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Floppy Florals? This Instagram Hack Perks Up Droopy Hydrangeas With Hot Water

Spruce up your blooms.

It’s finally spring! Colorful flowers are bursting from the ground and warm breezes waft their sweet scent through your sunny garden. One of the best ways to bring the season inside is with a floral arrangement of bright, fluffy hydrangeas. The only problem? Hydrangeas are notorious for wilting once they’re cut off the bush, and wilted flowers put a serious damper on summer ambience. So, how can you keep your hydrangeas from flopping over? Before you move the whole bush into your living room to prevent cutting them (that seems a little extreme), try this simple hot water hack from a professional florist. 

Why do hydrangeas droop?

With their beautiful, cloud-like blooms, hydrangeas make the perfect spring and summer centerpiece. And while the timing may differ based on their exact species or region, hydrangeas typically flower from late spring to the middle of summer in the south, and they tend to stay bloomed until the weather gets cold. 

With a plant so hearty, you’d think the flowers themselves wouldn’t be temperamental. However, hydrangea flowers are prone to drooping for a variety of reasons. One of the most common is that their woody stems produce a thick sap once they’ve been cut from their bush. The buildup of sap prevents water from getting up the stem, making the hydrangeas droop. And while most flowers love their water, hydrangeas can’t get enough of it: Their name comes from the Greek word for “water vessel,” after all. 

A Genius Hot Water Hack to Prevent Drooping

John Mark Sharpe, Memphis-based florist and owner of John Mark Enterprises, knows a thing or two about how to make flowers look their best. “Sometimes hydrangeas are very finicky. They’re like teenagers,” he says in a video he posted on his Instagram account (@johnmarkenterprises). The fix? Giving them a dunk, a fresh cut, and a hot bath. (Honestly, a fresh haircut and a hot bath makes me feel brand new, too.) See the instructions and video below so you can revive your own blooms.

To do: 

  • Submerge hydrangeas — petals and all — in water. 
  • Fill a vase with hot water. 
  • Cut stems at an angle. 
  • Put them in vase of hot water. 
  • After some time, they should perk back up. 

Why does this hack work?

Plunging flowers underwater and setting them in a hot bath sounds like more of a death sentence than rehabilitation for most plants — especially delicate florals. So, why does this hack work for wilting hydrangeas? 

It turns out that completely submerging hydrangeas gives the flower a good, healthy drink. “Hydrangeas can drink from their blooms,”says Sharpe. In fact, hydrangeas can absorb water from every part, including their leaves, petals, and stems — so a quick soak can do wonders for their hydration. The fresh cut on the stem gets rid of any sap buildup that was preventing water flow, and hot, even boiling water melts off any remaining sap and keeps new sap from coagulating. 

Ready to try this hack yourself? Now that you’ve got floral finesse, try these other hacks to make your home a posey paradise fit for a garden party. 

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