Hydrangeas enchant us in the summer with their magnificent balls of flowers. To enjoy them for a long time, you can simply dry the beauties. We present various methods.

How to dry hydrangeas?

There are four proven methods when you want to dry hydrangeas. The easiest is to let the hydrangeas dry in a vase with a little water. If you place them in a mixture of water and glycerin (2:1 ratio) instead of pure water, the flowers will keep their color and remain supple. A similarly beautiful result is obtained if you let the flowers dry in a container with silica gel. But the classic drying technique of hanging the inflorescences upside down in an airy, dark place also works for hydrangeas.

From white to pink to blue: in July and August, the flowers of hydrangeas (Hydrangea) shine in the most beautiful colors. Especially farmer’s hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) with their lush, ball-shaped inflorescences are a pretty eye-catcher in the garden. By selectively drying them, you can preserve their fragile beauty into the fall and winter months. There are many techniques for drying hydrangeas. We present four proven methods. The dried inflorescences not only cut a good figure individually in the vase but can also be wonderfully incorporated into bouquets and arrangements.

How to cut hydrangea flowers for drying?

When cutting hydrangeas, it is important that you pay attention to the right time. The flowers should have already reached the peak of their blooming period. Then they show a particularly strong coloring. To make them last longer, they should also have a certain firmness. If possible, cut the flowers in the morning on a dry day, as soon as the dew has evaporated. A stem length of 15 to 20 inches is usually optimal. Be careful with farmer’s hydrangeas: don’t put the pruning shears too low down, or you may cut off a fresh shoot with buds for next year. This danger does not exist with panicle hydrangeas and snowball hydrangeas, as they only form their flowers on the newly grown wood in the spring.

  • Tip 1: Drying hydrangeas in the vase

It is very easy to dry hydrangeas in a vase with a little water. Place the cut hydrangea stems in a container filled with about 1 inch of water and place it in an airy, dark place. Gradually, the water will evaporate, and the hydrangeas will begin to dry. Wait until the flowers feel like parchment and appear slightly wrinkled. This type of drying succeeds without much effort within just under a week. Even though the hydrangeas quickly lose their color in the process, they can be used excellently as a decorative element afterwards.

  • Tip 2: Drying hydrangeas hanging upside down

By hanging them upside down, you prevent the flowers from bending or hanging limply due to gravity. If you want to air dry hydrangeas upside down, choose flowers that are already slightly dried. As soon as they feel papery, cut them off. Then remove the leaves, leaving only the stems and flowers. The ideal place to dry them is a boiler room or attic that is dry, airy and dark. Stretch a string and secure each inflorescence with a clothespin. As soon as the blossoms crackle with dryness, you can remove them. By the way, this is also a great way to dry roses.

  • Tip 3: Preserve hydrangeas with glycerine

To preserve the color and smooth texture of the flowers, it is recommended to use glycerin (available in pharmacies or drugstores). To do this, make a solution of two parts water and one part glycerin, such as 1 cup and half of water and ½ cup of glycerin. Cut the stems of the hydrangeas at an angle and place them in the solution. The hydrangeas will absorb the glycerin water, transport it to the flowers, and store it in the cells there. While the water evaporates in a few days, the glycerin remains and preserves the flowers. The beauty is that the flowers still feel soft and supple after the process and the color is very well preserved – for up to two years.

  • Tip 4: Drying hydrangeas with silica gel

You can also preserve the bright colors of hydrangeas by drying them with silica gel (silica gel). In addition to the silica gel in powder form (available at garden centers, craft stores or drugstores), you will need an airtight container that can hold one flower at a time. Lightly cover the bottom of the container with silica gel, hold one flower ball inverted into the container and carefully fill it with more powder. Once the flower is completely covered, close the container. After three to five days the hydrangea is preserved, and you can empty the container. You can use the silica gel several times. A cheaper alternative is to use cat litter or washing powder. Make sure the grains are very fine and do not clump.