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!
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
Something pretty to hide the water containers inside, such as:
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!
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.
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.
I’ve found the ultimate drying time is when the water in the containers disappears, possibly 2 weeks or so.
And the outcome are spectacular dried hydrangeas that dry completely wilt-free, thanks to standing in water!
I love how the sun came out right at this time, casting a beautiful late afternoon highlight.
Aren’t all those fall hues amazing?
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.
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 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
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.
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!
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
Visit all hydrangea projects and posts HERE
.Will you also be drying hydrangeas from your garden? Any special tips that work best for you?
43 thoughts on “Drying hydrangeas with wilt-free petals!”
So pretty! I can’t see the little critter, though!
Oh I see him, he won’t eat much 🙂 I love hydrangeas, I really need to plant some. I wonder how long they take to grow and flower? Another great post.
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!
I love hydrangeas 🙂 I’m out though 🙁 Used them all on my wreath!
mine isn’t large enough yet. only produced two blooms this year. maybe next year. 🙂
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.
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!!
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. :^/
I love hydrangeas in all their transformations! If I could only keep the deer from eating them!
#7 Peggy, if warm enough, I’ll leave them on the porch. But with recent damp weather, bringing them inside seemed to be the best thing to do. It also keeps them from fading.
Love the hydrangeas.
The critter is cute, too.
Outside – otherwise the cats would tear up the flowers trying to get him!
I love dried hydrangeas and have bouquets all over the house. Yours are a beautiful colour!
Beautiful! I have one big bush that has produced a lot of flowers this year. They are all dried and wonderful…xo Diana
What a wonderful idea, this would create beautiful photos year round for photographs I use in my shop and on my blog. No kidding, they are so colorful!
Must. Plant. Hydrangeas.
Thank you sooo much! I’ve been searching since early september for a way to dry hydrangeas 😉
I live in Norway, above the artic circle so I have to wait till next year…
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.
I love love love this post Ms FJI Donna! Hydrangeas are like my fav flowers in the living room too………always such great posts 🙂
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!
I love hydrangeas. I just did two posts using dried hydrangeas. I have too many ideas for your challenge. I have to narrow it down.