know I have been smitten with the rose garden at the cabin and found myself admiring their beauty and learning a lot about the best way to take care of them. This got me thinking about how to keep roses alive forever. I just want to preserve their beauty.

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Well, it turns out that there are quite a few different ways to go about this. Some solutions will only buy you a few weeks, while others can last a lifetime. Fortunately, none of the options are really too hard to do yourself, but there are a few things you’ll want to know beforehand. Keep reading to find out what they are!

How to Keep Roses Alive Forever and Thoughts on Preparing for Preservation

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Knowing how to keep roses alive forever is the end goal, but it’s actually not the first thing you should be focused on. Instead, the first things you’ll want to think about are keeping the flower looking as amazing as possible and avoiding damaging it in the meantime.

While you have your fresh flowers in a vase, take some time to prune the brown rose petals for the best appearance possible. Make sure to use fresh water at room temperature to avoid temperature shock. Mix a drop of vinegar into the water as well, and give them some flower food while you’re at it.

It’s also important to trim the base of the stem every few days (yes, even if it’s a beautiful wedding bouquet!). Keep your flowers out of direct sunlight—either by using drapes or simply putting them in a dark place—to prevent sun damage. Try to avoid having any leaves sitting in water too. That can cause mold.

Short-term Preservation Techniques

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Alright, so we’re gonna start off with a few preservation techniques that will help your roses look their best for a couple of weeks or more. True, 2-3 weeks isn’t exactly how to keep roses alive forever, but for shorter time periods—like if you want to keep your display of beautiful candle holders and flowers looking the best possible—they should be enough.

All of these methods are pretty easy to do, but the results can vary quite a bit between the different methods. I recommend looking at all the different options before picking out which one you want to do.

Freeze-drying a Technique for How to Keep Roses Alive Forever

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Often, the thing I appreciate the most about having living plants around is their pleasant scents! Freeze-drying tends to be a costly method, but it’s the one that gives the best results if you’re trying to keep both the looks and the scents intact for up to a year. 

The easiest option? Have a professional do it. Otherwise, cut your roses when they’re in full bloom, removing the leaves and shortening the stems. Separating the petals, lay the flowers down on a tray and seal them in a freeze-drying machine at −21 °C for 24 hours.

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Increase the temperature by 2.8°C every two days for ten days. At this point, remove the flowers and ensure they are dry. If they feel cold, they still contain too much moisture, which means you’ll need to put them back for another 24 hours before they’ll be ready to remove.

Using the Microwave

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Photo by via Life on Summer Hill

Arguably the easiest way to dry and preserve roses is by microwaving them. To do so, you’ll need two coffee filters and two paper plates. Place the flowers in between the filters, and place the filters in between the plates.

From here, microwave the roses for a minute and then check on them. If they’re not dry yet, microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat this process until the roses are dried to your liking.

How to Keep Roses Alive Forever the Air Drying Technique

If you have a bit more patience then air-drying the roses might get you the dried plants you’re after. This simple process takes a few weeks but only requires a hanger (or hook), a rubber band, and some scissors.

Remove most—if not all—of the leaves from your roses, and cut the stems down to a desirable length. From here, use the rubber band to secure the bottoms of the roses together. Hang the roses upside down in a dark, dry, and well-ventilated room for two to three weeks.

Using Silica

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If the special day you’re trying to prep these flowers for is coming up fast then you might not have two weeks to wait around. Fortunately, using silica can reduce the drying process to a week or less, making it a great alternative that’s still fairly easy to do.

Make sure you’re working in an area with lots of ventilation. I also recommend wearing a mask and gloves (just to be safe!) Trim the rose heads from the stems, then put two inches of silica gel into a box or jar. From here, place the flowers in the gel with their heads facing up.

Sprinkle a bit more gel, shaking the box/jar around a bit to ensure the heads are completely covered. Finally, completely cover the flower heads, seal the box, and leave them to dry for 3 to 7 days.

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Drying with Sand a Not So Traditional Way For How to Keep Roses Alive Forever

This method isn’t quite as popular as the other ones I’ve gone over, mainly because it won’t give you the best time. Even when compared to regular old air drying, this method can take quite a while! Still, if you live near the beach and want to try something different, it could be worth a shot.

You’ll need four things:

  • A box
  • Florist wire
  • Roses
  • Sand

First, reinforce the roses with florist wire. Next, place them upright in your box and cover them slowly with sand. From here, just leave them in a dry and warm location to sit. Your roses should be all dried in three week’s time.

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Wax

Using wax to preserve dry roses is an amazing alternative, but it does require a bit more effort. You’ll need the roses, some wax, and a way to melt the wax. This can be a bit hazardous, so I recommend following this simple and relatively safe method.

  1. Begin to heat water in a slow cooker.
  2. Get a clean soup can and place your wax into it.
  3. Once the water is heated up, place the soup can into the water.
  4. Remove the can once the wax is melted.

From here, holding the rose by the stem, dip the blossom into the melted wax. Dip it twice, making sure the rose is completely covered. Wait a few minutes for the wax to harden, then repeat the process on the bottom of the rose to completely seal the rose in wax.

Long-term Preservation Techniques

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Now you know a few different ways to keep your precious roses looking amazing for anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years. But what if these particular roses have sentimental value to you? Well, in that case, you might be looking for a slightly longer timeframe.

We haven’t quite gotten to the part where I’ll go over how to keep roses alive forever, but we’re getting there! If forever seems like a little bit too long (but a few years doesn’t seem like quite long enough) then one of these next methods might work best for you.

