Hydrangea blooms are revered for their ethereal cloud-like shape. They are the perfect addition to your backyard garden and are available in an abundance of unique and eye-catching colors. But as the season comes to an end, you may be looking for a way to continue enjoying your beautiful hydrangeas.
Dried floral arrangements are the best way to make the most out of your stunning garden blooms. Fortunately, drying your hydrangea flowers is an option! Check out this step-by-step guide for all the best methods, tips, and tricks for properly drying and styling hydrangea flowers for charming home décor.
When Should You Dry Hydrangea Flowers?
When it comes to drying flowers, timing is everything. If you cut your hydrangea blooms too early, the flowers may have too much moisture and struggle to dry fast enough to maintain their shape and color. On the flip side, if you cut them too late they may brown and die.
Hydrangeas are usually ready for cutting at the end of their growing season, around August. To determine if it’s time, watch for larger petals changing color, tiny flowers beginning to open, and soft blooms developing a papery feel.
If your hydrangea plants haven’t yet bloomed, consider the outside factors, such as a lack of sunlight or improper soil conditions. Before you can dry your hydrangea petals, you need to show them proper care as they grow.
Tools You’ll Need to Dry Hydrangea Flowers
Once you’ve decided it’s time to cut and prune your hydrangeas and begin the drying process, there are a few tools you’ll need. Fortunately, the essentials are items that many gardeners likely already have in their tool shed!
- Gardening gloves
- Hydrangea plant
- Pruning shears
- Collection bucket or basket
- Clean water
- Jars or vases
- String or cord
- Flower press (or books)
- Parchment paper
How to Dry Hydrangea Flowers
Step 1: Cut Your Hydrangeas
Cutting your hydrangeas is an incredibly simple process! Start by cutting the stems at an angle using pruning shears, trimming at least six to eight inches below the blossoms. Also, you can strip the leaves off the stems if you choose to. Then, place the blooms in a collection basket to bring them inside and begin the drying process.
Remember to cut hydrangeas that are healthy and ready for cutting, otherwise they may not hold up when drying.
Step 2. Option 1: Place in Jars
Though drying flowers in water may sound contradictory, it’s actually a great way to slowly dry many flowers, hydrangeas included. In fact, it will help the blooms hold their color and shape, which is likely the goal for your floral display.
To dry hydrangeas in water, simply fill a jar or vase halfway with fresh, clean water and place the stems inside. Place two or three hydrangeas in the vessel, allowing them room to breathe. The water will evaporate and the hydrangeas should be fully dry in about two to three weeks. Also, keep the drying hydrangeas in a cool, dry, and dark location.
Step 2. Option 2: Hang Dry
You can air dry hydrangeas by hanging individual stems upside down using twine, string, or whatever type of cord you have laying around! It’s best to keep the flowers in a cool, dry, dark location, such as a closet. This is because the darkness helps preserve the flower color. This process can take around two weeks.
Remember that the flowers will become very stiff when air-dried, so it’s crucial to handle with care.
Step 2. Option 3: Pressing
Pressing is one of the most popular methods for preserving flowers because it is so easy to do and maintains the color and shape of the petals. That said, it requires a little patience and the process may take around three to four weeks.
Start by cutting the hydrangea blossoms in half to keep the round shape once you press the flowers. Otherwise, you can snip off individual flowers and organize them as you’d like once they are dry. You can opt for a flower press or simply use a few heavy books. Carefully place and arrange the flowers on parchment paper and press them in the flower press or between the books.
Pro Tip: Switch out the bottom sheet of parchment paper every few days since it absorbs moisture and dries out the flower. Leave the top sheet alone as it anchors the flowers.
Step 3: Arrange Your Dried Hydrangea Flowers!
Whether you dry hydrangea flowers in water, by hanging, or by pressing, there are a number of different ways to arrange them. But first, remove any brown flowers to maintain the beauty of the colorful dried hydrangeas.
Then, you can place the flowers in a vase, seasonal wreaths, organizing them alone or with other dried flowers for a beautiful dried floral arrangement. This is where your creative freedom comes in, so play around with the flowers and use them to decorate as you see fit!
Drying hydrangea flowers is one of the simplest ways to elongate the life of your florals, bringing the beauty of your garden indoors. Whether you’d like to place them in a vase or frame them in a gallery wall, there are a number of ways to add the color and warmth of these blossoms to your home.
Will you be drying the hydrangeas in your garden? Which method will you choose? Share in the comments below!