Tips for Fresh Hydrangea Bouquets and Dried Floral Arrangements

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Tips for Fresh Hydrangea Bouquets and Dried Floral Arrangements

Hydrangea Flowers Aren't Only for the Garden: Tips for Cutting and Drying Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas have become very popular cut flowers due to their bold presence, attractive colors, and versatility—they can be used in fresh-cut arrangements or dried as everlastings. Out of all the types of hydrangea bushes, lacecap hydrangeas are really the only ones that don’t dry very well. Because hydrangea colors vary by the type of bush you plant, you can have a colorful flower bouquet made exclusively from hydrangeas -- or a stunning collection of a single color, like blue hydrangeas. 

Whatever hydrangea color you choose we've put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your cut flowers, including how to keep the blooms looking fresh for as long as possible. We also share tips for drying flowers to create beautiful hydrangea bouquets that will last long after the growing season has passed.

Colorful Fresh Cut Flowers for Hydrangea Bouquets

  •  Cut hydrangea flowers just as the blooms fully develop. 
  • Cut the flowers in the early morning before the sun comes up or shortly after so the hydrangea flower's stored moisture doesn't evaporate moisture. 

  • Cutting stems diagonally will allow the stem to take in the most amount of water. Some people will even cut slits or fray the ends of the stems a little to improve the water uptake. 

  • Place your freshly cut hydrangea flowers in a bucket of cool water immediately after cutting and bring them inside. 

  • Heat water on the stove until it’s close to boiling. 

  • Let the water cool for a minute or two.

  • Place the bottom inch of the hydrangea stem into the hot water for about 30 seconds. 

  • Remove the stem from the hot water and place back in the coo waterl.

  • Use a commercial floral preservative to get the best results. This will feed your flowers, maintain a constant pH, and will serve as an anti-microbial to prevent premature decay. You should be able to find this at a local nursery. You can make your own cut flower preservative, too.
  • Keep in mind that some gardeners and florists say that hydrangeas wilt faster than other cut flowers and may require a little extra planning.
  • Keep your cut hydrangeas out of drafty areas and direct sunlight to prevent the flowers from drying out.

Dried Hydrangea Flowers (Many Call These Everlastings)

  • If you want to have everlastings, most hydrangea flowers will be ready to be cut for this use in late summer. It does depend on your location, however, so if you live in southern parts of the country, where the growing season is longer, they can be ready for drying in August.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to cut them to dry, or the petals will shrivel up. Make sure the flowers feel rubbery before cutting.
  • Cut the hydrangea stems about a foot long or a little less, and strip off the lower leaves.
  • Separate the hydrangea blooms into bunches of three or four and hold them together using a rubber band.
  • Hang the bunches upside down in a dry, dark place. Avoid sunny spots, as this can cause discoloration. 

  • You will have the most success if the room is warm with low humidity (high humidity can cause them to lose their color). If drying hydrangea flowers in a basement, you may even want to use a fan. 

  • Under good drying conditions, they can be fully dried in a week or two.

Once you have figured out whether you want your cut hydrangea bouquets to be fresh or dried, how you display them is completely up to you! Everlastings are wonderful in wreaths, allowing you to enjoy a bit of summer charm as the weather turns cold.

However you choose to use your cut hydrangea flowers, we’re sure you’ll love displaying your the beautiful blooms throughout your home!

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