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 Hydrangeas, lacecaps are really the only ones that don’t dry very well.
We have put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your cutflower Hydrangeas, including how to keep them fresh as long as possible as well as how to dry them for use long after the season has passed.
For Fresh Cutflowers:
- Cut them just as the blooms fully develop.
- Cut your flowers in the early morning, before the sun comes up to evaporate some of their moisture.
- Cutting 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.
- Place your freshly cut flowers in a bucket of cool water 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 stem into the hot water for about 30 seconds.
- Remove them from the hot water and place back in the cool.
- 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.
- Keep in mind that many gardeners and florists complain that Hydrangeas wilt faster than other cut flowers and may require a little extra planning.
- Keep them out of drafty areas and direct sunlight to prevent the flowers from drying.
For Everlastings (Dried Flowers):
- If you want to have everlastings, most Hydrangeas 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 stems about a foot long or a little less, and strip off the lower leaves.
- Separate them into bunches of three or four, and hold them together with 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 them in a basement, you may even want to use a fan.
- Under good drying conditions, they can be dried out in a week or two.
Once you have figured out whether you want your cutflower Hydrangeas 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 them, we’re sure you’ll love displaying your Hydrangea blooms throughout your home!