Dried hydrangea blossoms can last and look beautiful for years. There are several ways you can dry hydrangeas.

Water drying hydrangea flowers helps them retain their color and last longer. It sounds counter intuitive, but water drying allows them to dry slowly and helps them hold their color and their shape. Even the stem seems sturdier when dried this way.

  1. First, cut each flower with a 12′-18′ stem attached. The length is for ease of handling, it’s not a science.
  2. Then remove all the leaves from the stems.
  3. Place the freshly cut flowers in a vase with fresh water. Make sure the stems are at least half covered with water.
  4. Move the vase to a cool spot out of direct sunlight. The flowers will still look attractive, so go ahead and display them.
  5. Don’t add more water as the water in the vase evaporates. It’s just there to allow your hydrangeas to dry naturally, rather than simply dry out. Once the water is totally evaporated, your hydrangeas should feel dry to the touch and ready to use.

Hanging Upside Down If you prefer, you can simply hang your hydrangea blossoms upside down by their stems. Because of their large size, this is best done with individual blossoms, rather than bunching them together. Air dried hydrangeas tend to be a bit more brittle than water dried blossoms, but still beautiful.

The biggest challenge in drying hydrangeas is knowing when to cut the blossoms. If you cut them in peak bloom, they have too much moisture and don’t dry quickly enough to retain their beauty. Too late, and they’ll just turn brown. Some years it’s impossible to find flowers that are ready to cut and don’t have any brown spots on them. If that’s the case, you can always remove the individual brown flowers either before or after drying.

The ideal time to cut hydrangea blossoms for drying is toward the end of the season; August – October when the larger petals are starting to fade or change color and the tiny flowers on top of the colorful petals are just beginning to open. If you can’t really see the tiny flowers, going by the changing shades of color is just fine. Don’t worry too much about being exact. Hydrangeas are very forgiving flowers. In fact, you can simply let them dry on the plant until the petals feel papery. You might not get the best color and they won’t last as long as the water dried method, but it is easy to do. Drying hydrangeas on the plant does not work well during a rainy season, as the flowers will turn brown before you get a chance to dry them.

While it’s not optimal, you can push the timing a bit and wait until your hydrangea blossoms have begun to pick up their autumn tones of burgandy, pink, green or blue. It’s not the ideal way to dry hydrangea flowers, but you’ll get interesting tones and they will keep for quite a while.