How To Keep Cut Hydrangeas From Wilting

Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson
Keep these gorgeous flowers wilt free with our tried-and-true secrets.

Just like you, we're crazy about lush French hydrangeas. These showy blooms practically arrange themselves, but if you cut them at the wrong time (or prep them incorrectly), they'll deflate fast and furiously. For lasting arrangements (about two to three days for fresh cut flowers), take our advice and gather blooms in the morning. Pick ones that are open and colorful. Mature flowers with a slightly papery feel will hold up best. Immediately place the stems, cut at an angle, in a bucket of water. Arrange them right away, or store in a cool, dark place (such as a garage) for up to two days. If the flower heads begin to droop, act fast and try one of these tips.

Dip in Alum
Kathy Thomas, a floral designer at KSR Designs in Macon, Georgia, has this trick for arranging hydrangeas: She dips ½ inch of each stem in alum powder (found on the baking aisle at the grocery store) to help encourage water uptake.

Soak in a Tub
Submerge blooms (stems and all) in water for 45 minutes. This is the best way to revitalize previously arranged blooms.

Chill Out
When the temperature soars, fill vases with 2 parts ice to 1 part water to cool down flowers.

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