Hydrangeas are the quintessential romantic summer bloom!!! Their big, moppy heads and little clusters of flowerets are iconic!!! A big bouquet of them cut and arranged on a table is pure bliss! 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! Cut hydrangeas wilt quickly when brought into the house. And there is nothing pretty about droopy hydrangeas! Here are a few ways to guarantee full, long lasting cut hydrangeas!
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Cutting hydrangeas during their growing season is far different than cutting them at the end of their season when they are papery and really don’t need water to stay beautiful. Here are a few great tips for having fresh cut hydrangeas in your home all summer long!
TAKE A CONTAINER OF WATER OUT TO THE GARDEN WITH YOU WHEN CUTTING HYDRANGEAS.
As soon as hydrangeas are cut the stems should immediately be put 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.
PREPARE WATER IN A CONTAINER OR VASE
Use clean, room temperature water for cut hydrangeas. If you have floral preservative use it too. You can find a good cut flower preservative HERE.
STRIP THE LEAVES OFF OF CUT HYDRANGEA STEMS
When you bring hydrangeas inside make sure you strip off the leaves from each hydrangea stem. I break this rule often… and I shouldn’t! 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!
CUT AND SMASH 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 wooden meat mallet 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.
There is some controversy about smashing the ends of hydrangeas. I find it does work well if I use the boiling water method.
BOIL WATER AND DIP EACH HYDRANGEA 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 (see directions above).
DIP STEMS IN ALUM POWDER
You can also keep cut hydrangeas from wilting by using alum powder. Dip the stems into the alum and put into a clean vase. Make sure to mark the alum container “for hydrangeas only” as you do not want to use it for any other use. You can find alum in the spice aisle of your local grocers.
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 watern or alum before putting them in the fresh water!
EMERGENCY RESCUE FOR WILTING 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.
It takes a little extra care to have a big beautiful bouquet of hydrangeas gracing your home… but it is sooooo worth it!
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