How to Condition Cut Hydrangea

When ordering hydrangea from Flower Explosion (or from anywhere else for that matter), they arrive with blooms in plastic sleeves. Since the blooms are packed in a rectangular box in a snug manner, they need a gentle shake once the sleeves are taken off.


The petals should be fresh and firm with healthy dark green leaves.


After a gentle shake, the bloom expands to it’s natural and full round shape.


For shipping, each hydrangea stem has a small water pack secured with a rubberband. Unlike other flowers, hydrangea will go into a rapid decline without water.


Prepare a bucket of tepid water with a powder preservative.

First take the plastic sleeves off, give the hydrangea a gentle shake so that the bloom expands to it’s natural, fluffy and round size. With clippers, cut the stem at an angle and immediately place in the bucket of water. image

Set the bucket of hydrangea in a cool environment, such as a basement or cellar, and let them hydrate for at least four hours before arranging. I like to condition hydrangea overnight and arrange them the following morning. The above hydrangea are in a bucket, stems just randomly placed in the water, yet it almost looks like a contrived arrangement.

Anyone can arrange hydrangeas! Super easy! Hydrangeas are so lush and full, they do the work for you.


The key to having lasting hydrangea is hydration. They absolutely suffer if they’re without water. They drink a lot of it so if you forget to water the arrangement and the stems aren’t submerged under the waterline, the hydrangea literally melts. The firm flowers wilt into a soft and withering state of mind.

However, hydrangeas can be saved if they’re not left wilted for too long.

Simply, recut the stems, place the whole stem and bloom in a tall bucket of water. Once they gorge on water, they plump right back (most of the time).

In extreme hot and humid summer weather, I would advise against using hydrangea in a bride’s bouquet due to the fact that the bouquet will not have water for an extended period of time.

Roses, Lisianthus and ranunculus all do well for long stretches without water. They’re shipped without water packs and arrive thirsty and ready for conditioning/pampering.

6 thoughts on “How to Condition Cut Hydrangea

  1. What fun it must be to work with all theses beautiful flowers. I enjoy the tips for keeping the flowers fresh and beautiful.

  2. Thank you for the advice! My friend will be arranging hydrangeas for the tables at her wedding reception.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *