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How to Dry Hydrangea Blooms for Home Decor

Bouquet of dried hydrangeas in a wicker basket on the bedside table in the bedroom.
July Ko/Shutterstock.com

Hydrangeas are beautiful in bloom, but with the right techniques, they can be preserved to create charming home décor that lasts. Dried hydrangea blooms add an elegant touch to wreaths, floral arrangements, and other DIY projects. Yes, you can make them yourself.

If you’re curious how to dry hydrangea blooms so you can decorate with them, then keep reading. We’ll take you through the process of drying and then how to use them creatively in your home once the process is done.

When to Cut Hydrangea Blooms

A person cutting a white hydrangea bloom from a hydrangea plant in the garden.

If you want to learn how to preserve hydrangeas, then choosing the right time to cut hydrangea blooms is crucial. You don’t want to cut your blooms too early or they’re more likely to shrivel.

Avoid pruning a hydrangea bloom when the bloom is at its peak. Additionally, you want to avoid cutting them during a rainy spell. If you cut during these periods, the stems and leaves of your bloom will have too much water so they won’t dry properly.

It’s best to choose blooms that are a little past their peak. A few brown hydrangea petals won’t hurt anything. In fact, the best blooms for drying hydrangeas have started to change color and feel slightly papery to the touch. This usually occurs in late summer or early fall.

gonicc 8 Professional Premium Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears

Make sure your pruning shears are sharp for the best hydrangea care.

How to Dry Hydrangea Blooms

A vase of hydrangea blooms sit in a vase while they dry.

Drying hydrangea blooms is a straightforward process, but it does require a bit of patience. If you’re ready to learn how to preserve hydrangeas, follow these steps.

Choose Your Drying Method

Drying hydrangeas can be accomplished with a couple of methods. You can dry plants from your garden in a vase with water (which helps preserve their color a little better) or by hanging them upside down on a clothesline.

Consider which method better suits your space. If you want to dry them in a vase, prepare one with a few inches of water. For the hanging method, you’ll need rubber bands or a string so that you can place the blooms to hang somewhere they won’t be disturbed.

DARENYI Clear Glass Vase

Use a vase where you can keep an eye on the water level when drying hydrangea blooms.

Make the Cut

When the timing is right and you’re ready to preserve your hydrangeas, grab your shears and head out to your garden. It’s best to cut the stems after the dew has dried. Cut the hydrangea blooms at an angle, making sure to have at least a foot or more of the stem.

Remove Excess Leaves

After cutting your desired hydrangea blooms, remove any excess leaves along the stem. Leaves can inhibit a proper drying process.

Bundle the Blooms

If you’re attempting the hanging method, then gather a small bunch of hydrangea blooms, and secure the stems together with a rubber band or a piece of twine. Keep the bunches relatively small to ensure proper air circulation during drying.

If you’re choosing the vase method, there’s no need to connect your blooms but rather to arrange them in a way you like. As with the hanging method, don’t overcrowd the blooms. Make sure there’s plenty of air circulation for proper drying.

Floral Arrangement Tools Kit with Wire Cutter

Have your hydrangea blooms looking stunning in no time with this floral arrangement tool kit.

Choose a Drying Location

You want to keep your hydrangea out of the direct sun or the colors will fade much more. Ideally, find a dry, dark, and well-ventilated space to place the hydrangea bundles. This doesn’t have to be an attic or unused closet, but you want them to stay out of the sun and not be bumped.

Wait Patiently

For proper drying, you’ll need the water to fully evaporate from the blooms. This can take a week or two—sometimes more. If you’re using the vase method, add more water to the vase if it evaporates before your blooms fully dry.

You’ll know your hydrangeas are ready when they feel crisp to the touch and the colors have deepened.

What to Do with Dried Hydrangeas

Aesthetic shelf in a home with hydrangea flowers as decoration.
Creative Nina/Shutterstock.com

Once your hydrangea blooms are thoroughly dried, you can explore various creative ways to incorporate them into your home décor. One of the most popular uses is as a wreath. Simply arrange the blooms around a wire or grapevine wreath frame, securing them with floral wire or hot glue.

Worown 6 Pcs 8 Inch Natural Grapevine Wreaths

Make your own wreaths with your dried hydrangea blooms.

You can also keep them in a dried floral arrangement. This looks chic in a vintage vase or pitcher to create a rustic floral centerpiece. If the blooms break at all during the drying process, you can add them to a bowl with dried citrus slices or cinnamon sticks for some homemade potpourri.

Yoillione Milk Jug Vase

Go for a farmhouse vibe with this vase.

Alternatively, you can use the blooms to add a touch of natural beauty to your gift wrapping by attaching a dried hydrangea bloom to a ribbon or twine. You can also press dried flower blooms between the pages of a heavy book for a few weeks. Once flattened, arrange them inside a picture frame to create beautiful botanical art.

Hydrangeas are a well-loved garden plant, but they also make beautiful accessories for your home décor. Drying them out does take some time, but it’s a simple process that even beginner DIYers can accomplish.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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