Plant It: preserving hydrangeas


Dried hydrangeas make beautiful centerpieces. / Loretta Gillespie

If you want to preserve your hydrangeas you must bite the bullet and cut them now, while they are still vibrant and have not started to turn brown. (Some of them turn a pretty copper color, that looks great in fall arrangements.)

After you have clipped them, strip most of the leaves away from the stems. Trim the stems in varying lengths.

There is always a hard way and an easy way to do just about anything, so let’s take the easy way!

Arrange your hydrangeas in vases, baskets or on wreaths, just like you would any cut flower. You can even add water to the vases if you want the process to take a little longer, but it’s not necessary.

Position them in your home so that they get no direct sun, but filtered, indirect light is fine.

Then forget about them for about a month. Seriously, just forget about them. No water, no hanging them upside down, nothing…

When they are completely dry, you can leave them in the container you started with if it suits your décor, or, you can make a wreath for your door, a swag for your mantle, or even save them for your Christmas tree!

The only thing you need to be careful about is leaving them prone on a table or countertop while they are drying because it will cause the cluster to be flat on one side.       

Now, very gently, remove them from containers and take them outside. Place on table covered by plastic garbage bags. Lay then singly. Now spray lightly with clear spray paint. Any clear spray paint will work, it doesn't have to be floral paint. You might want to wait until they are completely dry, then flip over and spray the other side. When dry, carefully make arrangements as usual.

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