Gardening Garden Design Garden Projects How to Dry Hydrangeas Hydrangeas add fullness to any floral arrangement. Use this technique to dry their blossoms for year-round enjoyment. By Viveka Neveln Viveka Neveln Instagram Viveka Neveln is the Garden Editor at BHG and a degreed horticulturist with broad gardening expertise earned over 3+ decades of practice and study. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for both print and digital media. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on June 9, 2022 Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Marty Baldwin Project Overview Working Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 week Skill Level: Kid-friendly For a few weeks each summer, Gloria Ward's dining room table is all about hydrangeas. Gloria, a member of the American Hydrangea Society, whose Atlanta-area garden is a showcase for her favorite flowering shrub, sets up a convenient laboratory on her dining table, where she dries blossoms cut from her garden. BHG / Xiaojie Liu The process begins mid to late summer as Gloria strolls through her garden in search of viable candidates. "You should cut the blooms as soon as they feel papery and less supple than they were earlier in the season," she says. The papery stage typically occurs at least six weeks after the flowers open, although sunlight can hasten maturity. Follow along with Gloria's process for a no-fail way to dry hydrangeas. What You'll Need Equipment / Tools Pruning shears Bucket Materials Hydrangeas Water Jars Instructions KRISTSADA KRISTSADA Cut Hydrangeas In the coolness of morning, Gloria arms herself with pruning shears and a bucket of water. She collects flower heads, cutting stems at an angle, stripping off leaves, and placing the cuttings in water. This is how she prepares hydrangeas for long-lasting beauty. Emily Followill Photography Place Stems in Jars Once indoors, she recuts the stems to varying lengths and places them in jars containing about four inches of water, about a half-dozen stems per jar. By staggering the stem heights, each head benefits from air circulation, which is crucial in drying. Gloria then places the jars in her dining room, away from direct sunlight or bright light, for one to two weeks. If, after that time, the water has evaporated and the flowers still aren't dry, she adds more water and allows the blooms more drying time. How to Dry Peonies for Year-Round Color Emily Followill Photography Use Hydrangeas in Decor Compared to the bright, clear colors of fresh blooms, air-dried hydrangeas take on muted hues. Once the blooms are dry, Gloria arranges them in vases, wreaths, and topiaries. When displayed away from humidity and direct sunlight, dried hydrangeas last indefinitely.