Love hydrangeas? Learn the secrets to long lasting cut hydrangeas! These simple tips will keep your hydrangeas fresh and beautiful for a week or longer.
Nothing makes your home feel more alive than one or two arrangements of fresh flowers. Every once in a while, I pick up a few grocery store bouquets of flowers just to lift my spirits. This week, my Kroger had the prettiest hydrangeas and since my garden hydrangeas aren’t blooming yet, I couldn’t resist. It also gave me the opportunity to share with all of you a few secrets for making your cut hydrangeas last longer. These three secrets to long lasting cut hydrangeas will keep them from wilting and they should last up to a week…maybe longer.
The Secrets to Long Lasting Cut Hydrangeas
Tip #1: Cut off all lower leaves.
The first thing to do is snip off all the leaves below the bloom. Leaves are moisture suckers and they muddy the water in your container.
Tip #2: Cut stems at an angle with a sharp knife.
In order to get the most water to the bloom, the stems need a sharp, long cut. Use a knife and cut the stem at an angle that is at least 2 inches long. Hold the stem down firmly with a few fingers to make the cutting easier. It’s important to have a sharp knife because hydrangea stems are quite tough.
Related: Arranging Garden Flowers & Herbs
Tip #3: Dip cut stem in a jar of Alum.
The easiest thing to do is to pick up a jar of alum at the grocery store (in the spice aisle) and keep it on hand for your cut hydrangeas. As you cut the stems, dip them quickly into the alum jar and then plunge them into water. Once you dip a stem in the jar, clearly you can’t use it for anything else!
Related: The Art of Arranging Garden Flowers
This method works just as well on garden hydrangeas as long as they are mature. It’s hard to get a good slice on a thin, young hydrangea stem.
Related: All About Limelight Hydrangeas
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UPDATE: I had a few questions so I wanted to add some additional information!
- What does the alum do? I have no idea how it actually works, but the alum keeps the end of the hydrangea stem open so it will take in as much water as possible. Sometimes when hydrangeas are cut, a sticky liquid comes out which blocks the water. Alum eliminates this so the stem stays open.
- Will this method work on other flowers? Generally speaking, this method will work on stems that are woody. In other words, it’s worth a try on stems that are cut from perennials or shrubs that do not die down in the fall. Some examples are roses, dogwood, lilacs, etc.
- A bit off the subject but I had a reader recommend a fertilizer called Jack’s. It’s a 20-20-20 mixture and can be found at nurseries or by clicking HERE. She said it worked wonders on her hydrangea plants and that her blooms were spectacular. When it comes to blooming hydrangeas, I’m willing to try anything so I ordered a container. I’ll let you know what happens! UPDATE June 2018: I used Jack’s fertilizer around the middle of April on my hydrangeas. They are currently beautiful and full of buds. I’ll try to report back when they are in full bloom.
- The blue striped pitcher: The pitcher was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter and I love it! She got it a few years ago and unfortunately it is no longer available. You can check out my Amazon Shop for some similar options.
If you are lucky enough to have hydrangeas blooming in your garden, I hope you cut a few and try out this method. If not, treat yourself to a bouquet the next time you are at the grocery. You definitely deserve it.
Thank you for stopping by…see you soon.