28 Feb 2014


We are all crazy about hydrangeas.  However, keeping hydrangeas looking gorgeous can sometimes drive us crazy.  Fear not!  The following guidelines are taken from a Care & Handling article in SAF’s Floral Management Magazine, from August 2014.  It is written by Gay Smith, the technical consulting manager for Chrysal USA.

Big picture: hydrangeas are big drinkers.  Unfortunately, when the stems of hydrangeas are cut, they bleed out organic juices, enzymes and carbohydrates that block the uptake of water, leading to flowers that flop.  Fortunately, professional hydration solutions combat the stem clogging by keeping bacteria in check and lowering the pH of water, boosting the flow of water by dissolving air bubbles trapped in the vessels of xylem.  So here’s the 5-step drill for healthy hydrangeas:

1) Prepare hydration solutions with cold water using proper measurement.

2) Cut hydrangea stems with clean, sharp shears or knife.

3) Immediately transfer stems into solution.

4) Allow 12 to 48 hours for flowers to fully hydrate.

5) Once blooms are turgid, transfer blooms into a professional holding solution to introduce glucose, which keeps petal tissues firm and provides energy for flower heads to continue opening for up to 11 days.

Mistaken information is circulating that “alum,” a kitchen additive, will keep hydrangeas properly hydrated.  It is true that alum can help with initial hydration…but those stems will not remain hydrated for the long haul unless they are in a professional solution that keep the bacteria under control.  Save yourself the extra time and cost of using the alum and go straight for the good stuff: professional flower solutions that will take care of your flowers and make YOU the true professional!



About the Author

Tina is the co-owner of Rojahn & Malaney Company, a family-run wholesale floral business in Milwaukee, WI. Tina served on the Wholesalers Council and Board of Directors of the national floral association, the Society of American Florists (SAF). Tina is a "Badger" and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in Business.