While I love having fresh flowers in my home, when they start to wither and die, I often wonder if the price of purchasing them was worth it.
Seeing how Valentine’s Day is today, you may be gifted with a bouquet of roses that cost someone quite a bit of money. Instead of throwing those roses away once they’re wilted, why not put your leftover Valentine’s Day roses to good use?
There are many ways leftover Valentine’s Day roses can be used once they begin to wilt. Today, I’m sharing six of these uses with you. By putting your leftover Valentine’s Day roses to some sort of use, you not only get to enjoy them as the thoughtful gift they are, but you can extend the gift even further.
Leftover Valentine’s Day Roses? Here’s How To Put Them To Good Use.
1. Dried Flowers for the Home
If your Valentine’s Day roses came from the local florist, chances are, they’ve been grown with fertilizers, sprayed with chemicals, and fed plant food. While this makes for beautiful roses, it limits what you can do with them as far as using them goes. Thankfully, all is not lost. Non-organic roses can be left to dry and used around your home as decor. This is perfect for rustic, cottage, or shabby chic styles of home decor.
To dry your roses for home decor use, remove as many of the leaves as you can as they don’t dry well. Bundle 5 rose stems together and tie them tightly with a string. Move them into a dry, dark place that gets a good amount of air circulation, and hang the bundle upside down to dry. It can take close to 3 weeks for roses to completely dry. If they’re not thoroughly dry, they’ll mold. You’ll know they’re ready when they crunch or break when pressed.
2. Dried Rose Petals
If you were lucky enough to receive organic roses for Valentine’s Day, you can use the petals as you would the rose petals you order from a local or online herb supplier or collect from local rose bushes in your area.
Simply remove the rose petals from your flowers and spread them on a paper towel to dry for a few days. Try to keep them out of direct sunlight and in a well-ventilated area. A faster way of drying herbs is to use a dehydrator. Drying your rose petals this way will take around 2-5 hours. Store petals in a labeled glass jar and use in any herbal recipes, such as this Romantic Herbal Bath Blend, you find yourself making.
3. Herbal Potpourri
Another way to use non-organic roses is to make an herbal potpourri to scent your home.
To do this, simply dry your rose petals as explained above. Once your petals are dry, take a small strand of white Christmas lights with a green wire and place it in a bowl. Next, cover the lights with your rose petals. Feel free to add other herbs as well. Cinnamon sticks make a great addition to rose petals! Set the bowl on a table, plug the lights in, and voila! You have a lovely centerpiece and a fragrant way to scent your home naturally.
6. Rose Powder
Dried roses (organic only, please) are easy to grind in a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle to create a lovely rose powder. Rose powder can be sprinkled on food, used like glitter for craft projects, sprinkled on wounds, or packed into capsules and taken as a supplement.
Simply fill a coffee grinder with dried rose petals and grind in 30-second intervals (30-seconds on, 30-seconds off to prevent overheating the herbs) until the petals are powdered. You can sift this powder if you’d like a fine dust or you can store it in a labeled glass jar in the freezer to extend its health properties.
4. Rose Hydrosol
If you were lucky enough to receive organic roses for Valentine’s Day, using the rose petals to make a homemade rose hydrosol is an excellent way to put them to good use. I shared a detailed post on how to make a lavender hydrosol here. Simply follow these exact steps to make a rose hydrosol, only use rose petals instead of lavender flowers.
Bottle, label, and store your hydrosol in the refrigerator. Most hydrosols will be stable for 3-6 months when stored this way. Rose hydrosols make great facial toners. They can also be used on sunburns or mild, first-degree burns. They can minimize inflammation and pain from bug bites, too. There are many ways rose can be used for health and wellness. Come back next week to learn several benefits of rose.
5. Rose Elixir
A rose elixir can come in very handy during certain situations, and they’re very simple to make.
My favorite way to use rose in tincture form is for the emotions. Rose has a long history of use for emotional issues. Not only does it help to decrease stress and provide a sense of groundedness, but it has a direct effect on the emotions, specifically when grief or heartache is involved. This effect is very subjective and isn’t something you’ll find hard evidence for in the latest medical journal.
My favorite way to use rose for this purpose is to make a rose petal elixir. I follow herbalist Kiva Rose Harden’s (one of my favorite folk herbalists) method for making a rose elixir. Simply fill a glass jar full of fresh organic rose petals (half full if using dried rose petals). Wild rose is best, but if you don’t have access to wild rose in your area, organic Valentine’s Day roses will work as well. Fill your jar 3/4 full of an 80 or 90-proof alcohol such as vodka. Fill the jar 1/4 full of honey. Stir all the ingredients together, cap, and let it sit in a warm, dark place for 6 weeks. Stir as often as you can remember. After 6 weeks, strain the liquid from the herbs, compost or eat the rose petals, and bottle the liquid in a labeled glass, bottle. Use 30-60 drops as needed. You can learn even more ways to use rose elixir over on Kiva’s blog.
6. Rose Honey
Umm… herbal honeys! One of my favorite ways to use aromatic herbs is to make herbal honeys with them. These honeys can be eaten on their own, in small amounts, to benefit from the herbs infused into them, or they can be used directly on foods if you prefer. Rose honey is one of my favorite things to drizzle over toast or pancakes. Not only is it great for your health, but it makes your food pretty, too!
So there you go. Six ways to put your Valentine’s Day roses to good use. As I said before, organic roses are going to be able to be used in more ways than non-organic will. If you want to have a lot of options for using your leftover Valentine’s Day roses, be sure you request organic roses from your love this year!
Happy Valentine’s Day, folks!