Garden Better: Rose Guide

Rose Petals


Rose petals are a wonderful way to add color and beauty to any occasion. Before getting into the details of how to use rose petals or what the differences between freeze dried petals and fresh rose petals are, let us first explore the history behind roses. For centuries, the rose has been one of mankind's favorite flowers. The word "rose" comes from the Latin word "rosa". The beautiful white or red roses we are accustomed to seeing at the local flower store actually belong to a much larger family called the Rosaceae family. This includes roughly 3,000 species. The rose family is varied with herbs, trees, shrubs, and climbing plants. Some common members of the rose family that you are probably familiar with include pears, cherries, almonds, apples, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, quinces, loquats, and strawberries. The Rose family is distributed throughout the world but is most commonly found in north temperate regions.


The most common use for rose petals is for the occasion of a wedding. Rose petals can be used in various ways at weddings. Perhaps the most common uses, however, are for decorating wedding tables and centerpieces, the bride and groom's grand exit toss, and adorning wedding hall aisles. Scattering rose petals on guests' tables creates an elegant look and will give your wedding hall an aura of luxury. Rose petals can be lightly scattered on guests' tables for a more elegant look or can be carpeted on reception tables for a richer look. Rose petals can also be scattered or carpeted under candles or other centerpieces.

One of the most memorable moments of any wedding is the bride and groom's grand exit from the wedding hall following the ceremony. It is very common to throw rice or bird seed, or to blow bubbles at the exiting bride and groom. Others choose a more graceful approach and provide their guests with rose petals, whether they be fresh, freeze-dried or silk, to toss at the bride and groom. One of the benefits of utilizing rose petals over rice or bird seed (aside from the fact that the latter can get caught in the bride's expensive hair-do!) is that they provide added color, making your wedding photographs all the more vivid and beautiful.

Finally, some choose to scatter flowers along wedding hall aisles. One way to do this is to create the path with scattered petals for the bride to walk down. Some use the petals to accent the aisle. Others lightly scatter the aisle or just the sides of the aisle with rose petals while others choose to cover the aisle with a blanket of fresh petals, creating the "carpeted" look.


Fresh rose petals are just what they sound like - the petals off of roses that are fresh enough to still retain their color and gentle fragrance. Fresh rose petals have a velvety soft texture that one cannot find in freeze dried petals. Use fresh rose petals on guests' tables or in centerpieces. While fresh rose petals offer a more romantic feel, keep in mind that some wedding halls or other indoor event facilities may require freeze dried flowers as fresh flowers may stain carpets. Additionally, fresh rose petals used to line aisles may be slippery, making freeze dried or silk rose petals a better indoor option.

Freeze dried rose petals are picked off of roses at the point of optimal beauty. They are then placed in a freeze drier for several weeks. This process is followed by one called "sublimation" which removes the air from the freeze drier, causing any water present in the petals to turn into vapor. This leaves the petals with their natural beautiful color without causing them to wilt. For an outdoor wedding, use either fresh or freeze dried rose petals as opposed to silk petals as they are natural and biodegradable. Silk petals are pieces of silk cloth shaped into rose petals.


The cost of the different types of rose petals can vary greatly. Silk rose petals are usually the least expensive and work well when large quantities are need for indoor pathways as they won't be examined too closely. Freeze dried petals are more expensive than silk, but they are preferable for use on tables where guests will be able to that they are, in fact, real rose petals. Fresh petals can often be the most expensive option due to the need to remove the petals off the roses very soon before their use and the possible expense of overnight shipping if your local florist is unable to provide them.


Fresh rose petals are a perishable product but they are not as fragile as most people think. Most fresh rose petal should be purchased locally or should arrive one to two days before your event. It is best to keep them in a cool environment that is away from the sun. Not only will direct sunlight cause the fresh rose petals to wilt, but it will also cause their color to fade. If kept properly, they will hold up well for several days.

Rose petals help create romantic and memorable atmosphere throughout your wedding day. Whether you choose to sprinkle silk rose petals down your bridal path or scatter fresh rose petals on reception tables, rose petals are an affordable and beautiful way to decorate for your wedding.

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