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What Are the Best Tips for Drying Hydrangeas?

J. Gonzalez
J. Gonzalez

Drying hydrangeas is a wonderful way to keep fresh flowers on display in a home. The act of drying flowers — hydrangeas, specifically — is done to remove all moisture from the flower petals and stem to keep the flower intact for a long time. A person can do this by letting the flowers dry out naturally, spraying the flowers with hairspray or hanging the flowers upside down. Drying hydrangeas not only helps them keep their natural color, it also preserves the flower petals.

One simple method for drying hydrangeas is water drying. Using the water method requires the flowers to be in a vase that is half-full of water. Place the vase in a cool area and out of direct sunlight. Allow the vase to sit, leaving the flowers undisturbed until the water begins to dissipate. As the water depletes, the hydrangeas will have dried naturally.

A hydrangea blossom before being dried.
A hydrangea blossom before being dried.

Another easy method for drying hydrangeas that uses a substance that many people have at home is to spray the flower petals with hairspray. Use either an aerosol or pump hairspray and cover the hydrangeas completely with the spray. Tie the stems of the flowers so that the flowers are in a bouquet, and lay them in a dry area, such as a closet, until the flowers and stems are dry and crispy to the touch.

Hydrangeas can be dried with hairspray.
Hydrangeas can be dried with hairspray.

Hanging flowers upside down works well to quickly and easily dry out the petals. Separate each flower, and tie the stems individually. Find a dry and dark area that is free of moisture, and hang the flowers individually upside down. This method will take a few weeks to allow the petals to fully dry. After the flowers are dry, they are safe to display without the risk of the flowers falling apart.

After cutting, hydrangeas can be dried by hanging them upside down.
After cutting, hydrangeas can be dried by hanging them upside down.

Hydrangeas can dry in a way that is similar to the water method but without the use of water. Diagonally clip the stems of the flowers, and place them in an empty vase. Let the flowers sit in a dry area in the vase until the petals have become dry. For flower stems that are on the weak side, hang them upside down, or clip the stems short and place them in a smaller vase.

To add a bit of extra elegance and beauty to the already lovely flowers, sprinkle a bit of glitter over the top of the flowers before drying. This will allow them to have a bit of shimmer when being displayed in the home. Glitter will stick to the petals before they are dry, but if doing this with the hairspray method, sprinkle the glitter before the hairspray is used. The hairspray will lock the glitter in place.

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Discussion Comments


@spotiche5- I have a large hydrangea bush on my property, and I usually pick several bouquets each year to dry them to use for crafts. Last year, I totally forgot to pick the hydrangeas before the end of the season, and cold weather had set in before I realized this.

To my surprise, when spring rolled around, I realized that the hydrangeas had become dried quite nicely right on the bush. They also had a nice, pale beige color. I was still able to pick them and used them for my craft projects.

So to answer your question, yes you can dry your hydrangeas without picking them, which will involve very little work on your part.


I was wondering if anyone has every tried drying hydrangeas without picking them from the hydrangea plant. I just planted a few bushes, and want to preserve the flowers without putting a lot of work into the process.


When drying hydrangeas by using hairspray, I have found that certain types of hairsprays work better than others.

If you want to maintain the color of your hydrangeas, you should trying using a hairspray for dry hair. I have used this kind before, and I think that the moisturizing properties of it helps to lock in the colors of these flowers.

To dry your hydrangeas quickly, try using extra firm hairspray. This formula drys quickly and firmly so you don't have to wait as long as you would with other drying methods for your flowers to be completely dried. I think that firm hold hairspray also makes dried flowers last for a long time.

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    • A hydrangea blossom before being dried.
      By: Ivonne Wierink
      A hydrangea blossom before being dried.
    • Hydrangeas can be dried with hairspray.
      By: Boris Bulychev
      Hydrangeas can be dried with hairspray.
    • After cutting, hydrangeas can be dried by hanging them upside down.
      By: v.poth
      After cutting, hydrangeas can be dried by hanging them upside down.