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How to Dry Hydrangeas

Proven Winners hydrangea blooms look beautiful in the landscape. But their beauty doesn’t have to end when the growing season does. Extend your enjoyment of these plants by drying the flowers and bringing them indoors. Follow these easy steps to make these bountiful blooms last.



Wait for the right time to cut. Look for blooms that have dried a bit and begin to feel papery. For panicle hydrangeas, the white flowers should be blushing to pink-burgundy. For macrophylla, the flowers should also feel papery and the color should be a little less vivid than newly emerging flowers. In both cases, be sure there are no unopened florets, as this indicates the flowers are too new to dry well.


Cut the stem, leaving it long and cutting between nodes. You can cut to size after the flower dries.


Use your fingers to break off foliage as the leaves will curl and distract from the beauty of the flowers.




Hold the end of the stem with the flower hanging downward. Spray it lightly with paint in a tint that matches the flower’s color. As the paint dries, it absorbs into the florets for a natural look.

Stacey Hirvela
Spring Meadow Nursery


Recut the stem between nodes on a sharp angle. This allows the plant to take up more water and prevent wilting and curling.


Place in a vase that is tall enough to provide support for the flower head. Add 1-2” of water. Place the vase in a cool, dry spot out of direct sun. Do not refill water. The stems will take up what they need and dry gradually, leaving straight stems and nice round flowers clusters.

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