What are Hydrangeas?
Hydrangeas belong to a large family (about 70 members) of species of flowers. These plants come from all over, now, but originated in Asia and the Americas. Korea, China, and Japan are home to the greatest variety of species in this family. Hydrangeas have beautiful large flowers that are perfect for drying. They have a sweetly scented perfume that smells very similar to Jasmine. This is part of the reason they are so popular in people’s gardens. They can perfume in a very large area and are thusly very popular.
How to Prepare Hydrangeas for drying:
First of all, you need to decide when to pick them off the plant for drying. Although you might be tempted to pick them at the height of their bloom, that’s a common mistake. It is far better to let them dry on the plant slightly first before cutting them. Once they have begun to dry you should cut them from the plant.
Once cut you should strip them of their leaves and arrange them in a bowl or vase. Hydrangeas can be hung to dry if the stalks are strong enough but it’s not necessary. They dry just as well arranged in a bowl or a vase. Remember, you don’t want to leave any water in with the flowers or they will start to come back to life a bit, not dry as we want.
Other ways to dry Hydrangeas:
It can be a bit tricky, but it can also be dried with silica gel. The idea is that you suspend the flowers in the gel, without them touching the ground or the sides of the vase (much easier than using a bowl). This process can take a few weeks, but the results are incredible. The flowers take on such vivid color and a much more natural-looking appearance. It is a very time-intensive project that has plenty of opportunities to go wrong, though if done correctly is very rewarding.
A cheaper alternative for drying Hydrangeas is using a borax cornmeal hybrid in replace of the silica gel. The ratio is about sixty to forty in favor of cornmeal. This process yields very similar results but can take almost two weeks longer and isn’t guaranteed to work. It’s a bit of a gamble honestly. It’s safer to just stick to the silica gel or the natural drying method.
How to store your newly dried Hydrangeas
If you decide you want to store your flowers for much later, you should trim the petals from the stalk and store them in glass mason jars that can be sealed airtight. They keep well outside of the jars for months but if your intent on keeping them much longer they will survive in jars for many years.
I hope this article answered any questions you may have had about how to dry hydrangeas. Remember the best method for you may be to just stick with the normal air drying. If you are feeling brave, whether you choose silica or cornmeal is purely a cost-based decision. Best of luck with the drying!