How To Perk Up A Hydrangea

Greek words “hydor,” which means “water,” and “angos,” which means jar or vessel, combine to form the term “hydrangea.” Translation: a barrel of water! These lovely flowers that resemble pom poms require water to survive, and if they don’t get it, they wilt.

The woody stem of hydrangeas can make it challenging for the flower to obtain the water it requires. A small slice cut into the stem and an angled trim with a sharp knife help the plant absorb more water.

I used to use scissors to trim the ends of my flowers, but I’ve since moved to using a sharp knife on the advice of my friends at Byland’s. Apparently, using scissors causes the stems to be pinched, harming them and limiting their ability to absorb water.

While they were beautiful to look at when we originally built the floral arrangement for our Mother’s Day Frache Table, it didn’t take long for them to start to look very melancholy. I was able to keep them from being thrown away thanks to this simple approach, and the flowers still looked new and fresh!

Keep in mind that hydrangeas might wilt to a certain extent after which they cannot recover. The good news is that this hack is really easy to use and doesn’t call for anything complicated, so why not give it a shot?


  • A kettle or pot of water should be heated up and then left to cool gradually. It ought to be really hot right now. Fill the vase with water.
  • Cut the ends of the hydrangeas at a 45-degree angle with the sharp knife after setting them on the cutting board. Then, on the newly trimmed stem, make a tiny vertical slit running up the middle.

Will hydrangeas bloom once more?

Just adhere to these measures if you’re like me and don’t want to let go of your bouquet but want to try reviving cut hydrangeas:

  • Remove an inch from the stem ends, then immerse wilted flowers in cool water. You can put water in a sink, bowl, or bucket.
  • It could be good to weigh down the stems in the water with a light plate so they stay totally immersed if you’re attempting to revive numerous stems at once.
  • Depending on how far gone your hydrangeas were to begin with will determine how long it takes for them to recover. Less-wilted blossoms may be revived in just an hour or two, so check on them often while they soak to see whether they have recovered their best appearance.
  • After a few hours, if you think they’re still looking wilted, soak them for the night to see if it helps.

If your hydrangeas don’t recover after an overnight bath, they might not be salvageable, therefore I wouldn’t suggest attempting to rehydrate them more than once. It’s actually a one-time trick since when my florets started withering once more, I tried soaking them again, but they just went brown and crumbled (this can also happen if you left them underwater for too long). However, you can prolong the enjoyment of your cut flowers if you can rehydrate your hydrangeas when they first begin to wilt.

How come my hydrangea is limp?

  • If there is any standing water in the pot, remove it. The water typically remains underneath your pot if it has a coaster. We occasionally have a tendency to overwater the pot and neglect to fully drain them before setting them in place.

If the pot doesn’t have any holes, you can carefully tip it upside down to let the extra water drain.

Just watch out not to harm the plant while doing it. Give the plant more sunlight so that the soil’s water will evaporate more quickly.

  • Plant in a new pot. Sometimes getting rid of extra water is insufficient. To determine the true state of the roots buried beneath the dirt, you must dig farther.

Gently loosen the soil around the hydrangea in the pot before removing it. Look for any signs of damage at the roots.

Remove the rotting parts that have already begun to develop. As fresh media, use a soil that drains effectively.

  • Keep the water off for a long time. There is no need to add additional water if there is already too much there. You can skip the other two if you’re already watering your hydrangea at least three times each week.

This will give the plant enough time to use the water that the earth has been holding for hydration. Before watering it one more, let it to totally dry.


Underwatering causes the hydrangeas to seem limp, similar to overwatering. The difference is that because of its dehydration, the plant feels crisp to the touch.

The cells will shrink if you do not water them enough because they will use up all the water that is stored in their vacuoles.

Lack of water will make it necessary for the roots to work harder to draw water from the soil.

Because of this, roots go through stress, which impairs their capacity to operate normally.

The plant limps and may even perish under conditions of extended dryness.

