How To Perk Up Wilted Hydrangeas

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.

Can you save a hydrangea that has died?

Because of their thick, woody branches and sticky sap production, hydrangeas are sometimes among the first flowers in an arrangement to begin to appear dejected. This is because it might be difficult for hydrangeas to absorb enough moisture in a vase to cover the entire flower. But since hydrangeas are one of the few plants that can absorb moisture through their florets, completely soaking wilting blooms in water and letting them sit for a few hours to rehydrate will revive them.

If you have a few stems of cut hydrangeas that you’re not quite ready to throw away yet, it might be worth a try to revive them. The efficacy of this hack, according to Seattle-based floral designer Rizanio Reyes, “depends on when the flowers were cut and how long they’ve been in a box in cold storage post-harvest,” among other things. Freshly cut, somewhat wilted hydrangeas will probably be easier to revive than ones that have been in storage for a while (though it’s still worth a shot!). According to Reyes, “I’ve done this with some degree of success, but it’s never 100%,”

Avoid the temptation to use this method to save other popular cut flowers from withering, such as roses, peonies, or tulips. Soaking them will just hasten their decay and wilting because they lack hydrangeas’ capacity to absorb moisture through the blossoms.

Will hydrangeas bloom once more?

Nothing is more annoying than cut flowers that wilt or droop too quickly, and HYDRANGEAS are one of the WORST offenders for early drooping!

It never fails: after bringing home wonderfully cheerful cut mop head blossoms from the florist or even picking your own in your backyard, they always lose their vibrancy after a few hours in water. wilted and sagging. So sad.

These stems were cut from my own backyard. I immediately submerged them in water, and within two hours they appeared as follows:

The hydrangeas in my yard are quite pink since my soil is very alkaline. By incorporating lime into the soil, you can literally turn blue blooms pink! Alternately, I could add acid to the soil to turn my pink blossoms blue (peat moss, sulfur or ammonium nitrate.)

Be at ease! Even after they reach the point where you think they can’t be saved, hydrangeas are actually quite simple to resuscitate. Mine appeared to be close to passing away.

The secret is HOT—I mean, STEAMING—water. Hydrangeas dislike cool water, unlike to other types of flowers. They actually despise it. You simply need to add chopped hydrangea stems to boiling hot water, despite how counterintuitive it may seem.

Nothing else works as well as giving the flowers a wonderful hot tub treatment, no matter what other methods I’ve tried (adding things to the water, cutting the stem a certain way, soaking the flowers themselves, etc.).

Make a clean incision at the stem’s base (I cut at an angle to increase the surface area), then add the cut ends to a pot of simmering water. I microwave one cup of water on high for two minutes.

The discoloration of the stems is acceptable. Starting at the bottom with the leaves that are closest to the water and gradually moving up to the blooms themselves, you should see an improvement. I put the stems back into the vase with new, lukewarm water after letting them soak in the water for 30 to 45 minutes until it reaches lukewarmness.

Your hydrangea blossoms will return to full splendor in about an hour or so from when they were lifeless and limp.

Repeat the process, remove another inch or so of the bottom, and heat additional water if they don’t fully perk up. The blossoms should reach their peak vivacity in the coming hours. Why do hydrangeas tolerate boiling alive so well when other flowers wouldn’t fare nearly as well?

The woody stems and corrosive sap of hydrangeas will restrict the water running up to the bloom. In hot water, the sap relaxes and dissolves, clearing the flow and enabling water to reach all the blooms. How can I avoid having Hydrangeas droop in the first place?

When you initially get your hydrangeas home or remove them off the plant, the boiling-water approach is also excellent. To keep the water moving up the stem, you can give your stems a PRE-EMPTIVE dip in hot water even before placing them in your vase. Simply trim the ends, blanch the stems in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, and then move them to a container of lukewarm water.

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.

How come my hydrangea seems to be wilting?

There are various reasons why hydrangeas droop, although disease is a rare one. Hydrangeas frequently show their displeasure with the environment by drooping. Welding is caused by too much sun, not enough water, and excessive flower loads, which can force delicate branches to bend till they touch the ground. Droopy hydrangea plants could be caused by even an excess amount of fertilizer.

Your hydrangea will need special care in order to solve the issue. Before attempting to address the factors that caused the first droop, you’ll need to play detective to ascertain what’s wrong with your plant. Finding the root of the issue could only require a soil test and some attentive observation.

Is hydrangea wilting in the heat normal?

Wilt and Heat Heat can sometimes cause hydrangeas to wilt even when they have ample water. Plants can become stressed out by high summer temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit. While hydrangeas benefit from sunlight, excessive amounts of direct sunlight can warm the soil, stress the plant, and even cause it to wilt.

How can a hydrangea be kept alive?

  • First, give your stem a deep angle recut. This increases the bloom’s opportunity to absorb more water.
  • Take out every leaf! It’s sad, I know. But the hydrangea’s foliage actually takes water away from the bloom itself. All of the water should be forced into the bloom.
  • Water should be added to a big basin or your sink. Note: Although many people think warm water is preferable for this procedure, I have always used cool water. It probably works either way, though!
  • Submerge the hydrangeas’ heads completely in water. Give them at least 15 minutes to rest! Even other people’s advice has led me to believe they should be submerged over night.
  • Use paper towels to gently pat them dry after removing them from the water.
  • Place within a vase of fresh water.

