If you have hydrangeas, I have decorating tips for you. Here are some simple DIY projects and tips and display ideas on how to decorate with hydrangeas.
I’m still not sure when I first fell in love with hydrangeas.
Maybe it’s when I discovered they bloom all summer.
Maybe it’s when I realized each individual flower is a work of art.
I think it was my dad.
When I was little and my father would walk me down the flower-lined streets on Cape Cod and point them out with a magical whisper. He’d describe them in hushed tones and tell me about the tiny petals and how they bloomed and the ways the flowers could change colors and that long after the color faded…
….the beauty of the hydrangea remained.
We’ve planted them ever since our first house. We’ve planted them in the rocky non-acidic soils of Texas and the lush, rush dirt of western Kentucky. And this year? We are planting them again in the house that my father loved.
Here are my thoughts on all DIY’s and tips and display ideas for this beautiful flower and how to decorate with hydrangeas.
How to cut hydrangeas to decorate
I wanted to go all Julie Andrews and start at the beginning. All hydrangea decorating starts with the cutting.
- I always cut the hydrangeas first thing in the morning when it’s cooler (especially in Texas) so the flower doesn’t take it too badly.
- I typically cut my hydrangea stems about 8 inches long (I can always trim them later) with leaves on them.
- Hydrangea leaves come in groupings of two and you want to cut the flowers where two of the stems meet so the flower can keep flowering.
I try to choose the flowers that look like they are finished blooming to help out my hydrangea bush a little.
When to cut hydrangea plants for arrangements
See these flowers?
This is what the plant looks like when it’s just getting started. The leaves are smaller. The plants are smaller.
I know it is so tempting to cut them now. Don’t. You will be so much happier if you wait a little. This might sound a little random, but I talk to my plants like I talk to my rooms. I always feel like the plant gets a little discouraged if you take it’s flowers too early.
I try and clip my hydrangea plants after the flowers are bigger and the stem is so heavy that the flower is falling over.
Then the plant doesn’t look discouraged.
It looks relieved.
How to make your cut hydrangeas last longer
- I put them in cool water as soon as I cut them.
- I cut the stems at an angle. This allows them to soak up as much water as possible.
- Adding a tiny bit of sugar to the water helps keep them fresh longer.
- Every couple of days, I retrim the stems and change the water.
- Make sure there aren’t any leaves under water.
Simple display ideas to decorate with fresh hydrangeas
My best tip?
Just let the hydrangeas do the talking. In other words, hydrangeas are so pretty that you don’t have to do much to decorate with them. They do all the work with their flowers and their blooming and their brilliant colors.
All you have to do is trim them at the right time and find a pretty vase or container.
Here are some simple ideas for trim, cut and add water.
Display in a tall glass bottle
These are hydrangeas with 8″ stems in a tall vase.
I’ve left the leaves on because I’m using one hydrangea per vase.
I’ve grouped the tall glass bottles together and placed them on a wood tray.
Display in a basket
This is one of my favorite things to do when I’m about to dry hydrangeas to decorate with for the fall.
I cut 10-12 hydrangeas with 8 to 10″ stems and remove all the leaves.
Then I fill a big glass vase with water and place the stems of the hydrangea into the vase and then place the vase in the basket.
When the leaves start to change color slightly, I remove water and let the hydrangeas dry in place.
It’s kind of the lazy way of drying hydrangeas. Some of the flowers might get a little smashed, but if you are drying tons of hydrangeas for wreaths or garlands or arrangements? This is an easy method that doesn’t require a lot of work.
how to decorate with hydrangeas and milk glass
This is one of my favorite ways to add a little color to a spring mantel.
It’s one of the easiest, too.
I line up five milk glass containers in different sizes and different heights. Then I trim my hydrangeas with small stems (between 4 to 5 inches) and keep the leaves on a few of them.
I just add water.
I stagger the leaved hydrangeas with the non-leaved hydrangeas to add a little green to the display.
Decorate a table with hydrangeas and pears
This is an arrangement I created for fall with the last hydrangeas of the season in late August. They inspired me with their bits of brown leaves and fading petals. I took small pumpkins (or you could use vases) and filled them with water and hydrangeas.
Then I cut magnolia leaves (which are an entirely different flower decorating topic) and layered them into the dining table centerpiece with pears.
It was such a fresh way to welcome in September.
Simple display ideas to decorate with dried hydrangeas
And the best part about hydrangeas?
They are the gift that keeps on giving.
After spring and summer are over and they are finished blooming, you can dry them and decorate with them for fall.
Make a dried hydrangea wreath
- You’ll need grapevine wreath, florist wire and dried hydrangea.
- Trim the leaves and keep the stems about 5″ long.
- Wrap floral wire around the hydrangea and insert into the grapevine wreath.
- Continue wrapping the wire and adding hydrangea around the wreath.
- You may need to trim some of the hydrangeas so they look even. See the overly-exuberant friend at the top. He needed a hair cut.
Add dried hydrangeas to garlands
- This is a simple dollar store garland that I bought.
- Trim the leaves and keep the stems about 5″ long.
- Wrap floral wire around the hydrangea and wrap them around the grapevine garland.
- I added six to eight hydrangeas on each side of the door.
Add as accents on a pre-made wreath
- This is a pre-purchased wreath that I bought at the store. It came with the greenery.
- I added a few dried hydrangea and other flowers to add a little texture to the wreath.
- I trimmed all the leaves off of the hydrangeas and keep the stems about 5″ long.
- Wrap floral wire around the hydrangea and insert into the pre-made wreath.
- Make sure to vary the sizes of the hydrangeas when adding them to the wreath.
The hydrangeas are ready for another year.
We’re getting the rocky dry soil ready and preparing the beds and making a home for them and planting our new hydrangea bushes tucked away in the corner in a shady corner of the house that gets dappled sunlight through the trees.
Another hydrangea chapter.
And when I look at that those flowers planted in front of the home and the flower beds that my father loved? I know he’s smiling right now…
….because I can hear his whispers in my ear.