Hydrangeas are large, showy flowers in colors including pink, white, blue and green. These flowers bloom profusely in the summer, decorating a spot with their majestic size. A couple of cut hydrangeas displayed in a vase indoors are enough to spruce up any living space. Although fresh hydrangeas have their own charm and beauty, dry these large blooms and use them in bouquets, floral arrangements and wreaths to enjoy all year round. Common ways of preserving hydrangeas include drying or using silica gel or glycerin.
Preserving by Air-Drying
Allow flowers to dry partially while still on the plant. Clip them off along with 12 to 18 inches of stem length only when they feel papery and slightly dry instead of soft and supple. Use sharp scissors and do this in the morning.
Remove leaves from the stems, and bunch together four or five flowers and wrap floral wire or an elastic band around their stems.
Tie an end of ribbon over the tape or elastic band and hang the other side from a nail in the ceiling of a dark, dry and warm room, away from direct sunlight. Your hydrangeas will dry in two to three weeks. As an alternative, lower cut flowers into a vase without water, and keep out of direct sunlight until they dry.
Preserving with Glycerin
Cut flowers along with 18-inch stem length when they feel papery and dry to the touch.
Strip the leaves from the stems and smash the end 2-inch stem length with a hammer to encourage the stems to absorb glycerin solution.
Fill a vase 2/3 with water at room temperature, and lower the hydrangeas into it. Let the flowers sit for two hours so they are fully hydrated. Gently pour the water out after the specified time.
Add 2 parts hot water to 1 part glycerin in a bowl. Mix well and allow to cool.
Pour the glycerin solution slowly into the vase with the hydrangeas. Slightly shake the vase so the glycerin is level at the top. Place in an area without traffic for two to three weeks, or until the hydrangeas have dried completely. The stems absorb the glycerin solution (glycerin and water), evaporate the water from the petals so only glycerin is left behind. Preserved hydrangeas turn deep golden brown.
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Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.