Hydrangeas have taken the place of Peonies as my favorite flower now that it is July.
Hydrangeas are the showy, temperamental and unpredictable.  They are beautiful in the garden and even more beautiful in flower arrangements.
I have finally figured out the way to make these pretties behave when I bring them inside. It is all about the conditioning! It is easy and works almost every time!

 Yeah, I know that if I wait until the Hydrangea blooms on the plant get to the papery stage, they can be cut, plopped in a vase without water and will dry without wilting.

 That  would require patience-not something that I am well known for.

 Besides….if you cut the blooms off the Minnesota hardy “Endless Summer” it will rebloom through the Fall. (remember the dead heading post?)


After doing my research, I discovered this process for conditioning Hydrangeas for arrangements.

  • Take a bucket of water with you to the garden and put the stems into it as you cut….YES even if it is only 10 steps outside!
  • Get a really tall vase or bucket and fill it with room temp water….fill it to the top!

  • Turn the gas burner on your stove to high….(or light a candle with a BIG flame)
  • One stem at a time-make a new diagonal cut with a sharp knife and stick the end in the flame.  Burn the end until the milky stuff is sealed in by the singed end of the stem.

Put each stem into the warm water….right up to the blossom….leaves under water.

  • Cover the flower heads with soaking paper towels.  
  •  Go away and leave them alone for at least 6 hours.  If you are more patient than I am, after 6 hours, wet the paper towels again and leave them another 6 hours.
  • Uncover the flowers and arrange….DO NOT recut the stems (this means I probably should have told you to cut the stems the right length for your arrangement the first time….sorry)
  • Sit back-look at your arrangement and for 5 minutes pretend you are a lady of leisure!

  • This post from Habitually Chic has some Hydrangea pictures to drool over. 
  •  If you don’t like my method, you can read about a couple of other conditioning methods Prolonging Hydrangea Blooms and let me know if they work.
  • Here is a site that details my method more completely (I envy people who write good step-by-step instructions….Hydrangea Mania

Maybe by this afternoon, I will find some time to lay on the couch with a glass of iced tea and a book and gaze with admiration at my Hydrangea bouquet…..we are after all “havin’ a heat wave”.
Most likely, the “to do list” will get in the way…wish me luck!

Go to the Tuesday Link Party  to see some other great tips and tutorials.

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