Learn how to press roses: 3 easy ways

​​​​While roses are one of the more complicated flowers to press due to their thick stems and cores, you can still preserve them to enjoy their beauty longer. The best way to preserve roses is to press them using a flower press. Follow the steps below to learn how to press roses using a flower press.

What is a flower press?

Flower pressing is the process of preserving flowers and leaves by flattening them with pressure to remove any moisture from them. There are many ways to press flowers, but a traditional flower press will provide the best results. A flower press contains multiple layers of cardboard sheets layered between a timber top and bottom plate that’s fastened together with bolts.

Flower presses have been used since the Victorian era when they were used to preserve and record plant specimens. Today, they’re used to preserve special floral memories and create beautiful crafts.

What colour roses should I press?

Roses of any colour can be pressed, but certain shades retain their colour better than others. Orange and yellow roses usually hold their colour well, whereas pink and purple roses fade quicker, but red roses and white roses tend to turn brown over time.

Learn how to press roses: 3 easy waysHow to press roses

There are three ways to press roses. You can press the flowers with the stems, flower heads, or petals. Smaller roses are much easier to press, but it’s not impossible to press larger ones. You just need to be more patient when pressing roses with a thicker base and stem. Follow the steps below to learn how to press roses using a flower press.

How to press rose flower heads

  1. To press the head of the flower, cut the stem off as close to the base of the flower without letting it fall apart.
  2. Holding the rose upright, gently remove any unsightly outer petals and fluff the remaining petals out so that they are spread apart for easier pressing. ​​​​​​​​Be careful not to bruise any of the petals during this process.
  3. Turn the flower head over and gently place it face down onto the flower press ensuring all the petals are pushing away from the flower’s centre.
  4. Put the press back together and tighten the bolts until it’s firm. Leave the press in a dry spot out of direct sunlight for two to three weeks.

How to press roses with their stems

  1. Remove all or most of the leaves from the stem. You can keep one or two on if desired but ensure they don’t touch the flower head when placed flat on a surface.
  2. Holding the rose upright, gently remove any unsightly outer petals and fluff the remaining petals out so that they are spread apart for easier pressing. ​​​​​​​​Be careful not to bruise any of the petals during this process.
  3. Larger roses can be carefully cut in half using a sharp knife and scissors, and each half can be pressed. ​​​​​​​​
  4. Place the rose down on the flower press, ensuring it’s in the centre of the board. Longer roses might have to be positioned at a diagonal angle.
  5. Put the press back together and tighten the bolts until it’s firm. Leave the press in a dry spot out of direct sunlight for two to three weeks.

How to press rose petals

  1. Holding the rose upright, gently pluck the petal from the flower head. To avoid tearing the petals, pull each one from the base of the petal where it connects to the flower head instead of the top of the petal. ​​​​​​​​Be careful not to bruise any of the petals during this process.
  2. Place each petal on the flower press boards, ensuring none overlapping.
  3. Put the press back together and tighten the bolts until it’s firm. Leave the press in a dry spot out of direct sunlight for two to three weeks.

Quick tips:

  1. When pressing white roses, place the flower press in the refrigerator as this will help retain the colour and prevent it from going brown.
  2. Choose roses that are fresh and newly opened.
  3. Instead of pressing the whole flower, gently pick off the petals and press them instead.​​​​​​​​
  4. Larger roses can be cut in half using a sharp knife and scissors, and each half can be pressed. ​​​​​​​​
  5. Speed up the drying process by selectively removing some of the petals from the flower head.

Photo by Emily from @emilygetslost on Instagram.

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