Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cut Flower Care: Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers to work with. They are beautiful in wedding design and are also a lovely bloom to keep around the house. One stem in any vase is the perfect way to cheer up any room - especially in the winter when it's so gloomy out.

To me, the downside of hydrangeas has always been their shelf life. Before I really started to get into floral design, I would bring them home, give them a fresh cut and put them in a vase with water like anyone would. A day or two later, the fragile stems would get limp and saggy making the blooms look sad and prompting me to throw them out prematurely.

But don't toss them just yet. I've read a lot of floral design books and listened to advice from other floral designers, but up until now, none of the advice worked. I recently picked up "Bringing Nature Home" by Ngoc Minh Ngo with floral design by Nicolette Owen. Their advice was, "Refresh droopy hydrangeas by submerging them head down in cool water for twenty minutes to an hour, allowing their petals to firm up again."

Bringing Nature Home by Ngoc Minh Ngo

So I tried it. I bought some hydrangeas and did what I would have done - just gave them a fresh cut, placed them in a vase with water and the inevitable happened. I then placed the heads down in cool water for about twenty minutes and about an hour or so later, they perked right up!

I've now had the above hydrangea in my office for eleven days and they STILL look amazing. My husband now refers to them as my "zombie" hydrangeas that never die. Also, make sure to spray your hydrangeas daily in addition to changing their water. Spraying them is important since hydrangeas also drink from their blooms. I hope that you give this a try and that you too will have long lasting hydrangeas!

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