How to Fix Underwatered Hydrangea?

  • Water content should rise over time. Your plant is continually undergoing a process of development and growth. You’ll undoubtedly run into problems if you continue to water your hydrangea in the same way that you did when it was younger.

Compared to other indoor plants, hydrangea require a little bit more water. Make sure the amount you give is appropriate for the demands of your plant.

  • On days when it’s hotter, use more water. Naturally, plants have a greater thirst in hot weather than in cold weather. Keep in mind to provide more water as the hydrangea requests it. But make sure that the pot’s water drains completely.

Through transpiration, plants lose water. The rate of transpiration rises in a hot climate.

  • Hydrate frequently. Setting up a routine to follow when watering the hydrangea is crucial. This will ensure that it gets the water it needs when it needs it.

Decide which days of the week you will empty the trash. This will also assist you in developing a watering schedule for your hydrangea. You won’t lose out that way.

When hydrangeas wilt, will they grow back?

At the conclusion of their blooming phase, the flowers start to droop and naturally dry off. Before starting to wilt, the flowers typically bloom for four to eight weeks. To make the plant look better, remove the old blossoms. If you are in an area without frost, you can move the hydrangea outside once it blooms. Trim the stems of potted plants so that each one has two leaf nodes left. In order to give the roots room to spread, replant it in fresh potting soil in a container that is one size bigger than the old one. In the spring, new growth begins.

Trick No. 1: Give Them a Soak

At Ardelia Farm & Co. in Irasburg, Vermont, Bailey Hale, co-owner and manager of floral operations, was our source. His suggestion to revive faded hydrangea blooms? He advises to soak the blossoms in warm to warmish water for 30 to 40 minutes.

Why? According to Hale, hydrangeas absorb water through both the stems and the flower petals. Your cut hydrangea will receive plenty of water and have an opportunity to rehydrate by being submerged.

Trick No. 2: Cut the Stems

Hale also suggests trimming the stems. Many people are aware that giving flower stems a fresh trim will prolong the life of bouquets, but Hale claims there is more to it than that: “It is more difficult for water to reach the blooms on stems that are longer.

To further aid the stem’s ability to absorb water, shorten the stems and then cut a crisscross pattern into them. In contrast to what is commonly advised for flowers with woodier stems, such as lilacs, he does not advise breaking the stems. “If the stems are broken, the vascular tissues that absorb water would be harmed, he claims.

Trick No. 3: Use Boiling Water

When hydrangeas are clipped, a sort of sap is produced on the severed stems, which can stop the water from reaching the flowers and make them droop. Water should be heated in a kettle and brought to a boil. Fill the container with the boiled water. Your arrangement should be emptied of the wilting hydrangeas, and the stems should be recut at a 45-degree angle. The stem should be held erect in the boiling water for around 60 seconds after being incisionally made with a vertical slit. The hydrangeas should bloom again in about an hour if you put them back in your floral arrangement.

Too Much Fertilizer

The erratic development of hydrangea plants can result from overfertilizing them. With the best of intentions, gardeners feed their plants; yet, if done too early, hydrangea stems cannot withstand the weight of large flower heads.

A little too much fertilizer feeding on your hydrangea plant can result in the development of enormous flowerheads that are too heavy to be supported by the stems.

Instead of fertilizing to promote blooming, the solution with established hydrangea plants that are buckling under the weight of the flowerhead is to concentrate on fortifying the stems. You will have the same difficulties every year until the plant is able to hold heavy blossom heads.

Instead of fertilizing the plant early in the spring, you should remove the dead wood from its base and cut it back to the plant’s first pair of flower buds.

Pinch the young wood stems back when they begin to emerge throughout the growth season, but not below the earth. It is advantageous to concentrate on developing strong branches in the early stages of hydrangea growth so they can handle the weight of fully opened flower heads in subsequent years.

The plant will have stronger branches within one or two growth seasons to sustain the weight of larger blossoms, at which point you can fertilize to promote blooming.

