In thinking ahead to fall decorating, I knew that I wanted to use dried hydrangeas. They are one of those flowers that makes a statement and dries really well. I have four hydrangea bushes in my yard; one oak leaf hydrangea and three regular hydrangea bushes with the bluish flowers. I had already cut all the blooms I could from my bushes but I still needed more. A sweet lady from my hometown offered to let me come to her home and cut all I wanted from her many, many bushes. I took her up on her offer and came home with an abundance of gorgeous blooms, and it didn't even put a dent in the amount of blooms she had.
Just in case you are wondering, these are Limelight hydrangeas, and unlike traditional hydrangeas, they grow in sun on new growth. I definitely want to plant some of my own next spring. They are gorgeous with huge blooms.
There are a few methods to drying hydrangeas and it's good to experiment to see what works best for you. Some people cut the blooms and hang them upside down to dry. When drying the blooms I cut from my own yard, I just put them all on a table in out of direct sunlight and let sit for a few days. This didn't work so well for me because (1) I waited too long to cut the blooms in the first place and (2) I left them in the sweltering heat. They are now very crisp and brown. I don't mind so much. Since I am using them for fall decorating, they will work just fine. For the hydrangeas I cut this weekend, I wanted to try a different method.
*Pick blooms when they are a little papery. New blooms won't dry well. Then, remove all leaves from the stem.
*Put the stems into water. Since I had so many and they were so large, I used five gallon buckets. Fill the water about half full. Allow the water to evaporate out and by the time the water is gone, your blooms should be dried to perfection. Also, make sure they are out of direct sunlight.
I made some bouquets for inside, too. The best part about drying hydrangeas is getting to enjoy their beauty during the process.
Have you ever dried hydrangeas? What method worked best for you? I'd love hear about it. Leave a comment!