How To Dry Hydrangea Flowers
The hydrangea flowers are unique because once dried, they can maintain their exotic appearance for years. There are different approaches to dry these beautiful flowers. However, before choosing a drying method, it is vital that you are acquainted with some basics about drying hydrangea flowers.
Flower Drying Basics
Cutting the flowers during the blooming season is common but not advisable. The flowers carry too much moisture at this time, making the drying process tedious.
If the bloom combines the larger and smaller flowers in an almost equal ratio, you can proceed with cutting it. The bigger flowers should have fully bloomed and should not have brown spots. The larger petals should have started to fade. The young flowers should be just starting to bloom.
Hydrangea Flower Drying Methods
Cut the stems. Bunch them together in a plastic sheet. Suspend the plastic-covered bunch from an elastic string, upside down, i.e. the flowers are left hanging up to dry-out themselves. This allows excess water to drip-away. The entire process takes about 4 to 5 days. This isn't the most recommended method since it doesn't comprehensively dry the flowers. For better results, the following approaches are recommended:
Water-drying Hydrangea Flowers
Cut each of the flower stems. Each stem should be around 12 inches long. Remove all the leaves from the cut stems. Freshly-cut stems should be half-dipped in water. For this, use a vase containing fresh water. Place the vase in a cool, dry place that doesn't receive any direct sunlight. Due to water evaporation, the flowers get naturally dehydrated.
Drying With Silica Gel
Silica gel is a popular drying agent in the floral industry. It is commonly used to preserve many kinds of flowers. This drying process is faster too.
- Take a clean, dried plastic container that is just about 3inches wider than the bunch of flowers you want to dry.
- Pour silica gel crystals into the container to form a 1/2-thick layer of crystals at the bottom.
- You will need to cut the stems much shorter for this method. Remove the leaves on the stems.
- Make a bunch of all the freshly-cut flowers and firmly hold it over the container’s opening. Position the hand-held flowers just above the silica gel crystals.
- Pour some of the silica gel crystals over the hand-held bloom. A thin layer begins to form around the flowers.
- Now slowly, release the flower bunch into the container.
- Tap the container to move more crystals towards the center of the petals and around the edges--the spots that show first signs of decaying.
- The following day, pour some more silica gel crystals into the container. The closed container should be left for about 4 days in a sunlight-free spot.
- Open the lid of the container after 4 days. Remove the flowers and shake them. The crystals will be removed by the dusting. If not, use a make-up brush to dust-off the remaining silica.
- The flowers will have an added shine to them and will feel firmer after the gel crystals have been removed.