How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

Anyone else a hydrangea fanatic?

I get it! Hydrangeas are so abundant in the garden, and when cut and brought indoors, they sure make a presence!

There’s one other way though that will have your hydrangeas lasting year around… and that is to dry them. However, there is a trick to drying so you can achieve wilt-free blooms.

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I actually came across this technique by accident.

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

Vivienne from The V Spot shared her version of how she dries hydrangeas with a water technique.

After I read her post, I burst out laughing. See, I’d have mine in water and promptly forget about them, later realizing how fantastic they still looked even though all the water was LONG gone!

Leave it to Vivienne to explain why! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m glad she explained it, because now we ALL can have beautiful hydrangeas within our reach any time of year!

How to dry hydrangeas to achieve wilt-free petals

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What you’ll need

water containers

garden clippers

something pretty to hide the buckets such as:

rustic crates

metal olive bucket

wicker baskets


How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

1. Pick hydrangeas in the fall.

Leave the blooms intact on the bush until the blooms start to go slightly crispy and some even brown. You want most of the moisture out of the petals.. this is key.

Tip: if you pick your hydrangeas in summer, they’re generally one color. Wait till fall and you end up with an amazing rainbow of soft hues. The above yield was from one bush!

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms. Hide the water buckets inside a pretty basket or crate.

2. Cut the stems as long as you can so you have more variation with arranging them later.

3. Place the stems in water in a shady spot indoors, then leave them be until the water dries up.

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms. Hide the water buckets inside a pretty basket or crate.

4. Hide the water buckets inside a crate or basket so they look decorative indoors while drying.

I mean… isn’t that just gorgeous?!

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

I love how the sun came out right at this time, casting a beautiful late afternoon highlight.

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

Aren’t all those fall hues amazing?

How to dry hydrangeas for wilt-free petals! Includes other ideas on what to make and how to prune for the most blooms.

5. If you can, leave the hydrangeas in the very container they dried in as-is, as the petals will slightly droop into that given position.

They can be moved, clipped and located elsewhere, however they become very brittle once dry, so the less movement the better.

Free flowers to play with for the rest of the year? – priceless. Literally!

How to prune hydrangeas to achieve the most blooms

Now… how to get all those blooms in the first place?

Here’s how I prune my hydrangeas to get the most blooms

Now, what to do with them? Here’s a few projects I’ve done with mine….

Dried hydrangea dresser outdoors

Make this 5-minute hydrangea wreath!

Hydrangea in baskets mantel

Hydrangeas in buckets on a ladder stand

Purple and lime hydrangeas in a reclaimed wood window box on mantel

Hydrangea mantel all in galvanized buckets

Make this hydrangea bonsai

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Are you also a hydrangea fanatic? Any tips of your own?

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Categories: Fall, Gardening, Summer
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  1. I had no idea! I am going to try and plant some for next year. It is hard to grow these here…so dry!! But I will give it a go. They are gorgeous!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  2. I just was drying some myself, but used a different method. I will try yours~mine was to strip the leaves off of the long stems and then band them with a rubber band and hang them upside down until they are very dry…maybe I will cut some more today! Yours look so pretty, and I love that double bottomed basket too.

  3. Are you leaving them out on your porch to dry? Or did you bring them in after your photo shoot? We have two hydrangea bushes planted by the previous owner and I am in heaven as they are one of my favorite flowers!!
    So if I do this right then we will have gorgeous hydrangea blossoms all winter as well as lavender! (another favorite!!)

    Thank you so very much for this tip!!

  4. Well, now that explains why mine turned out right! I had no idea that I was even drying mine.LOL! I cut them, put them inside a pretty green olive oil bottle with some water and a couple days later, I went to change the water and noticed that they were dry, but the color was still a pretty shade of green and rose! I had never cut my Hydrangeas until this year after I seen yours & Miss Mustard Seeds. I wish I could get mine to turn blue, but I must need to dump a WHOLE bag of acidic fertilizer to get mine that way. :^/

  5. Thank you sooo much! I’ve been searching since early september for a way to dry hydrangeas ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I live in Norway, above the artic circle so I have to wait till next year…

    Sissel

  6. Donna I dry mine every year. Where I live way down south you can’t leave them on the plant that long. It was so hot here that they dried and turned brown on the plant very quickly. I even watered every other day. I always put them in water in a room with a fan on and let them soak up the water. They do hold their color if
    you let them soak up that water. Yours are beautiful, mine didn’t look that good this year with all the hot weather we got. I can’t wait to see what out of the ordinary thing you put them in.

  7. I love love love this post Ms FJI Donna! Hydrangeas are like my fav flowers in the living room too………always such great posts ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’m glad to read that others can’t see the critter either. I thought it was just me. I love Hydrangeas and need to find some that will grow in Northern AZ! These photos are just beautiful!

  9. Wish I could grow these but it gets too cold here and they die everytime I plant them….maybe it would be worth doing for some of these beauties! I sent the tip on drying to a friend who does share some…thanks.

  10. I just posted the last of my roses on my blog this weekend now guess I will have to go and look at the remaining flowers on my hydrangea bush (it was loaded) and see what I can do with them. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Thanks for the drying tips, I always just bring them in and let them dry, now I will put them in water and let them dry instead of die! I don’t have near as many as you, but I bought 4 bushes this summer (I love them) so next year I should have plenty! can’t wait to see what you do with them!

  12. Ha ! I always bring a critter in when I bring in fresh flowers from the garden. And most times, the next morning there will be a filament of a spider web from the bouquet to the lamp. LOL…..My hydrangeas turned some weird colors this year but very pretty. The ordered florist hydrangeas from the wedding did not dry pretty at all. I probably should have left them in the water longer. xo

  13. You are so right on with this method for drying hydrangeas. I used it this past September and October with great success & they still look great. I have 3 Blushing Brides hydrangeas and the colors last year were amazing. It is a great treat to continue to enjoy through the winter. My plan this year is to decorate my Christmas tree with the dried flowers.

  14. So pretty. I’ve never dried hydrangeas but I may give it a try this year. My step-mom made the prettiest basket with little twinkle lights entwined through dried hydrangeas. I want to try that project myself.

  15. Just love the flowers. I have dried hydrangeas many ways. Has anyone tried putting
    hydrangeas in a brown grocery bag, putting them in the trunk of your car, forget them. Just check from time to time. Soon you will have the flowers and color that will make a beautiful arrangement. Lynda at Ocean Isle Beach.

  16. Well, I tried this method and it did not work. Ended up ruining some beautiful blooms. So, I will go back to the tried and true hanging upside down.

  17. Wow, I love hydrangeas, but they don’t grow very well in our area – too cold in the winter I would guess. I might try planting next spring, however, I’m always up for a new challenge:)

    One question, when you dry them in water, do you just add water at the start or do you continue to add a little water as they dry? I hop this isn’t a stupid question:/

  18. Absolutely Beautiful!!!! My hydrangeas are my passion!!! When my hydrangeas are dry I spray them with hair spray or a clear spray varnish–making sure to turn the stem upside down to get into the blossom with the spray–esp. if you have a large blossom–the color will remain for at least a year or more–longer to just admire and enjoy them!! Thank you for your post on HYDRANGEAS!!