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Tips for Caring for Cut Hydrangea Stems: Keeping Blooms Fresh and Beautiful

Updated: Mar 21


At Scarlett Floral Design, we LOVE incorporating Hydrangeas into our floral arrangements. With their iconic big blooms and vibrant colours, they effortlessly illuminate any space.


These beauties are a staple in our bouquets, so we want to make sure you know how to care for them to enjoy maximum longevity! To ensure they maintain their spectacular appearance, we've compiled some care tips, as hydrangea stems occasionally demand a little extra tender loving care.


Understanding Hydrangea Blooms

Before we dive into care tips, it's important to understand a bit about the Hydrangea itself. The term "Hydrangea" originates from the Ancient Greek words for 'water vessel', 'hydor' and 'angos'. It's a fitting name since these flowers are among the most thirsty ones you can find.


Hydrangeas are known for their large, showy flower heads, which can range in colour from white and cream to pink, blue, and even purple. These blooms are made up of numerous smaller flowers clustered together, each contributing to the overall beauty and charm of the hydrangea.


If you happen to notice occasional wilting of petals on the hydrangea, fear not! It doesn't imply your hydrangea stem is dying; rather, it suggests the flower isn't receiving sufficient hydration. So, let's dive into some of our top tips to help revive those babies to their former glory!


1. Ensure you're cutting Hydrangea Stems Properly

A simple way to increase hydration starts when cutting hydrangea stems for floral arrangements. Use a sharp knife or shears to make a diagonal cut at the base of the stem. Next, cut an additional small slit through the middle of the stem, splitting it in half. Cutting the stem this way increases the surface area for water absorption, allowing the stem to take up water more efficiently and prolonging the life of the bloom.


2. Dunking Heads into Cool Water

Public Service Announcement: Hydrangeas absorb water not only through their stems but also through their petals! Yes, those lovely petals can also soak up H2O. An effective method for hydrating cut hydrangea blooms involves dunking the flower heads into cool water. Simply fill a sink or bucket with cool water and fully immerse the flower heads for 2-3 hours. This process helps hydrate the petals and prevent wilting, especially if the blooms have been without water for an extended period. (Don't forget to recut the stem according to step 1 instructions when repositioning the stem in the vase upright!)


3. Hot Water Treatment

To maximise the vase life of cut hydrangea stems, consider using the hot water treatment. After cutting the stems at an angle, immediately place them in a container filled with hot water (around 71°C) for approximately 1.5 hours. This process helps to seal the stem and prevent air bubbles from forming, allowing for better water uptake and hydration.


4. Change Water Regularly

To keep cut hydrangea stems fresh, change the water in the vase every 2-3 days. Fresh water helps to prevent bacterial growth and keeps the blooms hydrated and vibrant for longer periods. Additionally, recut the stems as per step 1 each time you change the water to maintain optimal water uptake.


5. Keep Hydrangeas Cool

Place cut hydrangea arrangements in a cool, shaded area away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Exposure to heat and sunlight can cause the blooms to wilt prematurely, so it's important to keep them in a cool and stable environment.


With these simple yet effective care tips, you can ensure that your cut hydrangea stems remain fresh, vibrant, and beautiful for longer. With a little care and attention, your cut hydrangea stems will continue to bloom a little longer :)


X Scarlett

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