Rose petals are the most attractive and desirable components of the rose plant. Typically round or oval, rose petals are silky in texture, often fragrant and come in an assortment of colors. Associated with romance, pleasure and beauty, roses are used in a variety of ways. Rose petals are decorative and if free of pesticides and other chemicals, they are edible too.
Pluck rose petals from roses that have moved beyond the bud stage and are partially or fully opened. A rose in bloom has fresh petals that will pull away with ease and are less likely to tear.
Remove the petals from rose plants in the morning, before the sun has reached its hottest and highest point. The petals are full of moisture at this time and optimally fresh.
Eliminate moisture from external surfaces of rose petals. Spread the petals out on a paper towel or cloth and lightly pat them with a paper towel or cloth to remove any excess moisture. While the freshest rose petals are full of moisture on the inside, too much moisture on their outsides can compromise their freshness, causing them to become soggy, moldy and discolored.
Store rose petals in any of the following types of containers when they are not in use: a plastic corsage box with a lid, plastic food storage container with a lid, plastic bag, cloth bag or glass jar. Line storage containers with paper towels to absorb excess moisture from the petals.
Keep rose petals in a cool place when not in use. A refrigerator is an ideal location to store rose petals. Make sure the refrigerator is not too cold, which may cause the rose petals to freeze; once they thaw, they will be soggy and discolored. Keep the refrigerator set to about 37 degrees F. or above.