Rose petals can turn brown due to many factors including heat damage, moisture damage, excessive handling, age, rot and thrip insect infestation. Preventing this from happening is somewhat, but not entirely controllable. Good cultural practices minimize the loss of petals to browning while on the plant and when handled carefully rose petals that have been cut can retain their color for a day or more.
Things You'll Need
- Clean cotton gloves
- Loose plastic bags or resealable plastic containers
- Clean towel
- Thrip insecticide
Prevent water damage to rose flower petals by never watering over the plant and only at the base of the rose. Shake rain inundated roses very gently to throw off excess water that can lead to browning and rot.
Spray for thrips that are living in the browning rose buds with an insecticide. Use an insecticide that contains malathion or sevin or another product designed for use on thrips and roses. Use with caution in doses and applications recommended by the manufacturer.
Harvest rose petals with cotton gloved hands and refrain from handling the petals again with bare hands or repeatedly after harvest until their final use.
Store harvested rose petals in plastic bags or containers that can be sealed. Pack them loosely, leaving plenty of air space in the container.
Store containerized rose petals in the refrigerator until they need to be used. Swaddle the container in a clean bath towel to insulate the petals from direct contact with the cold.