Here’s everything you need to know about drying rose petals for tea, crafts and making your own rose-infused kombucha brew.
I’m not really sure when I transitioned from rose hater to rose lover. I don’t have roses in my garden, but am grateful for family members that do. Those family members live fairly close by, and are always willing to share their beautiful bounty of roses with me so I can pursue my crafty creations.
All roses are edible, but the only roses that will taste good are the ones that smell fragrant.
I like to preserve the rose blooms for many things here at home. One of my favorite ways to do that is by drying them.
While you can air dry rose petals, or even use a microwave to dry them, I find that the easiest route has been my dehydrator.
You don’t need an expensive Excalibur dehydrator to be successful at drying rose petals. My Hamilton Beach was inexpensive and gets quite a lot of use – from making dehydrated apples too smoky salmon jerky.
How to Harvest Rose Petals
If you have rose bushes and you’d like to use your garden flowers, harvest them for drying after the sun has dried the dew from them.
You’ll want to make sure you select flowers that are almost at a full bloom. If you don’t have rose bushes, sometimes a local florist will sell you broken-stemmed flowers at a lower cost. Do not wash them because drying wet blooms will cause them to turn brown.
If they are dirty, just shake them out and use them asap.
Then, clip off the stems of your flowers, leaving no more than one inch. You’ll want to pull off the damaged petals (or any petals that have already darkened).
Using a Dehydrator
Carefully pull each petal off the head of the flower, and lay on your dehydrator tray. Arrange them on the tray giving them ample space between petals. Use multiple trays to dry an abundance of roses.
(This is a great thing for kids to do!)
Set your dehydrator for a low temp — 95-100 degrees F. If you are in a humid area (more than 50%), then increase the dehydrator to 125 degrees F.
Dehydrate your roses for up to 4 hours, checking on them every hour to make sure they are doing okay.
Allow the rose petals to dry completely before storing them in an airtight container in a cool location.
One of my favorite ways to use dry rose petals is to infuse my kombucha brew. Once your kombucha has brewed (7-10 days), allow it to second ferment with 1/4 C. of dry roses for 24 hours.
The taste is unbelievable, and you can even go a step further and add 1/4 C. or slightly more of dry rosehips, too!