How to Dry Hydrangeas

dried hydrangeas in a glass jar
Photo: Sky Lark House

Here we are and it’s almost August!  Summer always seems to fly by.  The best part of summer, if you don’t mind me saying, is the flowers.  How I love the endless supply of flowers that are on parade.  Lilacs, peonies, daisies, clematis, dahlias and, of course, hydrangeas.  Their existence is fleeting so I like to try to make them last as long as possible.   Fortunately, hydrangeas can be easily preserved and dried so that you can use them in the future. 

Dried hydrangeas in a basket
Photo: Sky Lark House

So here is a friendly reminder, while they are still in bloom – go outside and cut yourself some hydrangaes.  Now is the time to dry them for future use.

There are a couple of ways to dry them.  The first is to dry them in a vase or to hang them upside down in a closet.  The second is to use silica gel to dry them. 

The first method is less expensive and is easy.  Frankly, this is the approach I use.  You can fill a vase with water and add your freshly cut hydrangeas but make sure they aren’t crowded.  Each flower needs adequate air circulation to dry.  

I have also cut hydrangaes and hung them upside down in my basement or a closet.  The dark areas help to preserve the color in the petals. 

Dried hydrangeas in a glass jar
Photo: Sky Lark House

With silica gel, which can be found at most craft stores, you simply cover the blooms with the silica.  Silica gel is actually more like a fine white sand. To preserve a flower, place the  bloom upside down into a container and gently cover with the silica gel.   When you use this process, the color remains much more vibrant in the petals of the flower. Generally, this drying process takes about 4 days.  Good news!  The silica gel can be reused for drying other flowers. 

Dried hydrangeas in a basket
Photo: Sky Lark House

The great thing about hydrangeas is that you can control, at least to some degree, the color you want them to be when they are dry.  If you cut the hydrangeas when they are blue they will dry to a purple blue color.  If you wait until they are green, well then you get dried green hydrangeas.  Any variety of hydrangea can be dried.  

My favorite varieties include:

– Pee Gee

– Niko Blue

– Limelight

– Snowball

– Annabelle

Dried hydrangeas in a basket
Photo: Sky Lark House

Here are some additional tips for drying hydrangeas.  First, cut them in the early morning when the temperatures are still cool.  Second, make sure you are harvesting them at the right time. The flower head should be fully in bloom and not have too many petals that have died back.  Third, cut the stems as long as possible.  The longer the stems, the better off you are when using your dried hydrangeas for display.  Fourth, after the flowers are dry, use some hair spray to secure the petals in place.  The hair spray will help to ensure petals aren’t falling off every time the flower head gets bumped. I find that good old aqua-net hair spray works wonders. 

Dried hydrangeas in a small basket
Photo: Sky Lark House

Thank you for stopping by the blog today.  I hope you found some inspiration!

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