Drying hydrangeas

A short blog post to show you how easy it is to dry hydrangeas.

These beautiful flowers look as lovely indoors, dried, as much as they do in the garden. Personally I do not like the blousy brightly coloured varieties, the sky blues and bright pinks, but there are plenty of gentle, antique-coloured hydrangeas. Of course, it’s up to you what you grow, but my favourites are the light green of Little Lime, the rich russet-maroon of Ruby Tuesday and I’ve picked up a plant of Vanille-Fraise this year, which should start properly flowering next summer (this is a panicle – pointed – variety that’s mainly white with strawberry coloured edges) .

There are also varietal types to describe the flower and leaf patterns, such as lace cap or panicle. Lace caps do not look as great as the others dried, because by their nature not all the flowers open, but they’re still cute.

It’s perfect to pick and dry hydrangeas at this time of year – late autumn/early winter (I’m writing this in November).

Uses of dried hydrangeas

Dried hydrangeas are great ornamentals in the home. I also use them in my festive wreaths.

Dried hydrangeas will look good for at least twelve months, so perfect for your replacements in a year’s time!

Drying in water

  • This sounds counter-intuitive but does work so easily!
  • Pick your flower heads with a fairly long stem
  • Remove all leaves
  • Trim a bunch of flower heads to the same stem length
  • Place in a vase and fill with water
  • After about 10-12 days when the water has evaporated (do not top up) the flower heads should be dried and ready

Drying without water

  • Pick your flower heads with a fairly long stem
  • Remove all leaves
  • For each flower head cut a circle of baking paper or printer paper roughly to the same diameter as the flower head
  • Cut a small hole in the centre and feed through the stem
  • The paper circle stops the flowerhead from sagging, keeping it in it’s round form
  • Place a few together in a vase and leave to dry
  • Do not leave somewhere too hot or they may brown too much, it’s best they dry slowly.

A note about hang drying

You can also dry them by hanging them upside down, but frankly I’ve had less success with this and often even when it’s worked the flower heads look misshapen, however you may have better luck.

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