How to Keep Cut Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are such gorgeous and romantic summer flowers! They love to grow in shaded places, yet there is nothing shy about their blooms. A bountiful bouquet of them cut and arranged on a table is pure bliss! They bring joy and glory to any occasion and brighten any room. Yes, hydrangeas are one of the best loved flowers around! But like many things, these dramatic beauties can be a little bit of a diva. They often wilt as soon as they are cut and brought into the house. Here’s a few ways to guarantee full, long lasting cut hydrangeas you may enjoy at home all summer long.

1. Place the hydrangeas in water immediately when cut in the garden

Take a container of water together with you in the garden when cutting hydrangeas. They are very sensitive and only a few minutes in the sun can make them wilt, once cut. As soon as hydrangeas are cut place the stems immediately into tepid water. Use a sharp knife or clippers to cut each stem on a diagonal and submerge. Cut hydrangeas in the morning and choose only the most mature blooms. They will look a little more papery than others.

2. Strip the leaves off

When preparing the vase use clean, room temperature water for hydrangeas. If you have floral preservative use it too. When you start making your flower display arrangements make sure you strip off the leaves from each hydrangea stem. The leaves are big water drinkers and will steal it from the blooms. At least, strip off most of the leaves. Those that are below the water line should absolutely be removed!

3. Smash or cut the bottom of the stems

Cut the hydrangeas stems to the desired length. Smash the very bottom of them to allow more water to travel up the stems and feed the blooms. I use a small hammer to crush the ends of the hydrangeas I bring inside. You can also cut the bottom of each stem on the diagonal and then make a cut up each stem instead of smashing it.

4. Boil water and dip each stem into it

Yes, boiling water! Hydrangeas produce a “sap” that clogs their stems and blocks water from traveling up it to those gorgeous blooms. The boiling water helps to do away with the sap. Put boiling water into a cup. Dip each stem into the boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately put them into a vase or container filled with room temperature water. Sounds strange, but it really works.

5. Replace water every other day

Replacing the water in the vase or containers that hold hydrangeas will keep them fresher longer! Also give hydrangeas a fresh cut and dip them in boiling water before putting them in the fresh water!

6. Emergency rescue for whiling hydrangeas

If hydrangea blooms start to prematurely wilt you can totally submerge them in a “bath” of  water for about 45 minutes. Then recut and place the stems into boiling water and then back into a vase of fresh water. They should revive in a couple of hours and live another day or two.

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