Hydrangeas enchant all summer long with their huge flower heads in white, green, pink, purple, violet or blue. Depending on the variety, the first buds open for the first time in June. The last ones don’t bloom until the end of September. Her flowering period can easily be extended by what is known as deadheading. All flower heads are simply cut off as soon as they reach their highest flowering stage and gradually begin to wither. After that, of course, they are not disposed of. You can use these cut flowers in all sorts of summery arrangements. You can also dry your hydrangeas and preserve their beauty for many years. Today we share with you the best methods that perfectly preserve both the shape and the colors.
Would you like to dry the hydrangeas that are blooming in your garden?
Cut flowers at the right time
If you’ve ever seen a hydrangea left in the wild that isn’t trimmed regularly, you’ve probably noticed that the old flowers simply dry on the bush. However, since they are constantly exposed to external influences, the naturally dried flowers are not particularly aesthetic.
To properly dry hydrangeas, you need to both mimic and enhance this natural process. But first you have to wait for the perfect moment to cut the flowers.
Check the blossoms of your hydrangea bush daily from late summer. As they gradually lose internal moisture, their colors become more saturated and the petals feel like tissue paper between your fingertips. The entire flower head should feel stiff and taut. Now is the perfect time to cut it off. Do this at midday or in the afternoon, when the morning dew has completely evaporated.
Only pick flowers that are in bloom
Hydrangeas dry in water
Soaking flowers in water to dry them may seem counterintuitive. However, this prevents the hydrangeas from drying out like on a bush. With this method, they keep their beautiful intense colors and don’t develop ugly brown spots.
First prepare the freshly cut flowers. Remove all leaves and cut the stem at a 45 degree angle. The stem should not be longer than 35-40 cm. Fill a vase about 5 cm with lukewarm water and place your cut flowers in it.
Now place the vase in a dry room with good air circulation and do not expose the flowers to direct sunlight. UV rays can fade their colors. White hydrangeas, on the other hand, take on a yellow tint.
If the water evaporates before the buds are completely dry, simply top up. Do this until your hydrangeas dry. This can take anywhere from two to four weeks, so arm yourself with patience.
This method, while slow, is effective and virtually free. You can place several vases in your home and admire the beauty of the flowers as they gradually dry.
If the hydrangeas are in water, they will dry gradually and beautifully
Don’t forget to dust off your dried flowers from time to time
Drying hydrangeas with glycerin
In many vintage decor styles, dried flowers with a beige or brown hue are preferred to perfectly preserved blooms that look almost freshly cut. They have a beautiful rustic aesthetic that is almost reminiscent of a patina or sepia print. This second method for drying hydrangeas achieves exactly that.
First, prepare your freshly picked buds in the same way as before – cut the stem at an angle and remove the leaves. Dip the stems in a solution of 1 part vegetable glycerin and 2 parts hot water.
Place the vase in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Leave the buds to dry like this for 2-3 weeks, refilling with the same solution as needed. In the end, the petals of your hydrangea will be dry to the touch, but still slightly pliable and less brittle.
Glycerin gradually replaces the water in the petals
At the same time, it gives them a rusty brown patina
Hydrangeas dry with silica gel
One of the most popular, quickest, but also most expensive methods of drying hydrangeas is using silica gel, also known as silica gel. It is highly hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water, and is widely used in industry as an adsorption material and desiccant.
Silica gel is also a favorite of professional florists who often need to dry large quantities of flowers for their arrangements. It is mostly reactivatable several times and therefore reusable, so you can dry many hydrangeas with a single pack.
For this method, you will first need a storage box with a lid that is larger than your hydrangea flower. Now cover the floor evenly with an approx. 3 cm thick layer of silica gel. Place the flower inside and cover it completely with more silica gel. Close the box with the lid and leave in a dry and dark place for about a week.
After 7 days, take out the hydrangea flowers and brush off the remaining silica gel with a brush.
Silica gel is an extremely effective desiccant for all types of flowers
Hydrangeas don’t dry very quickly due to their size, but they do dry nicely. Their rich colors will remain so you can enjoy them for years to come. We hope that our methods and tips will be helpful to you.
How do you arrange your dried hydrangeas in your home?