Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How To Dry Nantucket Blue™ Hydrangea Flowers for Winter Arrangements

The ocean of fresh blue blooms in the landscape all summer is provided by long-lasting NantucketBlue™ Hydrangea.

Nantucket Blue™ prolongs the display,continuing with fresh flowers for months. Unlike common hydrangeas, this unique beauty blooms repeatedly on new growht throughout the growing seson and may bloom from early summer well into early fall. 

However, even Nantucket Blue™ will not go on forever. A great option is to preserve those blue mopheads for winter arrangements by drying when the flower heads are fully mature and beginning to dry on the shrubs.  

Step 1
Evaluate blossoms. In order to dry without wilting, flowers should be fully mature, beginning to dry on the plant, with the first few florets just beginning to brown

Step 2
Cut blossoms with about a foot of stem

Step 3
Strip the leaves

Step 4
Place in a vase and dry in place, or else hang upside down to dry. Some swear by adding an inch of water and allowing the flowers to slowly dry as the water evaporates.

These dried flowers will retain the rich New England Blue for years if they are kept out of direct sunlight. Mix them in dried arrangements, or wire the flowerheads into wreaths on a springtime will wreath.  

If you like the flower form but don’t need the blue color, and you wish the flowers to remain flexible, a second option is to dry using glycerin. Prepare the flower stems as before, but put in a vase with room temperature water, Meanwhile, mix glycerin from the craft supply store with hot water, fill a roomy vase and allow to cool to lukewarm. Add the hydrated hydrangeas to the glycerin mixture, and when they are leathery golden brown they are ready. (Note: the remaining glycerin mixture can be re-used..) 

Post photos of your dried Nantucket Blue(TM) Hydrangea creations on the Garden Debut(TM) Facebook Page. 

Photos courtesy Garden Debut(R), Wiki Commons, AnemoneWeddingBouquet.Blog 

1 comment:

  1. These dried flowers will retain the rich New England Blue for years if they are kept out of direct sunlight. Mix them in dried arrangements