Drying hydrangeas and learning how to dry hydrangea varieties is easy to do. Hydrangeas make great dried flowers that are often used in dried flower arrangements. There are many methods of drying hydrangea, but the process of using silica gel seems to be the best method. Find facts and information on drying hydrangeas, followed by a step-by-step drying process. *Note that this method works great for drying other types of flowers as well as hydrangeas.
Important factors to consider before drying hydrangea
Anyone that grows and loves hydrangea may want to consider drying hydrangeas. Dried hydrangeas make excellent dried flowers. One factor is to make sure that you pick the hydrangea at the right time of the year. It is often tempting to cut hydrangea flowers at the height of their bloom time, with bright, fresh colors, but the fact is that recently opened flowers do not dry well in the open air.
Hydrangeas do best when they are allowed to dry a bit on the plant before actually picking them. You should experiment with cutting and harvesting them sometime between August and October.
Obtaining hydrangea flowers before drying
Flowers can be left on the plant, as some varieties will dry beautifully in shades of lavender, purple, green, pink, and burgundy while on the shrub. They can then be cut and placed into flower arrangements.
The best way to preserve natural hydrangea colors is to produce vivid colors, is to use silica gel to dry fresh blooms. While this process is very simple, it must be pursed over many weeks to get enough dried flower heads to make a flower arrangement of only hydrangea. They can be placed with other dried flowers and used as the main flower of your arrangement. *Remember: Do not use a microwave to dry flowers.
How to Dry Hydrangeas: Using Silica Gel (step-by-step process)
1. Use plastic Tupperware-type containers that are large enough to hold flowers without crushing them.
2. Cut fresh, recently opened hydrangeas from the shrub on the morning of the day they are to be put into silica gel.
3. Cut the stems very short so they will fit into your containers.
4. Place the head of the hydrangea flower into the container on a thin layer of silica gel. (You may need to experiment with the stem being either up or down to fit.)
5. Gradually sift the silica gel around the head, working it into the center and under all of the petals.
6. When the first flower is covered, continue to layer the whole flowers, or parts of the flower heads, with silica gel to within a 1/2” of container lid. Do not force them to fit into the container, or you will have flowers that are misformed and unnaturally shaped.
7. Secure the lid on the container and label it with the date.
8. After four days, pour the contents very slowly onto newspaper and pull out the hydrangeas. 9. Gently tap them clean by removing the silica gel carefully from the flower.
10. Place the flowers into plastic bags for storage until ready for use.
Additional Helpful tips on Drying Hydrangea
* Do not leave in for more than four days as they will become too brittle to handle unless your silica gel is two to three years old.
* To lengthen a stem that has been cut too short, simple tape a dry stem to hydrangea with florist tape, although this is not necessary if you are making wreaths.