Breathe new life into wilted blooms with this hydrangea-revival trick.

By Rachel Sylvester
Updated August 30, 2019
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Fresh-cut flower arrangements certainly are worth the trip to your local florist, but the work doesn’t stop once your blooms are sitting pretty in a vase. Without proper attention, care, and a good drink of cool water, flower arrangements can quickly wilt, resulting in a bouquet that's anything but beautiful.

Hydrangeas are one such bloom that can wilt over time. Fortunately, it’s possible to extend the life of seasonal hydrangeas with a simple trick that will leave your flowers looks refreshed in a matter of minutes.

Avoid Using a Fridge to Keep Blooms Cool

In general, most cut hydrangeas prefer cool environments—but don’t be tempted to put flower arrangements in the fridge to keep cut stems cold. “This is one of the first things we advise against,” says Christina Stembel, the CEO and founder of Farmgirl Flowers. “Most residential fridges are prone to condensation, and this extra moisture can be detrimental to the blooms of cut flowers.” Bottom line: It’s best to keep your hydrangeas out of the fridge, no matter how much TLC your flowers need.

Revive Hydrangeas With Warm Water

According to Stembel, hydrangeas are one of the rare flowers that absorb a portion of their water intake through their petals. “This is why a tired-looking bloom can be revived with a quick dunk in warm water,” she says. All you need to do is submerge hydrangeas bloom-down in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes to an hour, taking care not to leave the arrangement submerged for too long. “Prolonged exposure of the petals in water can actually damage the flower,” says Manhattan-based florist Rachel Cho of Rachel Cho Floral Design. “If you oversaturate the petals, they’ll eventually become translucent and fall apart.”

Give Hydrangea Stems a Hefty Trim

Go the extra mile to extend the life of your hydrangea bouquet by giving your flower stems a thorough trim after submerging in water. According to Stembel, you should remove an inch or two (but never less than half an inch) and cut the stems on an angle using pruning shears ($11; amazon.com). Once all of the stems are cut, fill a vase three-quarters of the way with cool tap water, and gently place your stems in the container. “Find the flowers a cool, dark home (like a bathroom or garage) and in a few hours, your hydrangeas should perk back up,” Stembel says.