Drying Hydrangeas. It’s so easy.

I love fresh flowers.  I love Hydrangeas.  I will even tolerate dried flowers…. as long as they’re Hydrangeas.
Here’s an easy way to dry them.

First, find yourself a Hydrangea bush.  If your neighbors have one and you don’t… make friends with your neighbors.

hydrangea, white, flower

Go ahead and clip the flowers that have opened up.


Strip the leaves off of the stem.

flower, hydrangea, flower arrangement

Now you’re ready to dry your Hydrangeas.  It’s super difficult.  Are you ready…?

Put them in water.    That’s it.

If you try to dry a Hydrangea without leaving the stems in water, it will look like this.

hydrangea, flower, dried flower  

However, if you simply put the stems in water and let the stems slowly suck up the water, it will look like this when it’s done drying.

dried hydrangea, drying flowers

Which do you like better?
This one? hydrangea, flower, dried floweror this one?    dried hydrangea, drying flowers

For whatever reason, if the flower dries slowly, still slurping up a little water as it dries, it seems to retain its shape and color.

For years.
This arrangement right here…?
dried flower, arrangement, hydrangea, green, white

I’ve had this urn of dried Hydrangeas for about 2 years now.  They are white ones from my yard and as they dry, they take on a greeenish hue.  I prefer lighter colored Hydrangeas when drying them, but that’s just personal preference.

Using an empty jar or vase, I fill it with water then put the shortest stems along the edge of the vase…

hydrangea, flower, white, arrangement

…then stick the longer stems in the middle. I want the arrangement to look full while it’s drying, but I don’t want the blooms to be smushed. (That’s a technical floral designer term: smushed)
Just make sure that all of the stems are well covered by water.

white, flower, hydrangea, arrangement, bouquet

In this case, I pop the jar into a pretty vase and I will leave it just like this. When the full jar of water is empty, chances are that the flowers are dried and ready to be used. (If they are NOT dried, keep adding water until they are.)

white, flower, hydrangea, arrangement, bouguet, blue vase

This will sit, just like this, for a week or so.  Then I’ll have dried Hydrangeas.  Easy peasy.

By the way, I am a contributor today over at SAS Interiors’ post about spray paint tips from the pros.
(I love that someone considers my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants methods to be professional!) Please go check it out for some truly great advice. And mine’s there too.

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  1. says

    Awesome! My hydrangeas are just starting to bloom now, so I will try this soon. Thanks for the info! Have a great weekend, Mary :O)

  2. says

    I love this! I did this awhile back and gave the dried hydrangeas to my sister to decorate her room when she was redoing it and two and a half years later they still look beautiful! I was thinking about doing this for my place the other day! Thanks for the extra boost of encouragement to actually getting around to it!

    I’ve been following you for a little while now and have really enjoyed it!:)


  3. says

    I never realized that my laziness is what contributed to my perfectly dried hydrangea’s!!

    I never remember to empty the water and they end up sitting there forever! LOL

    Can I act like I knew what I was doing??

  4. says

    Beautiful! I bought some pink and blue ones for my gender reveal party and they are just gorgeous flowers!! I can’t believe how much water they need and I think that’s why most of my flowers die– I’m so lazy about watering– but I have kept these alive.. Always love your posts…

  5. says

    So basically once they’re dry you can leave em like that. Right? Cuz I’m the queen of letting flowers die and then dumping them out a week too late.

  6. says

    Hi Vivienne,

    I’m visiting from the French Country Cottage and am so glad to have run across this post! I have access to two hydrangea bushes, which are both beginning to bloom now, and I wanted to dry some of the flowers this year. Only problem was that I didn’t know what to do! Now I do, thanks to you. :)

    Carolina Country Living

  7. says

    I love hydrangeas! My mom has some dried ones that she has had forever, but I always assumed she bought them somewhere…maybe she dried them herself it it’s that easy:) Now to find a friend who has a hydrangea plant!

  8. says

    Years ago, my mom and her friend went out at night and swiped some hydrangeas from some poor unsuspecting home owner. She and her friend would tee-hee over their loot whenever they got together. Their dried hydrangeas lasted for years. I do not own a hydrangea bush, so I may have to take a page out of my mom’s book. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure it’s nice and dark before I go out.
    Thanks for the tips on how to dry my soon-to-be-acquired hydrangea arrangement.

  9. says

    LOL!! Know what’s so incredibly funny? I always display my hydrangeas with water at first but FORGET about them. And yeah, they always dried and I always felt, “Man, they still look good so I’m not throwing them out!”

    Little did I know that by being lazy, I actually did a good thing. Awesome. :) GREAT tip!

    Shared on FJI Facebook for SNS 83. :)



  10. Anonymous says

    That is how to do it. I discovered this by accident many years ago. And those hydrangeas are still in good shape.

  11. says

    I love hydrangeas too! Mine didn’t bloom very much last year. I should have moved it over the fall/winter. :(
    love your dried ones!

  12. http://sneakapeekhomedecorating.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/simple-before-and-after/ says

    ooh I am gonna try this, thanks

  13. says

    Thanks so much for this tip! AND I DO have a neighbor who has bushes and bushes of these and every year asks if I want them! I did dry them hanging one year and was not happy with how they dried (now I know why!) so this year I will gladly take what they offer!

  14. says

    wow now that easy and the results are sooooo beautiful but too bad i cant find these flowers very easily hear in my area :(but i will keep my eyes open if i find some then i know what to do :) erum from arts crafts n hobbies

  15. says

    Wow – i never knew how…i tried to hang them upside down thinking that was the trick, but nope! Thank you for sharing. hope you link this post to Cottage Flora Thursday’s so more folks can see how to do this!?! xoox, tracie

  16. says

    Vivienne I adore hydrangeas and would never have known this. I probably would have hung them upside down to dry, Ha!

    Be sure to enter my awesome $250 Giveaway from Tracy Porter!!

    Art by Karena

  17. says

    Thank you so much. I have some hydrangeas in a mason jar right now. I will just leave them be until they dry!


  18. says

    I have been trying this for several days and it isn’t working. They just shrivel up after about 4 days. I am following directions exactly so I’m a bit disappointed!

  19. Anonymous says

    Like Lori, mine shrivel up — with stems in the water — after just a couple of days. Any idea why???

  20. Terry H. says

    I don’t know anybody with hydrangeas, so now I am going to have to go out and buy a bush because these are so pretty. I love cut flowers in the house, and these will be so pretty this winter.

  21. says

    Thanks for the tutorial! I just bought 2 bushes and can’t wait to try this! Tip *** Try adding food coloring to the water and the flower will take on that color, blue, red, etc. Fun to experiment! ***

  22. says

    If you want the color to stay truer, and the hydrangeas to be a bit more resilient, you can do the same thing but using glycerine instead of water. The flowers take it up, and it helps to preserve them.

    But I like the water trick. I’m going to have to try it!

  23. says

    Oh this is excellent. I’m hoping to have hydrangeas at our wedding, and it’s looking like it will cost a fortune to buy fresh ones.

    So trying this out starting this weekend.


  24. says

    I did this last year with hydrangeas from the garden. The flowers are very large and vary in colors on the same bush. I then used them all to stuff in between the branches of my christmas tree. It was gorgeous.

  25. Anne says

    Always wanted to have dried hydrangeas to make wreathes for the doors: Christmas, Spring, Summer, Fall and so on. Now that I have the method to dry flowers and the bush right outside my window, I can go right ahead make my wreathes. Thank you for posting this


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