Rose Petal Infused Honey

By Crystal Baldwin

There is nothing more calming and relaxing than picking wild rose petals on a warm summer morning.  This year in Colorado we had crazy amounts of rain (as did many folks around the country).  All of the moisture created the perfect conditions for the most abundant wild rose crop that I have seen in 20 years!  I have been picking and picking roses and still there has been plenty enough for me and to leave lot's of roses for the bees!

Spending a couple of hours in the middle of a rose bramble in the woods with dappled sunlight, the sounds of birds singing, little creatures moving about, the feel of the velvet petals between my fingers and the light scent of wild roses, is a great way to spend a morning.

Once I come home with my mesh bag full of pink treasures I set about to make one of the most special jars of magic - Rose Petal Infused Honey.  This is a treasure in my house and we eat it all summer and well into the winter (if it makes it that long).  Trust me when I say make several jars if you have enough roses as this will go fast.

Making a rose infusion is extremely simple and if you don't live near a patch of wild roses or grow roses I have great news - you can still make infused rose honey with dried roses.  All you need are dried rose petals, a jar and honey! 

If you grow roses, feel free to make infused honey with your rose petals as long as they have not been treated with pesticides or fertilizers.   Never use roses from the grocery store or florist as they have been sprayed with all kinds of chemicals that you would not want to eat! 

When picking roses from your garden, they must be fragrant, otherwise there will be no flavor.  Old fashion varieties are generally the best as they tend to be very fragrant.  If you only have a few rose bushes, its okay to layer your honey jar as they bloom throughout the summer, you don't have to add them all at once.

Keep in mind where you are picking your roses.  Avoid areas that might have contaminated soil (near old houses with lead paint or rusting metal or industrial areas and farms that are not organic and can contaminate the soil & water). Aso don't pick too close to roadways as you will want to avoid car and roadway pollution.


  • Fresh or Dried Rose Petals
  • A Clean, Sterilized Jar
  • Honey (local is best)


The fragrance is what you are looking to extract from the roses petals so always smell your roses to be sure they have scent - where there is scent, there is flavor. Roses tend to be the most fragrant early in the morning.  Pick your roses earlier in the day after the dew has burned off and before the heat of the day sets in.

When picking roses, always go for the most fresh petals without wilting or damage.  Remember that you aren't the only one looking for that amazing fragrance, there will be lots of little pollinators sharing these beauties.  Don't be surprised to find bees, spiders and other little bugs inside your roses.  I usually wait and let the bees finish when I find them inside a flower and come back around to pick it. 

Give your flower a little tap and most of the buggies will move along.  Then, cup your fingers around the flower head and they should slide right off.  Place them in a mesh or cloth bag so that air can still circulate as you pick (plastic could make them sweat and get wet).  Try to avoid the leaves although it's not the end of the world if you get some in your honey.

How to infuse Honey

Fresh Plant Material

When using fresh plants do not wash them with water as you will want to avoid adding moisture to your honey. 

1. Pick your plants early in the morning and then lay them out on a kitchen towel out of direct sunlight for about an hour this is called “wilting your plants”.  This allows some of the moisture to evaporate which, helps decrease the chance of your honey fermenting (the moisture from the plants & the bacteria in the honey can cause fermentation). 

Wilting also allows little bugs and creatures to escape from your plants and crawl away before going into the honey.  Keep in mind that the fluids from fresh plant material will be in the honey and could still ferment slightly. Keeping your honey in a cooler location after infusing will decrease this chance.  Fermented honey is still good for you and still tastes great.  To avoid this go ahead and strain out the rose petals after your infusion is done.

2. While your rose petals are wilting, wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water and give them a good rinse with super hot water or run them through the dishwasher to clean and sterilize. Dry them well with a clean towel.  Cut up some large squares of parchment paper (big enough to cover your jars with some extra paper to lap over the sides) and set them aside. 

3. Now it's time to layer!  First place a thin layer of honey in the bottom of your jar.  Next add a layer of rose petals on top of the honey. With a long spoon or chopstick, stir the honey and rose petals together beings sure to coat all of the petals and not leaving any clumps of petals that could form a air pocket where mold could grow.  Be aware that if you later find a air pocket that developed mold, you will need to throw away the entire jar of honey as the spores could be dangerous to eat.  So, take a little extra time and stir your petals well to coat them all. 

