The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Fresh Cut Hydrangeas From Drooping

3 Materials
15 Minutes

Have you ever cut hydrangea blooms, made a beautiful arrangement, only to find them find them drooping? Today, I'm sharing some great tips to keep your fresh cut flowers looking amazing!

Now that we are in the height of hydrangea season, I’m often asked how to keep fresh cut hydrangeas from drooping. Does that happen to you too? It’s disappointing when they wilt. But there are two ways to prevent that from happening and both work equally well.

Fresh cut hydrangeas wilt when they self-heal from the initial cut. Because cut stems start to form a substance over the wound to heal itself, water has trouble reaching the blooms. When the flowers don’t get enough water, they start drooping. And luckily, there is an easy fix for this.

With proper care, hydrangeas can last a long time! Here are two methods to keep those fresh cut blooms looking gorgeous for weeks!

Supplies Needed for Fresh Cut Hydrangeas

  • Pruners
  • Container filled with fresh water for the initial fresh cuts
  • Second container filled with fresh water to display the arrangement
  • Alum Spice (if using alum method)
  • Pot filled with boiling hot water (if using hot water method)


  • Gather supplies.
  • Clean pruning shears before making cuts.
  • Tip: it’s best to cut hydranges in the early am while the weather is cool.
  • Cut stems on an angle.
  • Immediately drop fresh cuts into container of fresh water.
  • Choose and follow one of the methods below: Hot Water or Alum.
  • If using grocery store or floral blooms, skip this part and follow one of the below methods.

How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydrangeas from Drooping Using Hot Water

  • After the initial cuts are made, boil water.
  • Have the second container of room temperature water ready to hold the arrangement.
  • Cut hydrangea stems again on an angle to the desired length of the arrangement.
  • Optional: some like to smash bottom of stems so it takes in more water. (I’ve never done this but I’ve heard it works).
  • Stand hydrangea stems in hot water for 30 seconds.
  • Immediately drop into room temperature water.
  • Arrange flowers accordingly.

How to Keep Fresh Cut Hydranges from Drooping Using Alum

Alum is a spice that is used for pickling and canning. But did you know that it can also be used to help keep hydrangeas from wilting? Here’s how to use it:

  • After making the initial cuts from the plant, immediately drop stems in fresh water.
  • Get second container with fresh water ready and grab the alum spice.
  • While arranging the blooms, re-cut stems on an angle to the desired length of the arrangement.
  • Dip the bottom 1/2 inch of stem into the alum.
  • Drop into second container
  • Arrange the flowers.

How to Revive Wilted Blooms

  • If the arrangement’s water is more than a day old, dump it and add fresh water before reviving.
  • Soak the blooms for several hours. I do this in the kitchen sink.
  • Re-cut all the stems on an angle.
  • Choose and follow one of the above methods to finish reviving the blooms.
  • Note: if the arrangement is much older, blooms may be more difficult to revive. But give it a shot!

I hope you found this post helpful to fix drooping hydrangeas. My fresh cut hydrangeas last so much longer in arrangements now. Although both methods work pretty well, I prefer using the alum method.

For more hydrangea tips and tricks, click here.

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Stacy Ling | Bricks 'n Blooms
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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3 of 6 questions
  • Lisa Malloy Lisa Malloy on Aug 19, 2020

    Have you ever tried this with tulips? Those are MY problem flowers... I'll have to give it a try next Spring. Thanks for the idea!

  • Tessa Tessa on Aug 21, 2020

    Yes please, will this work for other kinds of flowers?

  • Kim 'Kiewatt' Waknitz Kim 'Kiewatt' Waknitz on Aug 20, 2021

    You said to soak them in the sink for several hours, do you mean the whole flower or just the stems?


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