Making Hydrangeas Last

The glorious pom-pom blooms of the hydrangea bush are one of our favorite obsessions. This, we’re sure, comes as no surprise given the prolific selection of these fluffy flowers in our debut line. And why not? They are charming, colorful, whimsical and surprisingly hardy and long-lasting too, especially when you take a little extra care with them.

What’s in a name

One clue to making hydrangeas last is in the origins of this flower’s name. While the earliest hydrangea fossils date back tens of millions of years, the flower was not specifically named until it landed in Europe in the 18th century by a man carrying it back from the colonies.

It was then, thought to look like a water pitcher, the flower was given the name “hydrangea,” derived from the Greek words “hydro” (for water) and “angeion” (for pitcher). Why is this a clue? Hydrangeas are considered to have a prodigious thirst for water and being attentive to that is part of the many steps toward keeping them at their best.

Let them drink

Like all flowers, hydrangeas should be hydrated for 2 to 4 hours before arranging. Prior to hydrating, trim stems and soak in cool water for about 30 seconds. This will prevent a sap that can form on hydrangea stems from doing so, allowing the stems to absorb much needed water, which makes them flourish and last.

Perk them up

After a few days, if hydrangeas begin to wilt, trim stems about an inch, then place in a sink or bucket filled with cool (or iced) water for 30 to 60 minutes. Shake off excess water and place back in the arrangement.

Since hydrangeas “drink” from both the top of the bloom and bottom of the stem, you can also dunk blooms into cool water for 5 to 10 minutes. Do not mist bloom—doing so can cause brown spots.

Trim their stems

When trimming stems, you can also slightly slice up the hydrangea stem to allow them to absorb more water. The key is to have a clean cut (do not compress or squash the stem or eventually it won’t be able to drink the water).

Freshen their water

Hydrangeas love clean water, so be sure to change water every few days.

Protect their blooms

Hydrangeas don’t prosper in direct sunlight. It’s best to display them out of direct rays.