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Gardener shares 'best way' to preserve hydrangea colour while drying out flower cuttings


Gardeners are encouraged to cut new wood hydrangeas in the autumn before they’ve had a chance to grow new branches which will produce flowers. This presents the perfect opportunity to bring the cuttings indoors and prepare large colourful displays for the mantelpiece or table.

Many like to dry their hydrangeas, which can easily be done in four simple steps. But, because hydrangeas usually see the intensity of their hues fade with time, drying them can cause the colour to fade.

One handy gardening tip was recently shared on TikTok by Julienne-Pomwreath, who uses water to preserve them – despite sounding like a counter-intuitive trick.

Taking to the video-sharing platform, Julieanne admitted her hack may “sound a little crazy” as “the best way” to preserve the colour of blooms is to soak them in water, even when trying to dry them out.

She continued: “Of course, you can just dry them in an empty case if you prefer and your hydrangeas will still look beautiful.”

The TikToker went on to say “drying in water will give you studier stems and help retain the shape and colour” of the plant. 

For the method to work well, gardeners are encouraged to strip the leaves off the plant to give them enough space inside the vase.

Julieanne adds the hack can work one of two ways. Either a gardener can use the “old-fashioned way of two inches of water in the bottom of a larger vase”.

Alternatively, however, they can place the end of the stems one to two inches into the water if the vase is narrow.

“Either way should work and leave you with beautifully dried colourful hydrangeas,” she continued, before adding in the comments: “This is the slow method and will take roughly two to three weeks for your hydrangeas to dye.”

Southern Living Plants confirms even though the method may seem counterintuitive, it does indeed help the flowers preserve their colour. Experts note, however, the darker varieties of hydrangea hold colours better than those with lighter hues.

Drying the flowers in the daylight or anywhere overexposed will bleach out the petals.

Alternatively, “drying hydrangea blooms with silica gels should preserve their colour pretty effectively if you’ve chosen a bright bloom”.

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