Friday, September 12, 2014

Time To Dry Your Hydrangea Blossoms

The last two days in Princeton, Wisconsin are a sharp contrast to the hot temperatures we had earlier this week.  It is very cold and tonight we have a chance of frost.  In case this happens, I have gathered my inside plants that I have outside.  I don't want to bring them inside yet, so I am going to cover the bunch with a blanket and hope for the best.  I hope it doesn't freeze yet.  It is way too early.  One of the reasons besides the obvious, is that I save some of the hydrangea blooms and dry them.  They have to be cut after the growing season but before a frost.  If it freezes the blossoms freeze, and they don't dry properly.  Today I cut a few just in case.  This is my process for drying them.  Some people tie the stems together and hang upside down until dry.  I don't do that.

This Hydrangea is getting the fall blush.  I hope these are ready to cut, and not too early. 

Fill a vase 3/4 full of water and cut the flowers.

Strip the leaves off the stems and place into the vase of water.

The flowers should be put into water immediately after cutting.  This allows the water to be pulled up into the stem just like any cut flower.  The difference is that the flower doesn't wilt.  Just leave the bouquet in the water until all the water evaporates.  At this time the Hydrangea has begun to dry.  It does turn light brown, but once dry they last for years.  I have never done this, but I have heard that you can color the water, and the dried flowers will have that color in the blossoms.

These dried hydrangea's are several years old.  They still have the slight pink blush.

This is what happens if you pick the blossoms too soon.  They shrivel up and don't dry properly.

If it doesn't freeze tonight, I will cut some more or wait until next year to collect more.  There are a lot of ways to decorate with dried Hydrangea.  Some years I decorate my Christmas tree with some of the dried blossoms.  If you have some or have access to them, give it a try.  It's free, it's pretty and it's fun.

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