Hydrangeas are loved by many and a favorite flower for gardens. As a plant, hydrangea can be a bit difficult to grow and get consistent bloom colors. As a cut flower, many people believe that they are equally finicky and hard to maintain, which is not true at all!
In order to help dispel this myth, I’ve put together a quick hydrangea care and handling guide so you know exactly what to do the next time you get a beautiful bunch of cut hydrangeas. I’m also going to cover how to revive wilted hydrangeas because sometimes bad things happen and it’s nice to know how to fix them!
Fresh is Best
As with any flower, the fresher the better, so getting a fresh cut hydrangea will mean a much longer lasting bloom than one that is already a week old. In general the hydrangea varieties grown at commercial hydrangea farms have been bred to be used as cut flowers and tend to have the best vase life, so getting your hydrangeas farm direct is usually your best option for the longest lasting blooms. Of course, you can also cut them right from your garden if you have that option available!
Quickly Prepare the Blooms
If you’ve just received a bunch of hydrangea, you’ll want to quickly get the stems in water. Hydrangeas are usually shipped with a little bag of hydrating gel or water at the end of the stem.
Cut the stem at a steep diagonal right above the bag to dispose of it and immediately place the stem in a clean vase filled with lukewarm or room temperature water (at least 3” to 5” high). Also despite what you may hear or read, DO NOT smash or crush the stems. I don’t know how this supposed tip started, but this does not help the hydrangea to hydrate and in fact has the opposite affect!
Keep Hydrangea Cool and Well Watered
For best vase life, keep the hydrangea in a cool spot away from direct sunlight and any heating vents. Hydrangeas can drink up quite a bit of water (the Greek word for water – “hydra” – is in its name!), so make sure you check the water levels to ensure they have enough. You’ll want to re-cut the stems and change the water every 2-3 days.
Hydrangea can actually take in moisture through its petals so they’ll also benefit from frequent light misting with water.
Reviving Wilted Hydrangea
Sometimes it just happens – maybe you accidentally left your hydrangea in a sunny hot spot or a stem got left out of water for a few hours. If you follow this trick of the trade, you might be able to revive a wilted hydrangea bloom. Just fill up your clean sink or a large bowl with room temperature water. Dunk the whole hydrangea bloom head into the water and let it sit for at least a few minutes.
Gently shake off the excess water and give the stem a fresh cut (at a diagonal) and immediately place the stem back into a clean vase filled with room temperature water. If your hydrangea did not go past the point of no return, you should see the bloom start to revive after a few hours.
I hope these hydrangea care and handling tips help the next time you find yourself the proud owner of a fresh bunch of these beautiful blooms. Hydrangeas come in so many sizes and colors (natural and tinted) and you can even get hydrangea petals to decorate a wedding or event. If you have any questions or need help, always feel free to drop us a line and you can check out all the hydrangeas we have in our hydrangea category.