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The Simple Way to Dry Hydrangea Flowers and Keep Their Color

Hydrangeas are a beautiful shrub with an old-fashioned appeal, yet they fit into the modern garden seamlessly. Possibly the best thing about hydrangeas is you can enjoy your lovely blooms indefinitely. Here’s how to dry hydrangeas so they keep their color.

How to dry hydrangea flowers and retain their color

With so many varieties, colors, and even bloom shapes, you’d easily be able to find a hydrangea that suits your garden (as long as you are lucky enough to have the right climate, of course!). You can enjoy them both on and off the plant too! This is the simple method that I use to dry hydrangea flowers and keep their hue.

Dried Hydrangea Colors

Of course, you won’t retain the same vivid color that you have on the plant while it’s growing in the garden. The color that you can achieve on a dried hydrangea is more of a muted set of greens, grays, blues, pinks, and purples that looks beautiful when displayed together.

The other thing to note is that the climate and temperature that the hydrangea shrub is growing in will affect how much color is retained in the dried flower. It’s not a perfect system, but what is when we’re talking about the climate and weather? Ideally, you are looking for a healthy plant that has been grown in appropriate conditions. You can read more about that in the Essential Guide to Hydrangeas.

Did you know you can easily change your hydrangea’s blooms from pink to blue (or vice versa)? Here’s how you can make your hydrangea change color.

When to Cut Hydrangeas for Drying

Mother nature and plant care aside, timing when you cut the blooms is the most important factor that you can control. If you leave the hydrangea heads to dry on the shrub they can lose all of their color. If you cut the blooms too early they can wilt (as opposed to dry with the petals retaining their shape).

How to dry hydrangea flowers to keep color

In order to retain the most color, you will need to let flowers partially dry on the shrub first. Depending on when your plant blooms, you should start checking on the flowers mid-way through the bloom time. The color will be fading but they will still hold most of their shape, and they will start to take on a papery feel. Try cutting hydrangea blooms when there is still some color remaining to get a dried flower with color that lasts.

How to preserve hydrangea flowers

How to Dry Hydrangea Flowers

Remove all of the leaves from the stem (or at least the part of the stem that will be submerged) and put the flowers in a vase with an inch or two of water. Place the vase in a cool area, away from direct sunlight. The water in the vase will help to slow the drying process; the bloom will preserve better with a slower transition. Once the water is gone, they will be completely dried and will last indefinitely.

The easy way to dry hydrangea flowers to keep color: place stems in a jar of water

You can touch the preserved hydrangea heads to see how dry they are. They should feel papery.

A dried hydrangea flower with its color preserved

Dry hydrangea flowers are very delicate, so it is often better to create your craft or dried flower arrangement before they dry. That’s precisely what I did with this hydrangea wreath. I made the wreath with partially dried blooms and allowed the drying process to finish on the front door! See how to make the wreath here.

Dried Hydrangea Wreath DIY

More Posts About Hydrangeas

Comments

  1. How do you use gel to dry Hydranges? Does all water have to be observed from water that stems are the n? Thank you for you helpfulness. I have mine in a lot of water some added

    Reply
  2. So happy I came across you here! Been wanting to make a Hydrangea wreath for eons. Now my annabelles are mature enough loaded, my new blue Hydrangea is in bloom and my new limelight is starting. I’m so excited to try your method. Beats expensive silica beads

    Reply
  3. What the heck is eating my hydrangea leaves … I am in Massachusetts and the leaves are appearing with small rusty holes in them. I could also need some help with a pesticides, please.
    Thank you friends… Maysie

    Reply
  4. I followed this exactly and it did not work. Mine shriveled up at about two weeks. They also turned brown in spots.

    Reply
  5. Do you have to wait for all the water to be gone before taking the hydrangeas out? Mine feel dry like paper and sound like tissue paper being crumpled but I still have 1/2” of water in vase. Should I leave it?

    Reply

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