Care & Handling of Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas .. the flower that instills fear into so many floral designers.
Quite often in my design classes people will ask for tips on how to keep this flower alive in flower arrangements. Personally I love hydrangeas and have used tons of them over the years .. even in bridal bouquets, in July, in Colorado — think hot, hot, hot!

Here are my steps for processing and caring for hydrangeas –

When the hydrangeas arrive from the wholesaler the first thing I do is remove all the plastic wrap on their blooms.

Hydrangeas when they arrive for processing

Hydrangeas when they arrive for processing

Next, the important step — I submerge all hydrangea heads into a tub full of water!
I soak them for 20-30 minutes. Sometimes I forget and they end up soaking for an hour, no biggy.
I find soaking to be an extremely important step in the care of hydrangeas.
1) It washes all the dirt off their petals, it’s amazing how much dirt comes off – the water is always murky after the soaking.
2) Soaking rehydrates the flowers. Any bit of wilting is cured.
3) Soaking helps to fluff up the blooms, especially the hydrangeas shipped in from South America.

Hydrangeas Soaking

Hydrangeas Soaking

After the hydrangeas have been soaked I give their stems a fresh cut, removing about 1-2″ of the stem (and the little baggy if they are from South America) and immediately place them into a bucket with fresh water.
I do not use floral food, no particular reason why – I really just never use floral food with any of my flowers.

I leave the buckets of hydrangea out until the blooms are completely dried off from their soaking.
Once dry I place them in the cooler to harden off.
Overnight in the cooler and the next day they are in a great shape to use in designs. You’ll notice how firm the blooms are after this treatment.

Yes, I do use hydrangeas in bouquet work!! I spray a good amount of Crowning Glory on the hydrangeas.
It is important to spray the hydrangeas with the Crowning Glory and then leave them out for the CG to dry. Once it has dried the bouquets can be placed back into the cooler until it is time to deliver them.

Bella Fiori - bouquets of hydrangeas

Designed by Bella Fiori
Hydrangea Bouquets + July + Colorado!

Everyone has a different take on how to treat Hydrangeas, this treatment is what has worked for me over the years.

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