Monday, August 19, 2013

Hydrangea Drying

The limelight hedge on the side of my house
The secret to my hydrangea drying success came through trial and error over the past 7 years. I found that cutting flowers during the early blooming stages led to shock and browning whereas older, more faded blooms would dry perfectly.

Below is a list of hydrangea dos & don’ts:

~ Don't cut your "brand new" blooms early when they are bright and colorful if you plan on drying them.  In most cases (but not all) they won't survive.

~ Do cut your blooms when they are faded but before they brown. Arrange them in a container of water just as you would with any flowers.  Wait until they are crispy feeling before you pull them out of the water.

~ White hydrangeas don't do as well as colors.  I have found that the limelight variety (cone-shaped) do the best.  In this case, wait for them to change with the season. After the limelight variety is white, they turn pink and then start turning red.  This is when you should cut them, just before they brown.  In this case, they may have already dried and may no longer need water.

~ Remove the dried hydrangeas from the water and begin creating a dried arrangement. As seasons pass, I am continuously drying and adding to my arrangement.

~ A great way to start if you are unsure how to make an arrangement yourself is to create a bouquet of flowers in your hand.  Try to balance the colors by using symmetry, although it’s not necessary.  Take a rubber band and wrap it around the stems tightly and place it in the container of choice.

~ Use dry floral foam if you can't get your flowers to hold the position you desire or use a flower frog, typically a metal cage that sits at the bottom of the container.

~ Add flowers randomly or seasonally to enhance the size and shape of your arrangement.  You will be surprise how huge it can grow over the years!

~ If you become an expert "hydrangea dryer” you may have a business on your hands.  People are always looking for a real dried arrangement, rather than artificial plastic ones.

~ Rearrange your dried bouquet and switch the containers as your decor changes.

~ Replenish the beauty of your arrangement year after year.  Replace any that may look dingy over time by pulling the stem out and replacing it.

~ Keep inexpensive containers from thrift shops or antique stores on a shelf.  You can always make an arrangement as a hostess gift.  The most rewarding part for me is being able to share my love of fresh and dried hydrangeas, with good friends and family all season long.

Good luck and let me know how you did by commenting on this blog.  Send me pictures of your arrangements and I will post them on my site with your name (if you chose to use your name).


Freshly cut, faded hydrangea, ready for arranging!
Simply place them in your favorite container
Float them in a fish bowl for some aquatic foliage
and as a conversation piece.

A variety in my garden

On my dressing room vanity

In large pots on my patio

On the patio table

In a "little blue box"


On my nightstand
In the upstairs hallway


Spray painted gold in my dining room

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