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Real Rose Petals: Buying, Prepping and Storing 101

Cham Tanteras 23 May 2022
Real Rose Petals: Buying, Prepping and Storing 101

You've decided to have real rose petals at your wedding or event to sprinkle, toss, float or arrange! And, what a great choice - real rose petals are an affordable, easy way to decorate.  And, fresh rose petals come in a wide range of colors, too, which makes them a perfect accent to any event theme. This guide provides you with everything you need to know about working with real rose petals  including the best places to buy them and how to store them. Plus, we'll explain the difference between fresh rose petals and real freeze-dried rose petals - your options for real rose petals are far more than you may have realized!

Read our real rose petals FAQ on buying, prepping and storing. We've rounded up answers to the most commonly asked questions about using fresh rose petals in your wedding and event designs.

How do I buy real rose petals?

If you only need a tiny amount, you could pick up a bouquet of roses wherever fresh flowers are sold. and harvest the petals yourself. For decorating a single dining table, setting a romantic mood or filling a scented bath, one bouquet of roses will be plenty.  Simply remove any less-than-fresh, outer petals and gently cup each bloom in your hand . Then remove the entire rose head from the stem and sprinkle the petals into a bowl for use.

For large quantities of real rose petals (ceremony aisles, banquet tables, wedding send-off toss) the best option is to purchase bulk, professionally harvested rose petals that are de-stemmed and ready for use.

How much do real rose petals cost?

Local flower shops will often sell rose petals by the gallon; they'll order the roses and harvest the petals for you but this may not be your most cost-effective option. If budget precludes hiring a florist, you can shop online for wholesale rose petals shipped directly from the farm. Online flower retailers sell rose petals in bulk, by petal count (for example, 6,000 rose petals; 12,000 rose petals, etc). Check out our fresh rose petal packages available in 30+ colors and combinations.

Pro Tip: The most important thing to understand before you decide where to purchase rose petals is the degree of freshness, both for the roses and knowing when the petals are harvested from the stems.  Freshness will determine how long your petals last.  And farm-direct rose petals are cut and harvested to order, bagged and shipped overnight to you - it doesn't get much more fresh than that!

What color rose petals are available?

Real rose petals are available in just about any color you can imagine. And, you can choose to customize your box with up to three colors, selecting whether you want the colors mixed or bagged separately.  There is so many options for rose petal and you have a choice of 15+ colors  including:

  • Red
  • White
  • Creamy white
  • Light pink
  • Hot pink
  • Salmon Pink
  • Orange
  • White
  • Blush
  • Lavender
  • Coral
  • Terracotta Brown
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Purple

Thinking beyond roses? We also carry fresh Hydrangea petals, which are the perfect option if you want something unique that will surprise your guests or match with a vintage, cottage aesthetic.

When should I order rose petals for my wedding or event?

You can reserve real rose petals up to a year leading up to your event day but the latest is at least two weeks prior. That gives the farm plenty of time to plan the harvest, cut the stems, bag the petals and have them delivered 1-2 days before the event.

How many rose petals should I order?

One bag of Petals will generously cover an area 20 inches by 9 inches so grab a sheet a paper and scratch out a quick calculation on how many petals to order.  Each bag of Rose Petals contains no less than 8 cups and no more than 12 cups, holding 0.61 pounds. Here's a complete list of how many petals you'll get in each box size:

  • 2,000 package option is 6 bags with a minimum of 48 cups ranging up to 72 cups.
  • 3,000 package option is 8 bags with a minimum of 64 cups ranging up to 96 cups.
  • 6,000 package option is 13 bags with a minimum of 104 cups ranging up to 156 cups.
  • 12,000 package option is 26 bags with a minimum of 208 cups ranging up to 312 cups.

Our friends at Floral Design Institute will help you understand how many rose petals to order for your event.  If you're asking yourself, "How do I calculate how many rose petals I will need for a wedding?", this Video explains the math of calculating the rose petals needed. And, demonstrates several techniques for creating rose petal aisle runners and accents. Enjoy!

How to Keep Real Rose Petals Fresh

Fresh rose petals should be kept in the shipping bag to preserve the humidity.  Upon arrival, open the box and inspect the bags of petals. If you see any condensation gathering on the inside of any of the bags, gently open and simply wipe the moisture off. Close the bag and return it to the box. Store the box in a cool, dark environment; real rose petals do not require refrigeration, a cooler room with AC will be just fine.

Should I refrigerate rose petals?

If your event is more than 3 days away or if you have extra petals, you can store them in a refrigerator at a moderate temperature — about 37 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if it's too cold in your fridge, the rose petals will freeze and become discolored. And, there should not be any others food, fruit and vegetables in the fridge as the gases they emit can also damage the rose petals.

How can I use rose petals in my wedding or event?

There are so many ways to use rose petals, including making an aisle runner, decorating your cake, creating toss cones and so much more. Check out our guide to using rose petals in your wedding and discover 15 unique ways to incorporate them. This is the easiest part, all you have to do is sprinkle rose petals where you want to use them. It is that easy!

Pro Tip:  To ensure freshness, wait to decorate with rose petals until no more than 2 hours before your reception. If you are planning to use the rose petals outside, please note they may not last long if its hot and sunny; if there's wind they could blow away. Plan to swoop in just prior to guest arrival and style those petals!

When are real rose petals available?

Rose petals are available year-round which means you can count on them for any event. From sports colors to weddings, and fundraisers to birthdays, a box of multi-colored rose petals is always available to you for quick, easy decorating,

What are freeze-dried rose petals?

Freeze-dried petals are in fact real petals and no, they’re not actually frozen. Don’t let the name fool you! The word “freeze” in freeze-dried petals refers to the drying method. The drying method removes the moisture and preserves the petals at their peak. Dried petals and fresh petals look very similar, however, the dried petals are a little more delicate.

Why use freeze-dried rose petals?

One of the biggest benefits of freeze-dried petals is that they can be reused throughout the year if they're cared for properly. Keep in mind, over time their vibrancy may start to fade. Dried rose petals are also biodegradable, which makes them perfect for an outdoor ceremony.

We have a large selection of freeze-dried rose petals to pick from as well as fun and unique color combinations.

How do I care for freeze-dried rose petals?

Another plus is that freeze-dried rose petals can be ordered way in advance and don't require cool storage to stay fresh. Store freeze-dried rose petals in room temperature or for longer storage find a dark, cool place. Note: unlike fresh rose petals, real freeze-dried petals do not need to be kept in cool storage but heat or direct sun may damage them over time.

And there you have it! Real Rose Petals 101: How to buy, prep and store!  You've got the questions answered and our team is ready to assist with any further inquiries you have on fresh flower care. Rose petals are one of the easiest ways to decorate and the easiest flowers to care for. We can't wait to see what you create with them!

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