How To Dry Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are probably one of my favourite flowers & a few years ago I discovered the joy of drying them to have their beauty around all year rather than just the short couple of months they are available in florists or in the garden.

Now is the best time to go outside & chop away at any bushes considering they are starting to dry naturally & on their way out. Cutting them too soon in the season can lead to them not drying properly so have a read of my best ways to dry them out & go find yourself the biggest ones possible (they shrink quite a bit during the drying process…). The ideal time is mid August to October & you’ll be able to see as the petals have started turning colour & almost look ‘vintage’ & faded.

We have two big hydrangea bushes in our garden which this Summer we moved from a planter (which they had quite literally taken over…) to create a country garden bedding section. They don’t typically like being moved & I wasn’t expecting them to flower at all this year until they’d settled in their new home but they did, although the heads were quite small.

So you’ve got the cut heads, so how do you go about drying them? Well, I’ve used two methods, both of which has worked well.

Method 1:

This is what I’ve done most recently as it’s easier to bulk dry. Method 1 basically involves tying stems with string in small clusters then hanging them upside down for a few weeks somewhere dark.

  1. Cut your hydrangeas off the bush leaving a good amount of stem to fill your vase
  2. Strip off any leaves, just leaving the head of the hydrangea
  3. Put your hydrangeas in to 3’s or 4’s depending on the size of the head, it’s important to not overcrowd to allow the heads to have good air circulation
  4. Using string, tie the stems together leaving string to hang
  5. Hang them so the heads are hanging towards the floor in a cool, dark place for about 2-3 weeks until dried

Method 2:

Probably a more popular route is to let them dry out in water.

  1. Cut your hydrangeas off the bush leaving a good amount of stem to fill your vase
  2. Strip off any leaves, just leaving the head of the hydrangea
  3. Place hydrangeas in to a small amount of water in a vase, allowing the stems to be submerged but only 1 or 2cm
  4. Keep the vase out of direct sunlight in a cool spot & simply leave them for a few weeks until all the water has evaporated & the heads have dried out – do not add any more water!

One thing to note is that the darker the hydrangea, the better they will dry & white ones unfortunately won’t ever dry out without shrivelling up so it may be worth going down the artificial route if you’d like white ones.

Happy hydrangea drying!



  1. Sacha
    October 11, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    I am trying this for the first time! ?

  2. Gemma
    October 15, 2017 / 10:22 pm

    Wish it was tomorrow so I can go out and cut my hydrangea x just now mines is planted in a pot wher do you think would be the best place to keep my hydrangea over the winter

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