4. Continue layering with honey and roses leaving a few inches at the top so there is room for the honey to be rotated allowing the petals to move through the honey. (see our short video below to watch this procedure).

5. When all done layering, lay the piece of parchment paper over the top of your jar and then add the lid on top screwing down tightly so honey can't escape.  The reason we use parchment paper is that the honey can erode the metal on the lids and we don't want rust coming in contact with our honey.  Not to mention some jar lids are coated with BPA - another substance that we don't want to eat.

6.  Now you get to have fun and interact with your jars as they infuse.  Place your jar of petals and honey in a warm spot in your kitchen, out of direct sunlight.  Flip your jar several times a day.  This allows the petals to move through the honey for the best and fastest infusion. The honey and petals will swap places and once the honey moves to the top of the jar, you flip it again.  Do this as many times as you would like.  This is why having it in the kitchen is good as seeing it will remind you to flip it.

7. You can taste your honey after about a week and see if its ready to eat or leave it longer for a stronger infusion.  I infuse my rose petals for 3-6 weeks before I eat it.  I leave my petals in the honey indefinitely and eat them with the honey.  If I make several jars, sometimes I will strain the petals out of one jar and leave the others. It's up to you whether or not you want to keep the petals in the honey.  You can strain out the petals once the honey has the flavor you want if you would like.

8. To strain out the petals, make a warm water bath on the stove and place your uncovered jar of honey in the bath, allowing it to sit until the water starts to cool.  when the water starts to cool, remove the jar of honey (as you don't want to cook honey), turn the heat back on and get the water hot again.  Turn off the heat, removed from the stove and add the jar back in the warm bath.  Avoid heating the honey above 95 degrees F so that you keep your honey raw and don't kill off all of the beneficial bacteria in both the honey and roses. I like to eat my rose petals (or slightly bake them for a quick crunchy topping to add to oatmeal or baked goods - the crunch doesn't last long so eat them all up quickly).

9. Store your honey in your kitchen to keep it warm and liquid and if it starts to crystalize place it in the warm water bath as described above.  Honey lasts forever although this honey won't last long I promise!

Dried Rose Petals

When making rose infused honey with dried rose petals the process is exactly the same as above with one change.  Dried rose petals will re-hydrate once they are placed in the honey.  This means you will need to leave extra room at the top to allow for the expansion of the dried petals once they are rehydrated.  Often times dried petals will have a stronger infusion than fresh petals so feel free to do a half of a jar at a time and see if its strong enough or if you would like to add more roses and honey.

How To Use Infused Rose Petal Honey

Use your infused honey on foods that do not require heating to avoid destroying any of the wonderful properties of the honey and the roses.  You can take about 1 teaspoon a day as a tonic (great for allergies) or increase to a couple times a day when in distress. There are many ways to utilize this great medicine for delicious food!  

Did you know that roses can help with both emotionally distress and physical pain?  There is a reason that roses are associated with the heart.  They help heal us from trauma, grief and emotionally stress.  They are cooling to the body, so good for hot conditions and they are are anti-inflammatory and can assist with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.  Roses are high in vitamin C, a antioxidant power house and good for the immune system, as well as Vitamins E, A, Calcium & Iron. They also contain polyphenols, antioxidants that help protect your body from cell damage which, can reduce the risk of many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity and cognitive disease.  Use your rose petal honey in a cup of rose petal tea to double down on all of these wonderful benefits!  

There are so many wonderful ways to use your rose petal infused honey.  I love just eating a spoonful of it to savor and enjoy the exotic, beautiful flavor.  But there are many ways to incorporate this tasty medicine.  Try one of these ideas:

  • Add to Tea or Coffee
  • Create sauces (if heating add the honey after cooking)
  • Drizzle on fruit
  • Use in Salad dressing
  • Add to yogurt or whipped cheese
  • Drizzle on baked goods
  • Use in electuaries & pastilles
  • Add to charcuterie boards
  • Top pancakes
  • Add to toast or biscuits
  • Crostini appetizers
  • Rose Cocktails & seltzer drinks



Watch Video Here! 


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