Yes it has been tried, tested and proven that you can dry roses using the microwave. It will make your roses come out looking glorious! I’ll teach you exactly how to do it now.
Gathering Craft Supplies
You will need to have a microwave safe bowl, Pyrex works great. A large one that fits into the microwave and can fit the whole rose will do just fine.
Get 2 boxes of silica gel from a craft type store or your favorite retailer. The purpose of the silica gel is to soak up moisture from the roses. Within the silica gel, are blue indicator crystals. Blue means the silica is ready to absorb moisture. When more moisture is absorbed, the crystals will turn pink. When this happens, the silica gel can be baked in an oven (following the specific manufacturer’s directions) to release the trapped moisture and re-dry the crystals out. They will be ready to re-use again.
Cut the rose from the stem leaving about 1/2 an inch or so of stem. If you are going to need a longer stem for the final result, it’s the best that you use floral tape and floral wire to wrap the short stem of the rose. This will create an artificial long stem. If you plan to make a dried wreath with your dried rose, this step is not needed.
If it is out of season for roses, or you don’t have access to cut your own, you can always buy roses to dry using your microwave, at your local florist.
Timing is important when cutting the fresh roses you plan to dry. Mid-morning or early afternoon, after all the dew has evaporated is best. Harvest the roses when they are in the earlier stages of bloom. If you wait until they are fully, wide open, the petals will have a tendency to fall off the rose. The picture below shows the perfect stage to cut roses for drying in the microwave.
Pour half an inch of the silica gel into the bottom of the bowl. Place the rose stem into the silica gel with the flower facing you, upwards. Use a spoon and slowly fill up the bowl round the sides of the rose. When the silica has reached the top of the rose, carefully sprinkle the gel on top of the rose. Place another 1/2 inch of the silica gel on top of the rose. This will bury it completely in the powder.
Place the bowl into your microwave. Set it on the lowest heat setting possible, and microwave for a maximum of 2 minutes. It’s a good idea to start with 1 minute until you know exactly how your microwave effects the process. Pull it out of the microwave and let it set for 3 hours.
Gently remove the rose from the silica gel. Use a soft, small paintbrush and carefully brush off as much of the silica gel as you can safely.
Take a clothespin and clip it to the rose stem to attach it to a wire clothes hanger. Allow the rose to hang upside down in a dark room for a few days to complete the drying process.
When the rose is completely dry, remove the rose from the hanger. Take the paintbrush again and gently brush off any remaining silica gel. Gently shake the rose also, to get any powder out from in between the petals.
By using this process, I found my dried roses did not look like typical air-dried roses. They looked very similar to the fresh, or freeze dried versions. Many people thought they were fresh roses. They are fragile tho, so handle with care.
The first rose you dry from any plant, consider a test. Sometimes the color changes slightly during the drying, some for the better, some not. You most likely will find favorite rose varieties you like.
If after microwaving, the rose looks brown, then it actually cooked.. Reduce the heating time and test again. Take notes to which rose varieties you used, the power setting on the microwave used, and your cook time. This will give you the precise variables to make your roses come out perfectly the next time.
When your roses are completely dried, they can either be used on wreaths or other craft projects.
I found when I did alot of dried florals, there was a wide assumption by people that dried flowers should last forever. There were questions on how to clean them when they get dusty and dirty. The answer is, dried flowers are only meant to last a few months to a year, and then tossed out. Keeping them out of direct sunlight will help prolong their good appearance. Compared to how long fresh roses last, that is a long time.
Enjoy your process of drying roses. Hope you have found this tutorial of how to dry roses using the microwave helpful.
Until next time,