How to Make Hydrangeas Last Longer in a Floral Arrangement

Learn how to make hydrangeas last longer in an arrangement from floral designer Sarah Brysk Cohen in this DIY wedding flowers video from Howcast.

Now, I’m going to show you how to make cut hydrangeas last longer.

Hydrangea can be a very finicky flower. So an important thing to remember about the hydrangea is that its stem is very tough and woody. We have to get access for the water to the bloom.

So the first thing we want do is really clean up the stem. You can peel away the foliage, either with you hands or with your clippers. Really clean it up so that there’s nothing below the water line in the vase that you’re going to use.

Now for the woody stem. You’re going to want to cut at a 45 degree angle. You can use your clippers or knife. You’re increasing the surface area on the bottom of the stem so that the water can travel up to the bloom and drink.

Next you need to cut the stem, open it up at a few other places so that even more water can travel up. So you can use your knife to do this and really slice the stem down the middle. Maybe even make another cross cut. Or you can use your clippers, probably easier with this tough stem to do so. And don’t worry if the bottom of the stem looks like a mess. That’s part of it. The hydrangea never looks pretty on the bottom.

In terms of the water that you’re going to use. You’re want to use warm water for hydrangea even though the environment should be cool. So the bloom has to have cool water, the stem has to have warm water. About the temperature of a bath actually. And it feels kind of strange to put a flower in warm water but it actually works, because the warm water soaks up the woody stem, softens it a bit, and allows to water to travel up to the bloom so it can drink.

The other interesting part about hydrangea is that the blooms actually drink as well. So if you wanted to freshen the hydrangea that’s starting to look a little saggy, a little droopy, you can actually spray it with a spray bottle full of nice cool water. Just freshen it up. Or you can even dunk it face down, put the whole head in a vase of water, a bucket of water and let it float around for a few minutes and when you take it out it may even look immediately refreshed.

Another trick for the water to keep the hydrangea fresh is that you can add just a little tiny bit, just a few drops of bleach. Any liquid bleach just like the kind that you use to wash your clothes, into the water and the bleach has the affect of killing any bacteria or fungus that start to develop, which is what makes the stem slimy and what ultimately kills the flower.

A lot of things make the hydrangea not so fresh. The environment is one of them. If it’s too dry, too cold, too hot. You want to try to maintain a pretty moderate temperature. A little bit cool. But the water’s a really important thing.

So we talked about having warm water and maybe a few drops of bleach can help it last long, and you’ll certainly know almost right away if you’ve added too much bleach because it will wilt and die, so for the next time you’ll know.

And that is how to keep hydrangea fresh and lasting longer.