Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals!

Wish hydrangea cuttings could last forever? They can! Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals is easy to do. Here's how!

Wish hydrangea cuttings could last forever? They can! Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals is easy to do. Here’s how!

Hydrangeas are so beautiful! And they make such incredible flower arranging indoors because the hydrangea petals are so abundant!

However fresh cut hydrangeas is only one way to display them. Have you tried drying hydrangeas yet?

Dried hydrangeas will last all year long! However I have a few special tips that making drying hydrangeas even more beautiful, and completely wilt-free! Here’s how I do it!

Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals!

 

 

Wish hydrangea cuttings could last forever? They can! Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals is easy to do. Here's how!

How to dry hydrangeas

I actually came across this technique by accident.

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! I’d cut my hydrangeas, then have them sitting in water, then promptly forgetting about them! Later, I realized how fantastic they still looked even though all the water was LONG gone!

But there’s a reason for this and it’s exactly HOW to dry hydrangeas…

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

Supplies you’ll need:

 

water containers – anything will do

garden clippers

Something pretty to hide the water containers inside, such as:

rustic crates

metal olive bucket

wicker baskets


Wish hydrangea cuttings could last forever? They can! Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals is easy to do. Here's how!

When is the best time to pick hydrangeas for drying?

 

1. Pick hydrangeas in your version of late summer or early fall. (August, September or October for most)

Fall is the best time to cut hydrangeas you wish to dry because this is when they turn slightly crispy.

Leave the hydrangea blooms intact on the bush until the hydrangea petals and leaves start to turn slightly crunchy 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 such as lavender, pink, yellow, teal and more!

The above yield was from one bush that started out as purple!

Wish hydrangea cuttings could last forever? They can! Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals is easy to do. Here's how!

How to cut and place stems

 

2. With garden clippers or shears, cut the stems on an angle, and as long as you can so you have more variation with your dried flower arranging later.

3. Place the stems in vases or containers of several inches of water, placed in a shady spot indoors. The water is the secret to wilt-free petals!

Out of direct sunlight is best so the petals don’t fade.

Wish hydrangea cuttings could last forever? They can! Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals is easy to do. Here's how!

Hiding the water buckets

 

4. Hide the water buckets inside rustic crates or vintage wicker baskets so they look decorative indoors while drying.

I mean… isn’t that just gorgeous?!


 

Secret to arranging hydrangeas (show using a vintage crate)

Bounce the flower arrangement

 

5. Arrange the hydrangea blossoms so some are higher, lower, and some hanging more over the edge. In other words, in a more random way vs. in a perfectly round ball shape. Random is much more interesting!

And how you position is important, because this is the exact positioning the dried hydrangeas will stay. As the hydrangea petals dry, the slightly droop, maintaining the position you arranged them in. It’s quite fascinating!

Note: This type of drying hydrangeas is best if you wish to leave the dried flowers as-is. If you wish to use the dried hydrangeas in other flower arrangements, I recommend to hang the cut stems up so the stems remain straight.

Try hanging some upright and others upside down and see which you prefer.

Drying time

 

I’ve found the ultimate drying time is when the water in the containers disappears, possibly 2 weeks or so.

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

And the outcome are spectacular dried hydrangeas that dry completely wilt-free, thanks to standing in water!

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.

Once dry, don’t move

 

Once dried, the petals will become very brittle, so be sure to move them where and how you wish before complete drying has set in.

Dried fall hydrangea wreath

Hydrangea flower wreath HERE

How to set the flowers

 

Some spray with hairspray to set the hydrangea blooms in place. I personally never have though.

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

How to prune hydrangeas to achieve the most blooms

How to prune hydrangeas to get 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

Hydrangea filled rustic DIY Flower Farm crate, with Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

DIY crate with hydrangea flowers HERE

Can you dry hydrangeas without water?

 

Yes. I have! However the key is to allow the petals to turn crispy on the hydrangea bush first though. Otherwise, when the moisture leaves the petals, they will wilt.

 

Hydrangeas on a ladder HERE

Dried hydrangea projects to make

 

Dry hydrangea flowers make the best home decor indoors! And now that you have so many, are you wondering what to do with them?

Here’s a few (lots of) projects I’ve made with mine! Have a fav in the bunch?

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

Visit all hydrangea projects and posts HERE

.Will you also be drying hydrangeas from your garden? Any special tips that work best for you?

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Categories: Fall, Gardening, Summer
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43 thoughts on “Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals!

  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 πŸ˜‰
    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 πŸ™‚

  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!!

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