Hydrangeas are such beautiful flowers, and make a stunning statement, whether they are in the garden, or indoors. But what I like best about them, is how they take on a entirely different look towards the end of the season, dramatically changing colors. And it gets better! You can enjoy these gorgeous blooms for months to come by drying them. Here are 3 easy ways to dry your hydrangeas.
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Hydrangeas are my very favorite flowers to dry. I personally love them more towards the end of the season, when they take on more of a vintage vibe to them. There are so many varieties available, with their old-fashioned feel, they fit right in with my cottage style decor.
Timing is Everything
Timing is everything when starting the process of drying your hydrangeas. If you cut them too soon, they will still be holding too much water, and will shrivel up. If the blooms are white, or a bright, vibrant color, they are most likely too soon to cut and dry. The end of the hydrangea season can range from August -October, depending on your location and the variety of the flower. Here in the PNW, I usually harvest them in late August and early September.
You DO NOT want to cut hydrangeas for drying if they have any moisture on them. So think twice if there is morning dew on them, or if it just rained. The moisture will cause them to wilt and die before they dry.
The 3 Ways to Dry Hydrangeas
1. Drying Hydrangeas on the Bush
This method allows the hydrangea blooms to continue to grow more intense in color, and become more papery to the touch. But if left too long before harvesting, the blooms will eventually turn brown.
2. Drying Hydrangeas in a Vase or Container of Water
This method is a combination of drying naturally on the bush, and then indoors, in a vase with water. I had a hard time getting my head around this. But I learned that by putting the hydrangeas in water, their color is better preserved. When the heads on the flower start to take on a vintage look and have a papery feel to them, they are ready to be cut and brought inside. Be sure to strip off the leaves of the cut stems. This is because the leaves are huge water drinkers, and will steal hydration from the bloom.
Add the hydrangeas to a vase or container with a 2-3 inches of water. Make sure that all stems are completely submerged, and that they are not overcrowding one another. Good circulation is key for the flowers to dry properly. The goal is to let the water evaporate naturally. If it becomes stagnant, replace it with the same amount of water that was existing in the vase.
As the hydrangeas are drying, keep them out of direct sunlight to help decrease the fading. The process is complete when the heads are dry and stiff. You can now use them in your decor without water. When using this method to dry hydrangeas, the colors tend to be more vibrant and the flower is less fragile than drying without water.
3. Drying Hydrangeas Indoors Without Water
Cut the hydrangeas and bring them indoors to let dry. I tried this last year by tying and hanging them upside down in a cold, dry room. No water is needed if they are almost completely dried out on a bush, but haven’t turned brown yet.
According to Pound Ridge Nursery, using silica gel is the best way to dry fresh blooms or flowers that have just opened and have not had time to naturally dry on the plant. Flowers dried with silica gel will have more vibrant and saturated colors than those allowed to dry naturally. I didn’t include this method in my post because I have never tried it before, but wanted you to at least be aware of it.
My personal favorite method of drying hydrangeas is the #2 option. I’d love to hear what your favorite hydrangea variety is. If you have a personal preference, or have any other tips and tricks to share with me, please leave them in the comments below!
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