How to Keep Cut Hydrangeas


The hydrangea is a blooming shrub that is grown in home gardens. The flower stems on the bush are each adorned with several flowers. There are many varieties of hydrangeas, blooming in differing colors. The cut flower stems are suitable for display in flower arrangements on their own or with other blooms. Hydrangea flowers wilt quickly if they are not cut and cared for correctly. With the proper care, the flowers can continue to look attractive for up to two weeks in your bouquets and arrangements.

Step 1

Mix one part bleach with nine parts of water. Rinse your garden shears in the bleach solution to disinfect them before cutting hydrangea flowers. This ensures that no disease organisms are introduced to the cut stems or the living bush.

Step 2

Cut the hydrangea stems four or more inches below the flowers. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle, leaving behind a larger surface area than a straight cut. Choose stems that have flowers that are just beginning to open but are not yet in full bloom.

Step 3

Plunge the cut stems into a bucket of warm water immediately after cutting. Continue to cut hydrangea flowers until you have the desired amount for your arrangement.

Step 4

Bring the flowers indoors and leave them in the warm water for two hours. This gives them time to absorb the maximum amount of water and keeps them fresh and crisp.

Step 5

Fill your vase with water, and add a floral preservative according to the package instructions. Preservatives are available from florists. Strip off any leaves on the hydrangea stems that will be beneath the water level. Then set the hydrangea flowers in the water.

Step 6

Display the flowers in a cool, bright room but out of direct sunlight. Move the flowers to a room that is 45 degrees F at night, if possible, or store them in the refrigerator.

Step 7

Replace the water and preservative in the vase if it becomes cloudy. Re-cut the bottoms of the stems at a 45-degree angle if the flowers begin to wilt or of the stems become soft, giving them a fresh surface to absorb water through. Hold the stems underwater while cutting so air bubbles do not enter the stem.

Tips and Warnings

  • Remove dead or withered flowers immediately. Otherwise they may spread bacteria to the healthy hydrangea blooms and cause them to wilt more quickly. Drafts from windows and air vents may cause the flowers to wilt more quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Shears
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Floral preservative
  • Vase


  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Hydrangeas
  • University of Nebraska Extension: Extend the Life of Cut Flowers
Keywords: cut hydrangea care, keep cut hydrangeas, hydrangea flower arrangements

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.