Pressing Your Roses

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One of the more popular long-term preservation solutions is flower pressing. This method is amazing in my book because you can frame the end result as part of your gallery wall. The only real downside is that you can’t preserve the stems.

Still, I think this simple method is worth considering. You can use a dedicated flower press if you happen to have one on hand. Otherwise, grab some heavy books and a bit of parchment paper. You can start by removing the stems from the fresh roses, as well as any damaged or browned stems. 

Place the parchment paper inside of the book, then lay and arrange the rose to your liking. After that, simply shut the book! Add a heavy object or two on top of the book to provide even pressure. From here, you simply need to wait for a few weeks—up to a month—for your flower to dry.

Treat Dried Roses with Hair Spray

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Assuming your roses are already dry, you might be thinking you’ve done all you can. Fortunately, that’s not the case. It will require a consistent effort on your part, but you can actually make dried roses last for even longer by treating them with hair spray.

When you spray roses, the hairspray helps hold the rose’s heads together. In turn, this can make your roses look amazing for much longer, and the process is quite simple. Every few weeks, spray your roses down, stem and all.

Once done, hang the roses up so they can air dry. You can put them back on display once they’ve dried. Repeat this process every few weeks to significantly lengthen the life of your preserved roses.

The Permanent Preservation Technique

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Alright, now we’re on to the end goal: how to keep roses alive forever. Well, even though having fully preserved roses isn’t exactly hard, it is going to be a bit time-consuming to get the job done. Are you ready to start the preservation process? 

Resin

The longest-lasting method around is easily using resin to preserve your dried flowers! This option will make a great gift for a loved one, as well as a fun project for you. To start, find yourself a nice resin mold to put your dried flower(s) in. Prep this with a thin layer of resin mold release, then put your flowers in place, face up.

Next, pour your resin into the mold. Cover the mold with a plastic container to keep dust out. You can eliminate any bubbles using a heat gun. Keep checking back every 15 minutes until new bubbles stop appearing. From here, you just need to wait.

After three days, you can remove the resin from the mold. Peel the mold away from the resin. If it doesn’t want to peel easily, use soapy water to loosen it up. 

Backyard Rose Garden Ideas and more Options for How to Keep Roses Alive Forever

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Since you’re reading this to learn how to keep roses alive forever, I figure you’re probably a big fan of plant decor. While having roses inside is great, I figured I might as well go over a few backyard rose garden ideas as well. That way, whether you’re inside or out, you’ll always have roses around to enjoy!

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Build Around a Bench

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If you have a bench in your backyard then building your display of fresh roses around it is definitely one of the best backyard rose garden ideas. It will look absolutely amazing once they’re in full bloom, giving you plenty of pleasant sights and scents to enjoy while spending time outside.

Of course, don’t forget to bring a few indoors to style your table as well!

Adorn Your Deck

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Whether you’re trying to spruce up your cozy cottage or add a splash of nature to your suburban hideaway, growing roses on your deck is always a good idea. If your backyard isn’t very big then potted roses will do nicely. Have a bit more space? Consider growing rose bushes on either side of your steps instead.

Select a Statue

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This isn’t one that lots of people will be able to do, but I think it’s one of the best backyard rose garden ideas around. Already have a statue or two in your backyard? Well, statues look amazing on their own, but you can add a bit of elegance to the display by adorning the surrounding area with roses.

A Short and Sweet Summary

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Anyone can put a few faux flowers in a nice jar and call it a day, but it’s nearly impossible to beat the allure of real roses on display. Whether you’re aiming to create your own infinity roses or simply want to keep your fresh flowers looking vibrant for a little while longer, it’s nice to know there are so many options to choose from.

Well, now you know how to keep roses alive forever. I sure hope this was helpful! Do you have any tips or tricks of your own for treating and preserving roses? If so, let me know all about them in the comments below.

Until next time, guys!


How to Keep Roses Alive Forever: FAQs

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How do you preserve a rose permanently?

The easiest way to preserve roses that can be displayed is by pressing them and putting them in a picture frame. The downside of this approach is that the roses are sure to fade over time, but you can offset this deterioration by placing them in dry, cooler environments.

What keeps roses alive the longest?

Well, choosing a classy vase is a great start, but you’ll want to ensure it’s clean if you want your roses to last for a long time. Fill it with room-temperature water and add a bit of flower food to the water before placing the flowers in the vase.

Cutting the stems at a 45-degree angle is a great way to help your roses soak up water, resulting in fresher-looking roses for longer! Aside from this, just make sure to keep your roses in a cool place away from direct sunlight if you want the best way to extend their shelf life.

Does sugar keep roses alive longer?

Yes and no. While sugar will give your roses some of the nutrients they need, it also helps bacteria grow. Add a bit of vinegar as well to help prevent your flowers from smelling bad or decaying quickly.

How do they make roses that last forever?

Well, even forever roses won’t actually last “forever”. Commercially available long-lasting roses tend to use a combination of dyes, specific drying processes, chemical treatments, and/or sealants to keep their roses looking amazing for impressive periods of time.

Ultimately, your best bet as an individual would be a resin-sealed rose.

What is the life expectancy of rose?

It varies quite a bit, depending on the type of rose you’re talking about. While some may only last for a few years (even with the proper care), other types can last for a century or more! Generally, you can anticipate a life expectancy of anywhere from 10 to 25 years for a rose.

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