The ideal time to cut hydrangea blossoms for drying is toward the end of the season, August through 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 on your hydrangea variety, 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 below, but it sure is easy to do. The only time drying hydrangeas on the plant is a bad idea is during a rainy season. The flowers will turn brown before you get a chance to dry them.
I’ve had the best, longest lasting results drying hydrangeas by using the water drying method. It sounds counter intuitive, but allowing the hydrangea flowers to dessicate slowly helps them hold their color and their shape. Even the stem seems sturdier when dried this way.
First, cut each flower with a 12 – 18″ stem attached. The length is for ease of handling, it’s not a science.
Then, remove all the leaves from the stems.
Move the vase to a cool spot, out of direct sunlight. The flowers will still look attractive, so go ahead and display them.
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.
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