Care of Hydrangea Stems


Whether you grow the big, showy mophead hydrangea or the more delicate lacecaps, the shrubs bloom so profusely that there are enough flowers to decorate the garden and the interior of a home. Hydrangeas in cut flower arrangements or on their own add a touch of nostalgia and romance to a room. Because of their thick stems, hydrangeas need a bit more preparation than more tender flowers before placing them in a vase.

Step 1

Cut the hydrangea flowers in the morning, when the moisture content is higher and before the sun has dried them out. Cut the stems back to a bud. Place the hydrangea stems, as they are cut, in a bucket of water immediately.

Step 2

Crush the bottom 1 inch of the hydrangea stems with a hammer.

Step 3

Remove any leaves that will be under the water when the flowers are placed in the vase.

Step 4

Heat 1 qt. of water to 110 degrees F. Add 2 tbps. of lemon juice, 1 tbsp. of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of household bleach. Stir the mixture and allow it to cool to 100 degrees F. Pour the solution into the vase.

Step 5

Place the hydrangea stems into the solution and arrange the flowers as you wish.

Step 6

Add 1/4 tsp. of bleach to the vase every four days.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Bucket with room temperature water
  • Hammer
  • 1 qt. water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Household bleach
  • Candy thermometer


  • Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County: Extending Life of Cut Flowers
  • University of California Extension: When Should I Prune My Hydrangea?
  • Marin County Cooperative Extension: Tips On Keeping Cut Flowers Fresher Longer
Keywords: hydrangea stem care, care cut hydrangea, care hydrangea stem

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.