As the enduring symbol of romance, the classic rose is one of the stateliest flowers to grace gardens today. But, these beautiful blooms are useful for so much more than looking pretty.
It’s time to stop tossing your fading flowers in the trash once they begin to wilt.
There are many clever ways to use rose petals to improve your health and add beauty to the world around you, and this article will show you how.
Over 100 species of roses carpet the planet these days, many of which are renowned for both their beauty and their health benefits. However, home remedies with roses typically work best when using wild or traditional varieties.
This is because modern-day hybrids lack the depth of scent and beneficial compounds of these older varieties, but they will work just fine if they are all you have available.
The freshest roses will always be the ones you grow yourself, and the process isn’t as complicated as you think (read our advice for growing organic roses here).
In fact, most rose varieties are considered easy to grow, as they require just a bit of fertilizer and some seasonal pruning to keep them healthy.
By growing your own roses, you can periodically collect petals for your projects to ensure that they are always within reach when you need them.
Since roses are a relatively fragile flower, their stunning colors and heady scents won’t last long unless you take steps to preserve them through drying.
How To Dry Rose Petals:
Drying rose petals in the oven is easy if you follow these steps.
- Find a supply of fresh rose petals in peak bloom that haven’t been treated with gardening chemicals.
- Carefully gather the freshest rose petals and wash them in filtered water, making sure you drain them well.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, placing the cleaned petals in a single layer on the sheet. Make sure you remove all traces of stems and bugs.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the petals until the residual water is removed. They should be crisp and break apart like potato chips. If they still seem flexible, let them bake for another two minutes before testing them again.
- Once the petals have dried, store them in an airtight container for later use, preferably in a place where they won’t be in direct sunlight.
If you’d rather not heat up your whole home with the oven, consider using a dehydrator instead to dry your petals in an easy, energy-efficient way.
Note: Don’t stress if you can’t source a fresh supply of rose petals to dry. You can buy dried rose petals online. There are plenty of options of organic, culinary grade petals here and rosebuds.
11 Best Uses For Rose Petals:
Once you begin experimenting with rose petals, you’ll find you can put them to an almost unlimited number of uses.
1. Natural Skin Cleanser
Rose petals are flush with antioxidants that can refresh your skin by fighting off free radical damage and oil overproduction.
You can make a homemade skin cleanser by mixing one teaspoon of powdered rose petals with enough water to make a paste and adding a touch of raw honey to boost the antibiotic benefits further. To use, gently massage the cleanser into your face and let it sit for fifteen minutes before washing it off.
2. Rose Infused Oil
Rose-infused oil is a stellar ingredient for homemade soaps, lotions, and other wellness products. Whipping up a batch is easy, and the infused oil will last for up to a year.
You can make your own by filling a canning jar halfway with dried rose petals and thoroughly covering them with a carrier oil (olive or sweet almond oil work well).
Make sure that the petals are covered by at least two inches of the oil, and then cap the mixture and let it set in a dark cabinet for four to six weeks, remembering to give it a quick shake every few days. Once the oil is infused to your preference, strain out the petals and use the oil as desired.
Ready to take your homemade cleaning products to a new level? You can adjust this recipe by substituting vinegar for the oil to create a potent vinegar with a soothing floral scent.
3. Homemade Potpourri
Put your pretty rose petals to a second use after they fade by allowing them to fill your home with fragrance.
You can make your own potpourri by blending dried rose petals with complementary scents like cinnamon sticks, dried ginger, or whole vanilla beans, and put the mixture anywhere you want to freshen up.
Sock drawers, linen closets, and the bathroom are all ideal options, and you can let the scents soothe you to sleep by slipping a small sachet into your pillowcase.
4. Rose Water
This classic cosmetic treatment can perk up your skin and soothe your mind with its subtle scents.
All it takes to make rose water is a supply of fresh rose petals and filtered spring water, and you’ll have a fragrant ingredient for homemade beauty products.
