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The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping

Now that we are at the height of hydrangea season, I’m often asked how to keep fresh cut hydrangeas from drooping in a vase.

Does that happen to you too?

It’s so disappointing when they wilt.

But there are two ways to prevent cut hydrangeas from wilting and both work equally well.

And if your cut hydrangeas wilted?

All is not lost.

Check out the end of this post to learn how to revive the flowers.

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Why Are My Fresh Cut Hydrangeas Wilting?

Fresh cut hydrangeas wilt when they self-heal from the initial cut.

Because cut stems start to form a substance over the wound to heal itself, water has trouble reaching the blooms.

When the flowers don’t get enough water, they start drooping.

And luckily, there is an easy fix for this.

With proper care, hydrangeas can last a long time.

Here are two methods to keep those fresh-cut flowers looking gorgeous for weeks!

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How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Wilting

There are two easy methods to keep cut hydrangeas from wilting.

And minimal supplies are required.

Here’s what you need:

Supplies Needed for Fresh Cut Hydrangeas Using Either Method

  • Pruners
  • Container filled with fresh water for the initial fresh cuts
  • Second container filled with fresh water to display the arrangement
  • Alum Spice (if using alum method)
  • Pot filled with boiling hot water (if using hot water method)
Everblooming hydrangea in my jersey garden

Directions for Cut Hydrangea Care

  • Gather supplies.
  • Clean pruning shears before making cuts.
  • Tip: it’s best to cut hydrangeas in the early am while the weather is cool.
  • Cut stems at an angle.
  • Immediately drop fresh cuts into a container of fresh water.
  • Choose and follow one of the methods below: Hot Water or Alum.
  • If using grocery store or floral blooms, skip this part and follow one of the below methods.
Making fresh cut to endless summer hydrangea for an arrangement -How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping

How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping Using the Hot Water Method

To me, this is the easier way to do it because you don’t need anything else besides sharp pruners and boiling hot water.

Hot Water Method Directions

  • After the initial cuts are made, boil water.
  • Have the second container of room temperature water ready to hold the arrangement.
  • Cut hydrangea stems again on an angle to the desired length of the arrangement.
boiing water in a pot on the stove -How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping
  • Optional: some like to smash the bottom of stems so it takes in more water. (I’ve never done this but I’ve heard it works).
  • Stand hydrangea stems in hot water for 30 seconds.
  • Immediately drop into room temperature water.
  • Arrange flowers accordingly.
Dipping hydrangea stem into boiling hot water to help keep the flowers from wilting -How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping

How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping Using Alum

Have you ever heard or used alum before?

Alum is a spice that is used for pickling and canning.

But did you know that it can also be used to help keep hydrangeas from wilting?

Alum powder helps keep hydrangeas from wilting

Alum Spice Method Directions

  • After making the initial cuts from the plant, immediately drop stems in freshwater.
  • Get a second container with fresh water ready and grab the alum spice.
  • While arranging the blooms, re-cut stems on an angle to the desired length of the arrangement.
  • Dip the bottom 1/2 inch of the stem into the alum.
  • Drop into the second container
  • Arrange the flowers.
Dip fresh cut hydrangea into allum spice to keep it from wilting

Dip the fresh-cut hydrangea in the alum powder.

Then immediately drop into water.

Arrange your flowers accordingly.

I love to mix the colors up a little for some contrast.

Keep fresh cut hydrangeas in water after cutting
Arranging fresh cut hydrangeas in a vintage galvanized metal lattice planter

How to Revive Wilted Blooms

  • If the arrangement’s water is more than a day old, dump it and add fresh water before reviving.
  • Soak the blooms for several hours. I do this in the kitchen sink.
  • Re-cut all the stems at an angle.
  • Choose and follow one of the above methods to finish reviving the blooms.
  • Note: if the arrangement is much older, blooms may be more difficult to revive. But give it a shot!

Don’t these fresh-cut hydrangeas look so beautiful?

I love how they look in this pretty vintage container too.

Fresh cut hydrangea arrangement on a table in a vintage galvanized metal planter - How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping

I kept them outside for a bit but wound up bringing them indoors in my kitchen.

Because I love how they look on the kitchen island with those vintage seed prints in the background.

Since using these techniques, I haven’t had trouble with fresh-cut hydrangeas again.

