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How to Water Dry Hydrangea Flowers

Did you know that it is very easy to water dry hydrangea flowers? We all know how wonderful the blooms are as cut flowers but drying them makes them even more long-lasting!

One of my favorite garden flowers is the hydrangea.  My bushes are lovely this year and also very surprising.

My soil has turned acidic from the mulch that broke down over the last year. What were peachy colored hydrangeas last year are now bright blue!

Hydrangea color change is something that always surprises gardeners and there are a few ways to get that color to change to one you prefer. Today, we’ll learn how to prolong the beautiful blooms with water drying.

How to dry hydrangea flowersHydrangea Flowers are Easy to Dry

I also love dried flowers and hydrangeas make great ones.  Hydrangeas are one of those flowers that almost dry themselves. Once dry, they can last and look beautiful for years. Water drying hydrangea flowers helps them retain their color and last longer. Here is how to dry them:

  • Find a hydrangea bush that you like and cut some flowers that have opened up well.  (best time is before August so you don’t cut off next years buds.)
  • Timing is important.  Do not choose blooms that are at their peak…they have too much moisture in them.  If you wait too long, they will turn brown.
  • Strip off the leaves from the stems
  • Put the hydrangeas in water.  (necessary step.  Drying without first putting them in water does not work well.) Be sure the stems are at least 1/2 covered in water.
  • Move the vase to a cool spot, out of the direct sunlight.  Go ahead and enjoy them for a while, since they will look attractive.
  • Do not add water as it disappears.  The only purpose of the water is to allow the hydrangeas to dry naturally.
  • One the water is totally evaporated, the hydrangeas should feel dry to the touch.

Another way to dry hydrangeas is to hang them upside down.  Don’t tie them together. Because of their size, they are best dried individually.  Note that air dried hydrangeas are more brittle than water dried ones.

The color on dried hydrangeas will last about a year and then it will start to fade.

dried hydrangeasThis image of dried hydrangeas is shared from Savvy Southern Style.   Aren’t they lovely?

Another use of the hydrangea flowers is to use them for a wreath.  I did one for my front door and it came out beautifully.  See the tutorial here.

Have you ever tried to dry flowers? What were your results?  If this is something you like to do, be sure to check out my post on drying flowers with drying flowers with Borax.

How to dry hydrangeas by the water method.

The dried flowers of hydrangeas also produce seeds which will make new plants.  I have written a comprehensive guide to propagating hydrangeas, which shows photos of cuttings, tip rooting, air layering, growing from seed and division of hydrangeas.

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Evelyn Ireland

Friday 31st of May 2019

Can fresh hydrangea be used in fresh flower floral foam arrangements? I know they are heavy drinkers and and wonder if the foam would supply adequate water.


Friday 31st of May 2019

I haven't tried this, but my experience with water drying is that the flowers kept their color as the water dried out. Whether they would use up all the foam moisture, I am not sure. Perhaps another reader may be able to answer this.

Judy Gaume

Friday 6th of April 2018

lovely hydrangeas ,my favorite.can't wait to try water drying.

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