How I Keep Cut Hydrangeas From Wilting

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On Instagram, I shared on my stories how I keep cut hydrangeas from wilting. It was something I do to keep my blooms lasting a few extra days.

Three of YOU sent me a tip I didn’t know about – how you really get them super hydrated to keep them from wilting… and to revive the blooms so they last two or even three weeks!

pinterest image that says how to keep hydrangeas from wilting 1

I looked up the science behind it – and it all makes sense. Now I can’t wait to share it with you!

I cut these hydrangeas from my mama’s front yard. She has hydrangea bushes so big you could cut from them all day and not even notice any were missing.

wilted hydrangeas in a vase

My favorite vase

My hydrangeas started wilting from the heat in the car ride home (only 7 minutes, but it was a typical hot NC summer day). They look SO SAD!

How To Keep Hydrangeas From Wilting

A few tips first: As you pick your hydrangeas: have a water container on hand outside, (if buying at the store, stick them in a waterbottle in the car!)  so they are never without water. Hydrangeas HATE to be without water – even momentarily!

Pull off the leaves that will be below the waterline. The leaves suck up water too so they will take water for themselves instead of the blooms!

how to keep hydrangeas from wilting by cutting the stems

Step 1

Cut the hydrangea stem on an angle, and additionally, cut into the slanted edge with little short slits vertically a few times. Hydrangeas LOVE water, so the reason you do this is to give the stem more surface area to suck up the water. 

I used to dunk them head first in warm water at this point to perk them up. I learned this technique from a florist shop. But you can skip this step – this new way is not only better but makes the blooms last longer!

Step 2

Pour boiling water into a cup and place the stems into the cup. Alternatively, you could put the boiling water and hydrangeas directly into the vase you are using, but I love my glass vase too much to risk it breaking because of the hot water.  I just use an older ceramic vase for extra precaution until the water cools down.

fresh cut hydrangeas on a stove top

Thirty minutes in and already looking better!

Once the water is not at an extreme temperature, I poured the hot water and flowers all into my favorite vase. Plump, happy hydrangea blooms!

hydrangeas on a nightstand vase

How To Stop Hydrangeas Fron Wilting Again

Now the next challenge, how to keep the hydrangeas from wilting again – will be easier. The goal is to have them last about two to three weeks!

If they start to droop after a few days, cut the stem again and change the old water out to hot water once or twice a week. You can also mist the blooms daily – hydrangeas are one of the very few flowers that can actually drink water from their blooms!

So why does boiling the water help the flowers perk up instead of wilt?  You would think dunking a stem into scalding water would cause damage, but it’s the opposite effect!

Hydrangea stems have a sticky sap inside that clogs up their stems from receiving water. If the sap gets too clogged, it actually blocks water from traveling up the stems and it never even reaches the blooms. This is why sometimes hydrangeas are too far gone to even perk up. The boiling water helps to unclog that sap, so water can flower into the blooms again!


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