If the branches are buckling under the weight of the flowerheads in the early phases of growth, they probably need to be trimmed back in order to reinforce the branches.

Too Much Light or It’s Just Too Hot

Because of the warmer temperatures, the summer is the most frequent season when gardeners see hydrangea plants that droop.

Hydrangeas typically wilt when the temperature exceeds 86°F. However, if that is the only factor, they will recover before nightfall.

Mulch around the shrub to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly if you notice your hydrangea drooping in the afternoon when you want to be enjoying them in your garden. All that is needed is three to four inches of organic mulch.

Make a hole a few inches away from the stems to avoid any fungus issues. Because the root balls are flat and compact, there are no feeder roots there, therefore only a few inches of mulch are needed to cover the plant’s base.

This helps the soil retain moisture for a longer period of time by keeping it colder.

The liquid in the plant’s leaf dries out more quickly during the dry heat of hot summer afternoons, which causes it to absorb more nutrients from the soil. Mulching aids in reducing soil evaporation.

Serious Drought Stress

In some cases, hydrangea plants may withstand drought stress. However, not for an extended period of time. Watering these plants frequently and deeply is the recommended method. up to four times a week for ten minutes each.

A hydrangea’s roots can recover more quickly from severe drought stress by receiving a deep soak. This may occur, for instance, if you’ve been on vacation for a while, the temperature rises, and the plants haven’t been watered.

Look for browning to determine if your plant has experienced considerable drought stress. The foliage of hydrangeas that require a lot of water turns brown and becomes crispy, frequently dropping off the branches. If that occurs, soaking the roots deeply will help it to recover.

Much like excessive fertilization, severe drought stress in hydrangeas can be managed in the same way. By cutting the branches back to the location of the first flower buds.

It is not recommended to remove crisp leaves because this would encourage the plant to concentrate on growing new foliage rather than bolstering the branches.

If you discover that this year’s blossoms are insufficient, concentrate on strengthening the branches for next year rather than forcing fresh blooms this year because up to 98 percent of new blooms emerge on old branches.

More woody branches produce superior flower heads and are less likely to bow, which gives the appearance that your hydrangea is drooping when it is actually merely a result of the branches’ inability to carry heavy flowerheads.

Transplant Shock

Moving your hydrangea to a more shady area of your garden is one of many reasons you would want to do so. Another factor is that only one side is getting enough light, which leads to lopsided development or one-sided flowering.

Plan the relocation in advance if you need to transfer a hydrangea for any reason. Summer’s peak is not the ideal time. To avoid transplant shock, which can cause hydrangeas to go limp, it is ideal to postpone transplanting until the end of September.

The video below offers helpful advice on transplanting hydrangeas with care, including the preparation of the old and new sites and the parts of the plant that can be cut back, should you discover that you’ve planted your hydrangea in a region of your yard that’s getting too much full sun or dappled shade, causing it to droop frequently.

In the video, it is evident that this was done in the summertime out of necessity, but if you can, wait until the end of the growing season before relocating your plant.

Cut Hydrangea Flowers Will Droop When Not Watered at the Time of Cutting

Growing vibrant hydrangeas has the advantage that their blossoms may be cut and placed in vases to light up interior spaces. Up until the next day, when you try to find them drooping.

Cutting the stem at an angle and immediately soaking it in hot water for 30 seconds before arranging the clipped hydrangeas is the best way to avoid their wilting.

The hydrangea stems contain a sticky material that can inhibit water absorption, which is why the water is hot. The flowers in a vase can be kept from wilting by misting them every day since their petals can absorb water.

If your hydrangea cuttings are drooping despite being misted, you can shock them into life by soaking the flowerheads in warm water for a short period of time.

Cuttings won’t survive forever, but you may extend their life by giving them more regular mistings and watering the petals rather than just depending on the stems to absorb enough water to keep the hydrangea cuttings from drooping in indoor floral arrangements.