Culture Magazine

How to Successfully Press Roses

By Simon Crowther @prestigeflower

How to successfully press roses

Roses are not one of the easiest flowers to press. That said, it's not impossible if you have just a bit of patience and the right techniques. Once you have pressed your first batch, you'll understand what makes all that effort worthwhile.

Preparation

You will need to start by preparing your roses properly for pressing. Cut about an inch off the bottom of the stems while holding them under water. Allow your roses to hydrate and don't forget to add some flower food to the water. This will ensure that your roses are in the best possible condition before you press them. Once ready, you should remove the guard petals and any other unattractive outer petals. Do take care not to bruise the flower in the process. Pour some vinegar in a cup and dip your flower heads in this mixture one by one. Submerge just enough to coat all the petals, remove, and give it a gentle shake. The vinegar helps preserve the pink and red tones of the rose. Place the flowers back into a vase of water until the petals are dry. You can speed this up by gently dabbing with paper towels.

Pressing

The centre of the rose is obviously notably thicker than the petals themselves. Cut the stem as close to the base of the flower as possible without allowing it to fall apart. Remove the green part of the flower covering the base of the flower. Make sure that you don't remove too much or the flower can come undone. Hold the rose in an upright position and gently fluff the petals out so that they are spread apart for easier pressing. Shape each petal and encourage it to take on a flat shape by gently bending then against their natural curve. Now arrange them face up on the blotter and press. If need be, you can remove some of the petals to help speed up the drying process without affecting the eventual effect. When pressing white roses, you can place the press in the refrigerator. Allow the press to breathe while the cooler temperatures help maintain the natural colour of the flower. The blotters will need to be changed every few days and expect the process to be completed after 2 weeks.

Remember, if any petals are removed or fall off unexpectedly, don't discard them! You can still press them and use the petals for various crafts. You can also dry them and make potpourri if you prefer.


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