The Simple Way To De-Petal A Rose For Stunning Floral Decor

The Simple Way To De-Petal A Rose For Stunning Floral Decor

Rose petals, whether fresh or dried, are a fragrant and beautiful element that can be used for many purposes. They can be used for decoration, creating luxurious bath experiences, or even incorporated into food. However, roses are delicate flowers that are prone to damage and bruising, making it difficult to harvest petals from the stem. While some uses don’t require perfectly shaped petals, others may be affected by misshapen, crushed, or discolored blooms. To keep your rose petals looking fresh and beautiful, it’s important to take extra care when removing them from the stem. Instead of plucking petals individually, twist the whole flower to remove them.

Perfectly shaped and colored rose petals can be used in a variety of ways, such as sprinkling them in a rose-scented bath, using them as a romantic trail through the house, or incorporating them into Valentine’s Day table decorations. They can also be thrown in handfuls at weddings, added to bowls of potpourri, used in sachets, teas, handmade soaps, and candles, or even pressed to make exquisite handmade paper for writing love letters.

How to harvest perfect petals

hand pinching dark pink rose

Lassi Meony/Getty Images

To remove rose petals from the stem without damage, carefully hold the stem with the flower pointed away from you. Slowly turn the head of the rose away from you and twist, letting the petals fall without pressing them too hard. This will allow you to quickly separate all of the petals — known as the corolla — from the top of the flower with little trauma to the petals themselves. Place the petals in a single layer on a paper towel or screen to keep them from decaying from contact with each other.

For petals with the strongest scent, try to harvest the corolla before they begin to fall from the rose, as this is when the flower is at its most redolent. Full petals retain their scent longer than ground, so store them whole and crush them just before use.  If you are drying the rose petals, there are a number of fast ways, including using a food dehydrator or the microwave. For storage, use an airtight container like a mason jar to keep dried petals.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.