Did they recover? If so, congratulate yourself and take in the splendor of the natural world!

Why did my hydrangeas fade away so quickly?

The issue is that hydrangeas tend to fade quite rapidly after being taken from your yard, despite the fact that they are becoming more and more popular as cut flowers.

So how do you stop Hydrangea From Wilting?

Hydrangea are said to wilt so quickly after being cut because their stems are clogged with a sticky material that prevents moisture from getting to the top of the stem and the head.

Best Practice: Trim 10 cm from the stem, then boil the stem for 24 hours.

Should hydrangeas receive daily watering?

Hydrangeas do need a lot of water to maintain their status as the garden’s most beautiful plants. Instead of providing Hydrangeas with small amounts of water each day, give them a long bath one to three times per week.

Overwatering or dry conditions are not good for hydrangeas. It is difficult to tell by looking at their leaves whether they need additional water or not in the daytime sun. Near the base of the hydrangea, insert your pointer finger four inches into the ground to feel the earth. It’s time to water if the soil is dry.

Hydrangeas’ development can be stunted by either overwatering or underwatering, but the good news is that if you fix the issue before it does too much damage, Hydrangeas can typically recover. Your Hydrangeas will look absolutely stunning if you water them correctly and address issues as soon as they arise.

How do you spot decaying hydrangeas?

The reason hydrangeas wilt and eventually die after planting is that the plant’s root system needs some time to adapt to the new soil conditions before it can draw up moisture effectively, which momentarily causes the leaves to wilt. The hydrangea’s leaves may droop, become brown, and take on the appearance of dying due to transplant shock.

After planting, hydrangeas experience transplant shock as a result of the abrupt change in growing environment.

The hydrangea is specifically adapted to its current growth conditions and can suffer from a contrast in light, airflow, soil moisture and structure, watering, temperature, and shelter if you purchased it from a nursery or are transplanting it from one section of your garden to another.

When planted outdoors, hydrangeas that have been raised in precisely regulated greenhouse settings are much less hardy.

Wilting of the hydrangea’s leaves and blooms is the most typical sign.

The hardship of being transferred is frequently made worse by planting hydrangeas in hot, dry weather throughout the summer, when their huge leaves wilt and turn brown because their roots cannot absorb moisture quickly enough to maintain them.

The optimum times to plant or transplant hydrangeas are in the spring and fall when the weather is cooler and the plants’ roots have time to grow and adapt to the soil before summer’s high temperatures.

Although fully established, hydrangeas are highly hardy, they are particularly susceptible to wilting and dying after planting.

  • In order to avoid any additional stress from hotter summer temperatures, it is ideal to purchase and plant (or transplant) your hydrangeas in the spring or fall.
  • It is recommended to amend the planting area with compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted manure to a depth and width of 18 inches before planting hydrangeas. In order to ensure that the hydrangea roots are in their ideal soil conditions, with optimal levels of moisture and strong well-draining soil structure, as well as to aid the roots suck up moisture after planting, organic matter such as compost holds a lot of moisture.
  • When necessary, water newly planted hydrangeas to maintain a wet but not soggy soil. If you planted in the summer, you might need to give the hydrangea a good soak every day after planting.
  • To assist retain moisture, spread a 2 inch layer of compost mulch around the base of the hydrangea.
  • If the hydrangea is in the sun, give it some temporary shade (maybe with a sun umbrella), as additional sunlight speeds up the rate at which the plants lose water through their leaves, leading to wilting and eventual death.

The preparation of the soil is essential for growing hydrangeas and avoiding their death.

Woodland plants like hydrangeas do best on soils that are consistently damp, rich in organic matter, and mulched with fallen leaves every fall.

Leaf litter and organic materials have a porous, well-draining structure that allows extra water to flow away from the roots of hydrangeas while yet retaining moisture.

This makes it easier to achieve the ideal moisture balance so that the roots can absorb the moisture that the hydrangea needs and so that the roots are not sitting in saturated soil, which can lead to root rot.

Before planting, amending the soil with organic matter successfully simulates hydrangeas’ natural environment and makes sure that your hydrangea can draw water more efficiently.

The leaves of your hydrangea should brighten up during the next few days if you keep it sheltered and well hydrated (with a thick layer of mulch).

While hydrangeas need moist soil to survive, it’s crucial to prevent the soil from becoming too wet and waterlogged, which can lead to root rot.

Key Takeaways:

  • The cause of a dying hydrangea is typically too dry soil around the roots as a result of underwatering, sandy soil that does not keep enough moisture, excessive sun exposure, or wind, which dries up the leaves and gives them a death aspect.
  • A withering hydrangea is a result of drought stress brought on by drowning, dry sandy soil, excessive wind, hot temperatures, or too much sunlight. For hydrangeas to avoid their leaves drooping and dying, the soil around the roots must be continually moist.
  • When hydrangea leaves get too much sun or fertilizer, they turn brown. Because the leaves of hydrangeas are susceptible to too much sun, they scorch easily and turn brown. This is why they love dappled light. Too much fertilizer burns the roots and gives plants a dying appearance by turning the edges of the leaves brown.
  • Hydrangeas sometimes wilt and die after planting because their roots have not yet developed enough to draw up enough water to support the thick, many, and big hydrangea leaves. To keep the hydrangea from withering after planting, make sure the soil is continually wet and protected from the sun and wind.