Hydrangea is a very popular cut flower because of its lush and colourful blooms. Hydrangea originated from Southern and Eastern Asia, in countries such as Japan, China, the Himalaya and Indonesia, as well as North and South America. They usually bloom in abundance between March to September. However, like any other fresh cut flowers, hydrangea wilt very quickly and more so compared to other types of fresh cut flowers.  If not treated correctly, cut hydrangeas may start wilting as soon as within a day or even hours. But fret not, as there are ways you can keep fresh cut hydrangeas for a longer time.

A close up of a flower

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hydrangea flower

Here are 5 tips on how you can make these exquisite flowers last longer in your home! :

Tip 1: Clean Stems With Boiling Water

When you bring your cut hydrangeas home from the florist or when you removed them from a wrapped bouquet, boil up some water and fill your vase/ bucket. Cut about 5cm from the hydrangea stems and immediately place the stems in the boiling water and leave them there. You will be surprised how they perk back up. Why boil water? Hydrangea wilt soon after being cut because their stems produce a ‘sap’ that contain a sticky substance that clogs the stems preventing moisture reaching the top of the stem to the head.

Of course there is a point past which this method will no longer revive the bloom, but this tip certainly will extend your hydrangeas for another 2 to 4 days.  

Tip 2: Provide plenty of water

As seen in their Latin root of the name, Hydra, these flowers need water! Fill your vase with water that is clean and at room temperature, and upon buying or receiving the flowers. Especially in this hot and sunny weather all year round in Singapore, without the water, these flowers would definitely not last for a very long time.

Some notes when preparing the water:

Add 1/4 cup of sugar

The sugar is the food for the stems and maintaining it will be just as important as the flowers.

Use floral preservatives (flower food) in the water

Without soil, the hydrangea does not receive the nutrients that help them to grow well. Hence it is advisable to put fertilisers in the water to replicate some of its ‘natural habitats’. Refer to the instructions that comes with the flower food pack on how much to use.

Add some bleach

Add a couple drops of bleach to prevent bacteria from forming in the water. Note that sugar will feed any existing bacteria in the vase and cause it to multiply rapidly and hinder moisture being absorbed into the stems.

Tip 3: Replace the water after 2 or 3 days and trim the stems

Replace the water where the hydrangea flowers are kept and each time your replace the water, trim the hydrangea stem. Cut the stem at least 5cm from the bottom in an angle. Cut the underside of the stem one way, then turn the stem and make a second cut to create the cross – this will accelerate absorption of moisture into the stems and ultimately to the blooms. You could also smash the bottom of the stems to allow even more water to travel up the stem, giving the flowers the water that they require.

Tip 4: Using Alum  

As you arrangement the blooms, recut the stems and dip the bottom 2cm of stem into powdered alum. Don’t worry about the powder being washed away when you return the stems into the vase of water. Alum is in reference to potassium alum, which is the hydrated form of potassium aluminum sulfa. This is the type of alum that you find in the grocery store for pickling and in baking powder.

Tip 5: Keep Cool

A good place to place your hydrangeas would be indoors, near a window. They prefer partial sun, hence place it away from direct sunlight. Kept in a cool environment and away from drafts. Hydrangea also drink water from their flower blooms, so using a mister gun, spray the blooms and this will help prolong the life of the Hydrangea

Bonus Tip 6: Reviving Wilted Blooms

If you find hydrangea wilting quickly, dunk its whole head into water as room temperature (not boiling water). In most cases, the blooms will look fresh again after a few hours.


hydrangea bouquet

If the cut hydrangea flowers are not too old, within a couple of hours they will have completely revived using the methods mentioned above. Occasionally, the revival process will take several hours. In most cases, the blooms will look as fresh as the first day. As with all cut flowers, the blooms will start to wilt past a certain point no matter how strictly these methods are adhered to. But applying these tips will certainly help you to enjoy more of your hydrangea beauty for the extra few blissful days.

Writer: JLee

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