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How to Dry Hydrangeas to Preserve the Blooms Long After Summer

Hydrangeas are beloved for their large, colorful blooms that add charm and beauty to gardens throughout the summer. However, their beauty doesn’t have to fade with the season. Drying hydrangea blooms is a wonderful way to preserve them, allowing you to enjoy their vibrant colors and delicate petals well into the fall and beyond. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to floral preservation, these simple methods will help you successfully dry hydrangeas for long-lasting enjoyment.

Methods for Drying Hydrangeas

1. Air Drying

Materials Needed: Pruned hydrangea blooms, scissors, string or rubber bands.



  • Harvest Blooms: Cut hydrangea stems with blooms that are fully open and showing their peak color.
  • Remove Leaves: Strip off any leaves from the stems, leaving only the blooms.
  • Bundle Stems: Group 5-7 stems together and secure them with string or rubber bands.
  • Hang Upside Down: Hang the bundles upside down in a cool, dry, and dark place with good air circulation.
  • Check Regularly: Allow 2-3 weeks for the blooms to dry completely. Check periodically for dryness by gently touching the petals.

2. Water Method (Glycerin Preservation)

Materials Needed: Glycerin, water, bucket or large container, pruned hydrangea stems.



  • Prepare Solution: Mix one part glycerin with two parts water in a bucket or large container.
  • Trim Stems: Cut hydrangea stems at an angle and place them in the glycerin solution.
  • Submerge Blooms: Submerge the stems completely in the glycerin-water solution.
  • Wait for Absorption: Allow the stems to sit in the solution for 2-3 weeks, or until the blooms have absorbed the glycerin.
  • Dry Upside Down: Remove stems from the solution and hang them upside down to dry in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.

3. Silica Gel Method

Materials Needed: Silica gel crystals, airtight container, pruned hydrangea blooms.



  • Prepare Container: Fill an airtight container halfway with silica gel crystals.
  • Trim and Place Blooms: Trim hydrangea stems and place blooms face down into the silica gel.
  • Cover Completely: Gently pour more silica gel over the blooms until they are completely covered.
  • Seal and Wait: Seal the container tightly and leave undisturbed for 1-2 weeks, depending on bloom size and desired dryness.
  • Remove and Display: Carefully remove blooms from the silica gel and display them as desired.

Tips for Successful Drying

  • Choose Blooms at the Right Time: Select hydrangea blooms when they are fully open and showing vibrant color for best results.
  • Avoid Humidity: Ensure the drying area is not humid, as moisture can cause blooms to mold instead of drying properly.
  • Patience is Key: Drying hydrangeas takes time. Be patient and allow the blooms to dry thoroughly before handling them.


Preserving hydrangea blooms through drying is a rewarding way to extend their beauty beyond the summer season. Whether you prefer the simplicity of air drying, the preservation qualities of glycerin, or the precision of silica gel, these methods ensure that your hydrangeas retain their color and shape for decorative use throughout the year. Experiment with different techniques to find the method that works best for your preferences and enjoy the beauty of hydrangeas long after summer has passed.



1. How long do dried hydrangeas last? Dried hydrangeas can last for several months to over a year, depending on the drying method used and how they are stored. Properly dried blooms stored in a dry, cool environment tend to last longer.

2. Can you dye dried hydrangeas? Yes, you can dye dried hydrangeas using floral dyes or even fabric dyes. This allows you to customize their color for various decorative purposes.


3. Are dried hydrangeas fragile? Dried hydrangeas can be fragile, so handle them gently when arranging or storing to avoid breakage. Proper drying and handling techniques help preserve their delicate nature.

4. Can I use dried hydrangeas in crafts? Absolutely! Dried hydrangeas are popular in various crafts such as wreaths, floral arrangements, and home decor. Their vibrant colors and unique textures make them versatile for creative projects.


5. Do dried hydrangeas retain their scent? Typically, dried hydrangeas do not retain their original scent. However, they maintain their visual appeal and can still add beauty to your home decor or special occasions.



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