Can you believe summer is drawing to a close? I truly cannot! But this time of year is the prime time for one of my favorite garden DIYs- dried hydrangeas! When I say prime time- I mean that very literally! To turn into beautiful dried hydrangeas, you have to pick your blooms at exactly the right time…not a few days early or late. Follow along with my step by step process below to learn which hydrangeas to pick and the best way to dry them.
1. Admire your beautiful blossoms! Congrats! Your hydrangeas made it through the summer- you did it! This project can be done with any color or variation of the flower, but mine are limelight hydrangeas. I have some as large hedges and others that you have seen on my social media are tall trees in pots. The size of your hydrangea depends on the amount of space you give it to grow.
2. The biggest part of choosing hydrangeas to dry out is making sure you pick ones that have already started to dry just slightly. There are several indicators you can look for. The first is color. With limelight hydrangeas, the ones that are not ready are a brighter white while the more mature flowers are a softer green. Second, feel the flowers. The ready hydrangeas will feel almost papery. Lastly, listen to the sound the flowers make as you run your fingers through them. Ready hydrangeas sound like the petals are rustling together while the others make hardly any sound at all.
3. Some of your blooms might have brown spots on them. This is ok as long as there are not too many spots. If there are only a few you can pluck them off.
4. Before you pick them, decide how long you want your dried flowers to be. If they are just going in a vase they don’t need to be too long. If you are going to use them in a large arrangement or wreath, cut the stems a couple of feet long. Dried hydrangeas also look great in a Christmas tree. If you want to use them for this, cut the stems right at the base. The clippers pictured are my absolute favorite! They are by Fiskars and you can find them in my Amazon store.
5. After cutting, strip the stem of its leaves. During the drying process the leaves can get moldy or create a mess so its best just to take them off. I do this right out in my garden to give the greenery back to the soil.
6. Some people use a method of hanging the flowers upside down to dry. While this can work, my method actually involves water! Grab a vase and add water and only a couple drops of bleach. This method keeps the flowers looking fresh after they are dried and keeps the beautiful color. The key here is to change the water out every few days. Also, using this method gives you a lovely bouquet to enjoy while they dry!
If you use this method, reach out on Facebook or Instagram to let me know how they turn out! Stay tuned for a gorgeous fall wreath made with the dried flowers going live on my blog next month! Then we will see how this batch of dried flowers turns out!