So now there are more blooms to enjoy indoors!

Fresh cut hydrangea flowers in vintage galvanized metal lattice planter on black island in farmhouse kitchen with vintage seed prints on wall.How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping
How to Keep Hydrangeas from Drooping

How Long Do Fresh Cut Hydrangeas Last?

I’ve read 2-5 days, but from my experience, they last much longer than that.

When I cut hydrangea flowers in the morning and used one of these two methods, they lasted over a week.

I even tested out both ways to see if one lasted longer.

From my experiment, the alum method for cut hydrangea care helped the flowers last a little bit longer than the hot water method.

Fresh cut flower arrangement on table outside with dahlias and hydrangeas and zinnias -how to keep fresh cut hydrangeas from wilting
I used a few fresh cut hydrangeas in this fall harvest dining table centerpiece.
garden nj in the backyard in late summer

The longest I got out of my hydrangea flowers is two weeks.

I hope you found this post helpful to fix drooping hydrangeas. My fresh-cut hydrangeas last so much longer in arrangements now.

Although both methods work pretty well, I prefer using the alum method. If you tried both, which method works best for you?

my jersey garden hydrangeas at sunset

How to Arrange Flowers Like a Pro

Now that you’ve got your fresh-cut hydrangeas, how do you want to arrange them?

It’s not hard to arrange your own bouquet or centerpiece and you can save a lot of money doing it yourself.

Click here to learn my best tips for arranging flowers.

This flower arrangement was made from my cut flower garden with hydrangeas, zinnias and dahlias. .how to set a cozy fall harvest table
Bricks ‘n Blooms

Want to Learn How to Keep Your Fresh Cut Hydrangeas Fresh?

I wish fresh flowers lasted longer but sometimes, they just don’t.

However, there are ways to extend the life of a bouquet. It’s not hard to do and worth the few extra steps to help them last.

Follow these tips to learn how to keep fresh flower arrangments longer.

More About Hydrangeas

How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping

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close up of endless summer hydrangeas
closeup of endless summer hydrangeas
Fresh Cut Hydrangea Arrangement Idea

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29 Comments

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful! I cut mine early last week and they still look amazing today! Enjoy the blooms!!! xoxo

  1. Stacy, I am so glad that you linked up with us at Embracing Home and Family! I love your blog, it is absolutely beautiful! I just noticed that you link to follow you on HomeTalk in your sidebar…brilliant! I have never thought of doing that! I hope that you continue to join us on Fridays!

    1. Thank you Jennifer!!! I really love your blog too and am so glad we connected through blogging! I love hometalk – aren’t they great? I’ll look for you on there to follow! Enjoy your Sunday! xoxo

  2. Do you have any tips for drying hydrangeas? I find some types dry naturally even when in water, but the traditional hydrangeas don’t seem to be easy to dry.

    1. Hi Teresa! Its funny you ask! I am sharing a blog post on it tomorrow!! Are you signed up for my newsletter? If so, it will go right to your inbox!

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  4. Hi Stacy – I will order the alum powder today. Thank you so much for a great tip.
    Love hydrangeas. I have probably propagated over 50 of them.

  5. Thank you so much for taking the time to post these helpful tips. I used the hot water method, and No Droop! Even after 2 days! Very happy to enjoy my hydrangea blossoms inside!

  6. I use the Alum trick and it works well.

    Our Limelights are slowly expanding. It makes my heart so happy.

    I love them !

  7. Hi…is that Hoosier alum powder granulated? I looked up the one you show here and it appears to be granulated, not an actual powder. Just want to make sure I order the right one.

  8. Hi…is that Hoosier alum powder granulated? I looked up the one you show here and it appears to be granulated, not an actual powder. Just want to make sure I order the right one.

    1. It is similar to a powder – you can probably find it in your spice aisle at the grocery store too.

  9. Your garden has the touch of a lady who loves gardening. So beautiful.
    When I go out of town I have a lady come every day to check my small garden.
    She waters what needs watering and with the horribly hot weather we have had in Va. Beach, it’s a daily need.
    I don’t know if you know anyone who could check on your garden when you are away. Maybe not just to water but tie up what needs tying up.
    Yes, alum is in the spice aisle and could also be in the canning materials aisle.
    Just love your blog.

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