The Q&A Archives: Hydrangea, Endless Summer - can they be cut flowers?

Question: When I cut the Endless Summer Hydrangea blossoms to include in cut flower bouquets they wilt within the hour. I have been unsuccessful hanging them upside down to dry them as well. I have no problems with Annabelle or PeeGee this way. Is this shrub unable to be used as a cut flower or dried flower, or am I doing something incorrectly?
Thank you.

Answer: Endless Summer hydrangeas can be used as either cut or dried flowers. If you've ever cut hydrangea blooms and put them right into a vase of water only to have them wilt within an hour or two, it can be really disappointing. This seems to be caused by a sticky substance that clogs the stems, preventing moisture from reaching the blooms. This does not happen every time. Sometimes cut-hydrangeas can last for days and other times they wilt almost immediately after being added to an arrangement.

There are two techniques so you might want to try them both:

(1) The Hot Water Method:

When cutting hydrangeas, take water to the garden in a container.

Immediately after cutting each bloom, drop the stem in the water.
Indoors, boil water and pour it into a cup or any container.

Cut the hydrangea stems to the desired length.

Stand the stems of the hydrangeas in the hot water for 30 seconds.

Immediately put into room temperature water and then arrange.

(2) The Alum Dip Method

The alum used in this method can usually be found in the spice section of the grocery store. Occasionally it is found with the pickling supplies.

Plan to cut hydrangea blooms in the morning while the weather is cool.

Take a pitcher of water to the garden and drop bloom stems into water immediately after cutting them (important).

As you arrange the blooms, recut the stems and dip the bottom 1/2 inch of stem into powdered alum.

Arrange as usual in water. (I know this washes off the alum, but it works!)

Best wishes with your hydrangeas!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Fleur569 and is called "Shamrock Zinfandel"