Hydrangeas: Drying Methods
It's interesting how certain flowers evoke a sense nostalgia: roses, hollyhocks and hydrangeas to name a few. There's no question these are beautiful in the garden but if cared for properly you can also use them inside. Let me give you an example.
This variety of hydrangea is called PeeGee. It's one of my favorites and during the summer the blooms get so large they actually weigh the plant down, so I feel like I am doing it a favor by removing them.
There are 2 methods you can follow to preserve these blooms and both involve drying. The first is rather simple. All you do is remove the leaves like this along the stem and bundle 5 or 6 of them together and hang them in a cool dry place. The other method actually involves water. Now that may sound odd but let me show you what I mean.
Just prepare a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin. You can find this at your local pharmacy. Now the way this works is that the water and the glycerin are drawn through the stem of the plant and the water evaporates through the petals leaving the glycerin. This makes the bloom more soft and supple to the touch and it also helps to preserve the color and the shape of the bloom longer. To help with the uptake of the solution I cut the stems at a SLIGHT ANGLE before sliding them into the vase.
It's important to remember that the best time to cut hydrangeas is when the petals are showing a slight green color.
These processes of preserving are a great way to enjoy hydrangeas through the fall and winter.
From the garden, I'm Allen Smith.
P. Allen Smith Gardens
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