There are more than 20 varieties of hydrangea – and all of them are beautiful. So it’s no wonder that you want to preserve the flowers. In addition to plant lovers, craft enthusiasts also attach great importance to this, since magical decorative elements can often be created from or with the dry flowers, such as wreaths or cards. With so many recommendations on how best to dry hydrangea flowers, it is difficult to keep track of things. With the instructions and tips of the detailed guide, however, it is easy to choose the optimal method and achieve an inspiring result.

Proper preparation of hydrangea flowers

The hydrangea flowers should be cut when they are in full color. There are several reasons for adjusting this point in time:

  • Umbels mature enough to keep their shape
  • the strongly colored flowers do not completely fade *

* A lot of color is naturally lost during the drying process. To keep the extent within limits, you can use a trick that will be presented a little later in the context of the instructions.

When cutting, you should ideally always leave a stalk about 20 centimeters long on the umbels. Then you can later arrange the dried elements into bouquets, if this is desired.

Tip: When completely dried, hydrangea flowers look almost like valuable porcelain.

Instructions for drying hydrangea flowers

Here we show you different variants and the necessary utensils.

Variant 1: dry hydrangeas with water in the vase

This is the easiest and least laborious method of drying hydrangea flowers. However, it has the disadvantage that the flowers lose a little more color than other varieties.


  • fresh hydrangea flowers
  • low vase
  • water

That’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Fill the low vase with a little water (ten centimeters are more than enough).

Step 2: Place cut hydrangea flowers (20 centimeters stem!) In the vase.

3rd step: Wait until the water has evaporated – do not refill.

4th step: Remove the flowers when the water is completely used up. Then they are dried.

Variant 2: Preserve hydrangeas with glycerine

A more complex method, which is given more color, is to mix water with pure glycerine. The latter is available in pharmacies and drugstores from around three euros

Tip: Glycerin is a trivalent alcohol that is contained in almost all natural oils and fats and has water-binding properties.


  • fresh hydrangea flowers
  • low vase
  • water
  • Glycerin
  • pot

That’s how it’s done:

1st step: Mix water and glycerine in a ratio of 2: 1 – for example in a saucepan.

Step 2: Pour the liquid mixture into the vase.

3rd step: place hydrangeas in it.

4th step: Wait until the liquid has completely disappeared.

Step 5: Remove the hydrangea flowers.

Tip: The water evaporates normally, while the glycerine remains in the hydrangea petals. This way, the flowers keep their bright color better. In addition, the plant feels much more elastic and softer – almost like fresh flowers.

Variant 3: dry hydrangeas with silica gel or dry salt

Hydrangea flowers can also be dried very well with specific powder substances such as silica gel or drying salt. The agents remove moisture from the flowers in a relatively gentle way.


  • large, sealable plastic container (hydrangeas must fit in lying down)
  • Silica gel OR dry salt *
  • Newsprint

* Can be bought in handicraft stores or various Internet shops. The prices fluctuate a lot, especially since only fairly large packs are often offered, which can then quickly cost ten euros or more.

That’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Cover the vessel with a layer of silica gel or dry salt. The layer should completely cover the ground.

Step 2: place flowers on top of the powder layer.

Step 3: Sprinkle silica gel or dry salt on the flowers. The flowers must “sink” completely into the powder.

4th step: close the vessel.

Step 5: wait. After a few days (around four to five) the flowers are dry.

Step 6: Spread out newspaper.

7th step: Open the vessel and carefully pour the contents onto the newspaper.

Step 8: Gently fish out the hydrangea flowers and shake gently to remove excess powder.

The layers may have to be renewed in between. With dry salt, the moment is clearly visible. It changes color when it is already too wet. This makes it easy to see when a change should be made.

Tip: Both silica gel and dry salt can be used multiple times. You only have to dry the liquid powder in the oven or microwave.

By the way, washing powder or cat litter can also be used instead of silica gel and dry salt. Please do not put these products in the microwave or oven!

Variant 4: hang up hydrangea flowers

Drying flowers by hanging them up isn’t big news. You can also try the method with hydrangeas, but experience has shown that the result leaves something to be desired. The dried umbels usually become quite brittle. Some like this own “character”, others don’t find the condition particularly nice. Ultimately, it’s your own taste that decides.


  • fresh hydrangea flowers
  • needle and thread

That’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Carefully pierce the hydrangea stem with a sharp needle.

Step 2: Pull the thread through the hole that has been created.

3rd step: knot the thread tightly at the end.

4th step: hang up the blossom freely – for example on a clothesline. A dark and dry place is important.

Step 5: Remove the flowers when they are completely dry. This condition can be recognized by the cracking, breaking leaves.

Variant 5: Press hydrangea flowers

The method of pressing flowers is very popular with hobbyists, and with the right utensils it also works with hydrangeas. The color is usually very well preserved in the version. However, the flowers are flattened in the process. You should be aware of this before you are disappointed afterwards.


  • fresh hydrangea flowers
  • Flower press *
  • Baking or blotting paper **

* Available in stores from around ten euros. Alternatively, you can use a lot of heavy books. For a perfect result, however, it is advisable to invest in a proper flower press.
** The paper absorbs the moisture from the petals. It needs to be changed every two to three days during the drying process.

That’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Cut the flowers in half with a pair of secateurs – carefully! This preparatory step is to maintain the flower’s round shape when pressed flat.

Step 2: Prepare the flower press (remove the upper part).

Step 3: Place two sheets of baking paper or blotting paper on the underside of the flower press.

4th step: Place flowers on the paper. Make sure there is sufficient space between the flowers (do not stack them!).

Step 5: Place two more leaves on top of the flowers. They serve as a fixation.

Step 6: close the flower press.

7th step: Put the press in a dry place.

Tip:  Don’t forget to change the sheets every two to three days!

After a week or two, the hydrangea flowers are dry and ready to be processed.

Special method: cut very late

Finally, a special method that throws everything overboard that this guide has said so far: You can also leave the drying to nature. Then the hobby gardener does not use scissors until the hydrangea blossoms are completely dry in autumn.


  • natural dried hydrangea flowers
  • Gold, silver or colored lacquer

This is how it works :
Color the naturally dried hydrangea flowers with spray varnish. Silver or gold look noble and a bit antique, colored lacquer, on the other hand, ensures a lively and modern appearance.

Note: Due to the weather, the flowers no longer look completely fresh and undamaged when cut in autumn. You have to reckon with a somewhat battered condition.

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