How to Revive the Wilting Hydrangeas in Your Bouquet

When your hydrangea blooms begin to droop, don't fret. Use a trick florists rely on to bring back wilting hydrangeas.

Bouquets make us so happy, especially when made with gorgeous, pillowy hydrangea flowers. We hate to see sad, wilting hydrangeas, but the good news is you can easily bring back your cut hydrangeas.

How to Revive Hydrangeas

These two tricks will help you coax three to five more days from your wilting hydrangeas.

Trick No. 1: Give Them a Soak

We spoke to Bailey Hale, co-owner and head of floral operations at Ardelia Farm & Co. in Irasburg, Vermont. His advice to bring back wilting hydrangea blooms? Soak them—flowers and all. “Soak the blooms in warmish water for 30 to 40 minutes,” he advises.

Why? According to Hale, hydrangeas take in water through the flower petals as well as through the stems. Submerging your cut hydrangea gives the flowers a chance to take in lots of water and revive.

Trick No. 2: Cut the Stems

Another tip from Hale is to trim the stems. Many people know that a fresh cut on flower stems will help bouquets last, but Hale says there’s more to it than that: “The longer the stem, the harder it is for water to reach the flowers.”

Trim the stems to a shorter length, and then make a criss-cross slice up into the stems—another way to help the stem to take up water. He does not recommend crushing the stems, a step sometimes given for flowers with woodier stems, like lilacs. “The vascular tissues that take in water will be damaged if the stems are crushed,” he says.

Don’t forget to check out our pro tips for arranging flowers!

Tips for Your Next Bouquet

Hale’s last tip is for your next bouquet made from the hydrangeas in your yard. “Don’t cut hydrangea flowers too young,” he says. That’s when flowers still have a lot of moisture in the petals. Wait until the flowers have a papery or even “leathery” feel, and your hydrangea blooms will last much longer in your bouquet.

Next up: This is how to prune hydrangeas for the perfect summer blooms.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.