Drying Hydrangeas 101


Drying Hydrangeas - follow these simple step by step directions to have beautiful dried flowers all year long!  kellyelko.com

Yes, I like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

Not really …

what I really like is are margaritas and tons of hydrangeas (and having an umbrella and wellies when the downpour starts).

I also love peonies so be sure to read my tips on planting peonies.

Hydrangeas - see how to dry them for lasting blooms all year long!  kellyelko.com

In August, my hydrangeas start to fade so I have to quickly take action so I can enjoy them all year long.

How to dry hydrangeas - this is the easiest way I've seen!  kellyelko.com

Drying Hydrangeas

1) When blooms begin to fade and turn papery (sometime between August and October depending on where you live), clip them leaving some stem (around 12″ or so)

Note:  fresh, colorful blooms won’t dry well – experiment with the best time to dry your hydrangeas

2) Strip the stems off all leaves

3) Put stems in vases of water (about 4″ to 5″)

4) Don’t overcrowd the stems – a few per vase – so the air circulates and they dry more evenly

5) Store in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight (mine are on my dining room table)

6) Let water evaporate (if they are still not dry, add a bit more water and let that evaporate)

7) Enjoy your dried hydrangeas all year long

Row of hydrangea bushes - this is fabulous (and tips for drying them)  kellyelko.com

I take way too many pictures of hydrangeas – and other random things like thrift shop finds and estate sale houses on Instagram – follow along!


Love peonies as much as hydrangeas? Check out my tips for planting peonies so they bloom!

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  1. I’ve been experimenting myself with drying my Hydrangea with just a little success but I did cut them just a bit too soon ~ still trying, even if I end up cutting every bloom from the bush LOL!! I may have made the mistake of not having them in a dark space? Thanks for your tips, I’ll put them to use! Judi

  2. I wonder if this would work from blooms purchased from the grocery store? My fledgling hydrangea bushes looked pretty sad this summer … though, my neighbor’s hydrangeas look amazing. I may need to do some stealth cutting under the cloak of darkness …

    🙂 Linda

  3. Your hydrangeas are so pretty! I dried mine the same way last year, they were deep purple and dried to be blue. I’ve also tried hanging them upside down from hooks inside of closets, and tehy dired nicely.
    This year they are turning brown on the bush , but I still got some. My daughter just moved to a new house with oaaak leaf hydrangeas, so I’ll see if I can dry some of them now.

  4. I am so envious, your hydrangeas are breath taking. Just not fair, no it is, I live in wrong part of country is all. Too dry here (western CO) for them and we have so much alkali in our soil it kills everything. Even the Russian sage is pretty bedraggled this year, usually they’ll keep on blooming and growing in almost any conditions/soil. I love hydrangeas so much, they’re so darned pretty and delicate looking. Yours on that row of plants are drool worthy.

  5. I thought I was a hydrangea growing failure till Thursday. Then, while mowing lawn, I spotted among the weeds the plant I thought I killed. And it had three small balls of blooms.

  6. I love hydrangeas! My favorite nursery is selling a hydrangea tree. If it wasn’t $150, I would have bought it today. I already have three (maybe 4, two are close) different kinds – mop head, oak leaf and climbing. I’ll have to try drying them!

  7. Lord help me…I love hydrangeas too! When we lived in PA I had beautiful hydrangea bushes and now I can’t get them to grow. I spend way too much on them at the store…
    Jealous Blogger,

  8. I love your hydrangeas! My goodness, they’re gorgeous!! Several years ago, after my Dad had passed away, I received a beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas and a dear friend volunteered to preserve them and make them into a wreath for me. It was Fabulous! I enjoyed that wreath for a long time. After about 2 years, the flowers still looked great, but became a little brittle and were breaking off. I guess, nothing last forever. I heard you can spray paint them for Fall? Thanks for the great tutorial 🙂

  9. Thanks so much for this post! I’ve tried many times to dry hydrangea blooms. Most recently I had success but didn’t know quite why! Now I do, the water! Thank you thank you thank you!!

  10. If you add a little glycerine, the blooms won’t crumble as easily, they’re a little more flexible 🙂

  11. Adding glycerine to the water when drying Hydrangeas leaves them very supple and not as papery and also preserves the color.Have been doing this successfully for years,also works on some other flowers.

    1. after drying the hydrangeas I also find spraying them with the cheapest hairspray you can find preserves them a little more,especially for arrangements.

    2. How much glycerin do you add to the water? I had a beautiful wreath that I bought at a craft fair that fell to pieces after a couple of wreaths because the flowers were so brittle. I would like to try making my own if the glycerin works.

  12. I have always cut mine, strip the leaves and stick in a vase, basket, container… and let them dry. They stay beautiful until I am ready to do it again next year. I’ve never done it with water. Will give it a try.

  13. well, i like all ur pics! its helpful. I just found out my parents let the gophers take over and they had over 30 plants that are basically dried out twig plants. I just can’t let it happen. Thanks for the tips!

  14. My hydrangea plant is gorgeous….healthy…..very large…..but only a few blooms on the lower part of the plant. I fertilized it! It gets water regularly from a lawn sprinkling system. What can I do to get more flowers.

  15. To your hydrangea buds from get frosted just put stakes around your plant in the fall then wrap burlap around the whole hydrangea top included. Never prune a hydrangea until all the new buds have leafed out then trim away dead branched or old branches.

  16. Thanks for the tip. Hydrangeas are my very favorite flower 🌸 I have some planted and have some more on order at our town nursery. 🤗

  17. I’ll be drying some hydrangea today! Thanks for the tip! I enjoyed reading your whole piece. I’m in zone 8a, and my hydrangea grow pretty well, but not as well as my grandmothers in northern Arkansas zone 7a! You’re right, I think 7a must be the perfect zone!

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