You can read about our three methods for making homemade rose water, and then experiment with 14 different ways to put it to use.
5. Bath Salts
Rose petals are already a symbol of luxury, so it only makes sense to put them to use in the ultimate indulgence: a hot bath.
Few things smell as sweet as bathwater scented with rose petals, and you can make your own rejuvenating rose petal bath salts in only a few minutes.
Just mix together one cup of Epsom salt, a handful of dried and crushed rose petals, and ¼ cup sea salt. To enhance the scent, you can also add a few drops of rose essential oil. Stir everything together and store in a cute jar.
To use, pour a palm-sized amount of bath salts into a cotton muslin bag (or a clean sock in a pinch), and let the mix infuse into your bathwater. You’ll get all the aromatic benefits of the petals without clogging your tub brain with them afterward.
6. Homemade Tea
Rose tea is a classic ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, and it is a traditional way to relieve menstrual cramps and diarrhea.
You can brew some slow-seep tea by filling a mason jar with dried rose petals and pouring boiling water over the top. Next, securely attach the lid and allow the tea to set for at least four hours before straining out the petals. This tea is delicious hot or cold, and you can even brew it with green tea to enhance the flavor.
Note: be extra careful about your rose petal supply when you make tea to ensure you aren’t accidentally ingesting toxic gardening chemicals.
7. Rose Petal Jam
If you love the idea of a fragrant and floral jam, then rose petal jam is for you.
Rose petal jam is a great way to turn your ample supply of rose petals into something edible.
It’s really delicious, really beautiful and really easy to do. Here’s a great tutorial.
8. Soothe A Sore Throat
If you feel a cold coming on and want to give your throat the best chance of recovering quickly, consider following this simple rose-petal honey recipe.
Pack fresh, herbicide-free rose petals into a jar and pour in honey almost to the top of the petals. Stir the mixture with a non-metallic object (bamboo skewers work well) until the petals are coated.
Let the mix set in your cupboard for at least six weeks, and carefully strain out the petals as best you can.
For sore throat relief, mix a spoonful of your honey into hot tea. The thick honey will coat your throat for instant pain relief, and the antiviral properties of the petals may prevent it from progressing further.
9. Zest Up Your Food
Looking for a calorie-free way to perk up your plate? Rose petals will do the trick.
Try incorporating them into your cupcake frosting or use them to liven up a dull salad. Even fruit and cheese platters gain an elegance when rose petals are used to decorate the edges.
So long as the petals are free from pesticides, they will even boost the nutrient levels of the dish.
10. Natural Sunscreen & Sunburn Soother
While rose petals can’t offer you much in SPF protection, these pretty blooms are a rich source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant renowned for improving sun protection for your skin.
Applying rose water to your face can bolster your skin’s defenses and keep you slightly safer from sun-induced free radical damage. But don’t skip that hat or natural sunscreen! Sunburns are too dangerous to leave yourself unprotected.
Already got burned? A bit of rosewater sprayed on your skin can help it find relief.
11. Rose Petal Vinegar
Make a rose petal infused vinegar by pouring vinegar over a jar filled with rose petals. Allow to infuse in a cool, dark place for a few weeks and then strain and decant.
The resulting liquid can be used as a hair rinse, a cooling floral spritz for sunburn, a bathwater addition or as a salad vinaigrette.
Here’s a full tutorial for making and using rose petal vinegar.
There’s so much the creative person can do with a plentiful supply of rose petals. Keep your pantry stocked with this versatile flower, and you’ll be amazed at the ways that rose petals begin to enter your life.
How To Get More Rose Petals
If this article has inspired you to start putting your rose petals to good use, then you’re probably desperate to get more blooms. That way you can harvest some roses for the above projects, and leave many on the bush to admire and enjoy.
The best way to get more roses is to grow more plants and you can do that by taking cuttings from your existing bushes.
Take a look at our tutorial below and start growing your own unlimited supply of roses.