Is there a special process needed to prolong the life of a hydrangea bloom as a cut flower? I cannot get them to stay attractive overnight?
Dianne from Augusta, GA
Don't feel bad. Hydrangeas are famous for wilting nearly instantly after you bring them in from the garden. It doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's generally for one of two reasons. The first is that sometimes the "sap" inside the hollow part of the stem flows down toward the cut wound and forms a liquid barrier that prevents them from taking up water. A second reason is due to the large diameter of the stem. Once cut, air bubbles can easily get trapped inside after being submerged in water. The bubbles also form a barrier which blocks water uptake.
If this keeps happening to you, there are a couple of ways to remedy the problem. First, make sure you're cutting your hydrangeas during a cool part of the day (morning or evening is best). Bring a container of room temperature water with you out to the garden so you can place the stems in water immediately after you cut them. Getting them into water immediately will help prevent air from entering the stems.
Once you're back inside, put on a pot of water, and bring it to a boil. While you waiting, cut your hydrangeas to the desired length for arranging. When the water reaches a boil, pour some into a container, and hold the bottom few inches of your hydrangea stems upright in the water for 30 seconds. Afterwards, transfer the stems to a vase filled with tepid water and arrange. If in a few days your hydrangeas start to wither, repeating this treatment a second time may revive them. In any event, giving them the hot water treatment immediately after cutting should prevent sap clogs and take care of air bubbles.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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