How to Preserve Hydrangeas as Cut Flowers in Vases

Using hydrangeas as cut flowers in vases can be tricky. This is the procedure I use to keep them alive for a long time.

hydrangea bouquet

Flowers outside in the yard will brighten the landscape, but sometimes it’s nice to bring that beauty inside.

Hydrangeas can be used as cut flowers, but keeping them alive in a vase can be tricky. In this post I will tell you how I do it, and include photos of my cut hydrangea flowers in pretty vases.

blue hydrangeas in a glass vase
Light Blue Flowers in a Little Antique Vase

First, I am something of a bud vase collector. I used to be addicted to buying every cute and unusual little vase I came across. Most of them came from yard sales and flea markets that I visited when I lived in central Florida.  I haven’t bought any in many years, but I have my favorites that I pull out each summer to hold the cuttings from my yard.

I like the shape of the little vase pictured above. The taller back is unique and it can hold any flower with a fairly short stem. The downside to this small vase is that the water dries up quickly in the small holder. I must keep an eye on it and refill often.

cuttings limelight
A Hydrangea Bouquet in Fall

This handmade vase (above) was purchased at a school fundraiser event and was made by a local artisan.  I love the unqiue look of pottery, and this vase is also nice and heavy.  These hydrangea blooms were cut late in the season, sometime in late September or October most likely.  It’s my photo, but I don’t remember.  (BlueHyd is one of my blogs).

Hydrangeas can last a long time once they are cut, if you know what to do to keep them looking nice.  In fact they can turn to dried flowers right in the vase!

So, here is the trick to cutting hydrangeas for vases and keeping them alive.  Take a bucket or big vase – filled with hot water (not boiling) – outside with you when cutting the stems.  Cut the stems as long as you can because they will be cut again inside.  As soon as the cut is made add the stem to the hot water.  

Once the bucket is full, come inside and get the vase ready by filling it with cold water.  Cut each stem again, one at a time to the length needed, and put it into the vase of cold water.  This should open up the stems so water can flow to the flower and keep it alive for a very long time.

Limelight hydrangea flowers fall
The Limelight Flower in Fall Contains Pink

If the one of the flower begins to droop, take it out and repeat the procedure by cutting the end, add to hot water for a few minutes, then cut and back to the cold in the vase.  Sometimes this won’t work.  Some flowers are bound to die, but for the most part I have great luck with this procedure.

Also remember to change out the water in the vase each day or so. The best way to do that is to dump part of the water out – never letting the stems come out of the water. Then add fresh cold water to fill it up again.

Pinky Winky Hydrangea Buds in a Copper Vase

Hydrangeas are beautiful as buds, full grown blooms or late summer / fall colors. Anytime is a good time to bring hydrangeas inside to brighten the home.  The Pinky Winky is one of my favorite varieties, and I have a page full of Pinky Winky hydrangea photography taken of the one growing in my yard.


Author: Pam

Spending time on the water is the best, and blogging about the sea life found along the saltwater river and ocean is what I do. I’m also a designer at Zazzle and sell products containing beach, tropical, and water themes.

4 thoughts on “How to Preserve Hydrangeas as Cut Flowers in Vases”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: