What's a Forever Rose, And Do They Really Last Forever?

Here’s everything to know about the preserved rose trend, plus where to buy the best ones.

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November 01, 2022

From the Hadids to the Kardashians to the Jenners and more, you’ve probably noticed many influencers and celebrities posing on social media with roses in hat boxes. They’re not faux; they’re real roses. And they can last for years – yes, plural – with no water. Welcome to the magical world of forever roses. These bouquets and arrangements are quite expensive compared to fresh roses, but fresh roses only last about 12 days. These can last up to three years if you take care of them. So, it's actually a lot more bang for your buck. We’ve rounded up our favorite preserved roses you can order online, plus tips on how to extend the life of your roses. Take a look and see why so many people are ditching fresh-cut stems for a box of forever roses.

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What Is a Preserved Rose?

Eternal rose. Preserved rose. Forever rose. There are lots of names for these time-defying flowers, however, some are a bit misleading. Preserved roses do last a long time, but not infinitely. Generally, these roses will last anywhere from one to three years. So, how are preserved roses preserved? Unlike pressed flowers or dried foliage, preserved roses are treated with a chemical, typically a non-toxic, silica-based solution. This technique coats the petals individually so that each rose still looks and feels like a fresh flower. Ecuadorian roses are the most common roses used for this process as the flowers are sturdy, have vivid petals and are also easy to dye colors not found naturally.

As for the smell, many brands add a rose-inspired scent to the petals as the preservation process takes away the natural smell. And some preserved rose fans will use a rose-scented oil diffuser close by to mimic the smell of fresh-cut roses.

How to Care for a Preserved Rose

Climate, such as high humidity or temperature can affect preserved roses. But, in general, to get the most mileage out of your preserved roses, follow these cardinal rules:

  • Never water your preserved roses. Some specific brands will indicate whether or not you should spritz the petals with water after a couple of months, but as a general rule, they’re like Gremlins. Don’t get them wet.
  • Keep preserved roses out of the sun. Direct sunlight will zap the life of your roses, so make sure to keep them away from windows.
  • Don’t touch preserved roses. The oils on our hands can wear down the treated petals, so as a general rule, it’s best not to touch them. Make sure you buy packaging that you’ll like for a year(s) because attempting to move or transfer roses from the original box into a different vase can destroy them. They are long-lasting, but they’re still delicate.

Best Preserved Roses: Venus et Fleur

Venus et Fleur was the first to market in the U.S. and continues to be the preserved rose brand. Celebrities from Lilly Collins to Alicia Keys have posted about these hatbox roses, and the popularity and momentum don't seem to be stopping anytime soon. They may not be the cheapest preserved rose, but no other brand has as many colors — both flowers and containers — to choose from. There are more than a dozen container materials and two dozen rose colors, and you can even design your own box if you want more than one color! There are also collections with elevated materials such as this Parisian-inspired porcelain series.

Fastest Shipping: 1-800-Flowers

Did you know that 1-800-Flowers has preserved roses? And they're all Passport eligible if you're in the 1-800-Flowers membership program! The new Magnificent Roses collection features roses in tons of colors and styles. There's even a single-stem rose in a cloche like Beauty and the Beast that this writer may have audibly gasped when she saw it.

Best Bang for Your Buck: Eternal Roses

Unlike other brands that claim up to one year, Eternal Roses promise up to three. And glowing five-star reviews say it's really true. We've been crunching the numbers and dropping about $220 for this large box of nine roses is about the cost of ordering three bouquets of roses from a floral delivery service which would only last about a month and a half if you ordered back to back to back. That's a big difference! Though nine roses isn't a "full" bouquet, this box is a much better value if you think you'll order more than a couple of bouquets in a year.

Best Themed Roses: Roseshire

For whimsy and fun, Roseshire has the most amusing preserved roses. You can shop boxes shaped like the DeLorean from Back to the Future, roses dyed for each Hogwarts' house color and even red roses a la Alice in Wonderland.

Best Budget Preserved Roses: Infinity Roses

A dozen preserved roses can easily cost $300+, and while that can save $$$ in the long run, if you frequently order flowers, it's not budget-friendly for one-time occasions when you just want to treat yourself. But Infinity Roses has a couple of options under $100 such as a box of four roses for under $85 or these single roses under $40. This tiny bit of luxury would be a great addition to a workspace desk or bedside table.

Best Vase Options: Rose Box of NYC

If you're not into the hatbox aesthetic and would rather have a more traditional flower vase, Rose Box of NYC has gorgeous options, from pewter and mirror vases to these wooden bowls that give us serious farmhouse-chic vibes.

Best Centerpiece: T&C Floral Company

For something completely splurge-worthy, T&C Floral Company has a series of preserved rose arrangements that are borderline statement sculptures. They're a pretty penny, but using these instead of fresh cuts for a wedding would look so dreamy and be more practical. Wedding flowers cost so much and they just whither — some flowers by the end of the reception! These could double as table centerpieces, and take-home thank yous for your wedding party. Plus, how cool would it be to take home the centerpiece from your sweetheart table and actually enjoy it for a whole year or more?

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