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do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

Posted by phyl345 chicagoland z5 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 22, 09 at 17:13

what am i doing wrong? ~ when i bring in the big, beautiful heads & put them in water they *droop* ~

i have annabelles, little lamb, endless summer & forever pink ~

i'm not trying to dry them ~ the plants outside are all struggling to hold up their heads; so i would like to help them out by bringing some of their blooms indoors to enjoy ~ makes sense, right?! ~ thanks, phyl

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

I pick a few but leave most of them. The Limelight blooms I picked stay fresh for a long time. I just cut mine and stick them in a fresh vase of water with nothing added. I actually took the vase out there with me though and stuck them in as I cut them. Try cutting them under running water before you stick them in the vase.

RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

  • Posted by ditas z4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 23, 09 at 10:25

Hi - Like e...m... I too, clip some, particularly to salvage those, scorched by our unforgiving 'Sol Invictus' in the hgt of summer!

These glorious ladies of our gardens are tough ladies! I dunk them head & all, in clean cool buckets of water ... sometimes even overnite ... turn them over ... shake excess water ... they are more beautiful than ever!!! ;) (don't try these on very young, just flashing blooms ... will wilt). I use my tiny embroidery scissors, to clip the browned florettes. Use a deep crystal bowl w/ decorative clear marbles, to hold stem in place (great center piece!) ... also clip very large clusters into smaller ones for individual snifters or wine glasses.

I think clipping prematurely will indeed tend to make them wilt.

FWIW ... experiment & have fun!

RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

  • Posted by phyl345 chicagoland z5 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 23, 09 at 14:37

ah ha, i think i've got it! for instance, when i pick a bloom from annebelle, i should wait 'til it goes from green to white?

have you ever heard of using alum in the water for hydrangeas? i don't know why, but that is stuck somewhere in the back of my head ... thanks, phyl

RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

I always crush the stems. Just sorta break them up a bit and then they seem to take the water and not wilt. I just take a rubber malet and hit the stems where they were cut.

My mother just took a batch from my garden and they all wilted on her as well. I asked her if she had done what I told her but evidently she forgot.

RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

  • Posted by ditas z4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 23, 09 at 23:35

Hi Phyl - Nope, not alum but aspirin, I have. However, have never had to add anything when I bring them in ... I may occasionally clip stems, a pinch, after a few days when I refresh the water - to reopen stem.

Very recently we had a violent storm that left a few Annabelle stems w/ blossoms broken - didn't discover them 'til the following morning ... all 3 blooms were in the greening stage - trimmed the long stems, took a few leaves off & into a vase ... they've all turned green & leathery as they matured in the vase ... as their usual habit.

Monica - Indeed, I have heard of such a method to allow easier absorption of water, just as scraping stems & removing several sets of leaves ... water is absorbed thru the open leaf nodes & skinned stems.

RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

Can't remember where I heard this but I sear the ends of my stems. Just briefly hold them over a candle flame and
they last several days. Haven't tried smashing them but I will.

RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

  • Posted by ditas z4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 3, 09 at 22:18

Hi S...lyn - I've heard of searing the cut end too, but only for those blossoms that wilt almost instantly upon cutting, eg: Poppies etc.

'Forgot to mention that it is a good practice to collect blossoms for vases, early in the morning, for best results & longer life.


RE: do you cut your hydrangeas for vases?

the smashing method works most of the time...i have used the boiling water method constantly, working well also....

the problem you have here is when you cut the flowering stems, the cells will respond by oozing a gummy substance to seal the cut - this is nature's protective mechanism - and this "sealant" will gum up the micro channel where water is absorbed and transfer from the stem to the flowerheads...thus the quick wilt...

some plants dont do these sealing things effectively or their channels are large enough to deal with some blockage - ala Roses - but for hyrangeas, you have a good oozer and a narror channel player...not good...

smashing will completely destroy the macro structures of the stem - so narrow channels become big ones...sorta like blowing up all the dams along a river channel...all of a sudden, you get a very wide river channel...

the boiling water method (this method basically kill all the cells around the cut, so they dont have time to ooze the sealant and the sealant will get dissolve away in hot water as well) - get some boiling water, still at boiling stage, take them off the stove, put it in a glass bowl...have the water ready - boiling on the stove when you are ready for the bloom cuts...make you cut, quickly get back to the house, put the stem end of the cut (about 1 inch or so) into the boiling water, let that cook for about 1 minute (DO NOT put the blooms in the boiling water), then take out the stem and stick it in a vase like you would do with any cut flowers...this way, your blooms will really last, I have a cut blooms last for 2 weeks in a vase...sometimes, after a week or so, the cut blooms will wilt, as soon as you see the wilt, repeat the same boiling water procedure with a fresh cut an inch, inch and half further up the stem..many times, the blooms will perk right back up...but you have to do it quick...once the blooms been wilted for more than a few hrs and start to turn brown, there isn't much you can do to revive them.

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