Find all the most popular tips and tricks to revive your wilted hydrangea. This is your ultimate guide for learning how to revive wilting hydrangea blooms! 

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We’ve all been there. We grab a pretty bundle of fluffy hydrangea blooms at the grocery store. Rush home, get them into a vase, only to find that they are soon droopy and sad-looking.

What should have been days of enjoyment turns into a sad reminder of what could have been! It’s especially frustrating if you’re planning an event and the flowers are your decor!

Wilting Hydrangea

Well, I can’t solve all the world’s problems, but I might be able to help with this one. Did you know that it’s possible to revive your wilted hydrangea? That’s right! When I shared this trick on Instagram the other day, I was surprised at the response and thought it would be worth a full post.

There are a couple tricks to try, and I’m going to lead you through the steps. It might not work every time, but if we can extend the life of these beautiful blooms, it’s worth a try, right?

wilted hydrangea

Often, when I purchase grocery store blooms, it’s because I am entertaining. I don’t want the added stress of dealing with wilted blooms! (Get all my best tips for buying grocery store flowers right here.)

In the video, you can see that I attempted to revive a group of hydrangea blooms and while several came back, a few didn’t make it.

However, I think if I’d had a little more patience (and some of the tricks I’m going to outline below) they might have made it as well! Learn how to design gorgeous hydrangea centerpieces right here.

White hydrangea flowers in a vase on a table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are My Hydrangea Wilting?

Obviously hydrangea could wilt for many reasons, whether they are plants in your garden or in a vase on your countertop. However, I think it helps to have some basic background on hydrangea as a whole. First of all, did you know that their very name originates from Greek and translates to “water vessel”?
With that in mind, it’s easier to understand the reason your hydrangea might be wilting – they need water so much it’s in the name! Yes, even when they are in a bucket or vase of water, they might need more water. Crazy, right? Read on!

Will Wilted Hydrangeas Come Back?

Yes they will! Soak them in a sink full of lukewarm water and watch the magic happen!

Can you see me over here doing my happy dance? It’s certainly not guaranteed but it’s generally a pretty incredible response to this simple treatment.

hydrangea soaking in the sink

How To Revive Wilted Hydrangea

It’s so simple!

  1. First, re-cut your stem at a deep angle. This creates more of an opening for the bloom to soak up more water!
  2. Remove all the leaves! I know, it’s sad. However, the foliage of the hydrangea actually steals the water from the bloom itself. You want to force all the water into the bloom.
  3. Fill your sink or a deep bowl with water. Note: I have always used cool water, but many people believe warm water is better for this process. I’m guessing it works either way!
  4. Dunk the heads of the hydrangeas right under the water. Leave them for at least 15 minutes! I have even seen tips from others that suggest leaving them submerged overnight.
  5. When you remove them from the water, gently pat them dry with paper towels.
  6. Place in a vase filled with fresh water.

Did they bounce back? If so, pat yourself on the back and contemplate the beauty of nature!

bringing hydrangea back to life in water

More Tips to Save Wilting Hydrangea

There are numerous theories floating around about reviving these beauties when they wilt and prolonging their vase life. While there are probably too many to list, let’s discuss a few!

  • Boil water. This trick is used to seal the end of the hydrangea stem. Simply give the bottom of the stem a fresh cut and dip them into a vessel of very hot water. Evidently, the plant’s sap can cut off their water supply and the boiling hot water can prevent this!
  • Alum. Many people swear by this! Give your hydrangeas a fresh cut, and dip the bottom of the stems in alum (found in your grocer’s spice aisle). This also prevents that sticky seal on the end of the stem, similar to the boiling water method!
  • Refrigeration.  My florist friend Erin swears by this. After attempting your revival with soaking, pop the vase into the fridge for a little while. Something about the cold air perks them back up! You can also prolong the vase life of your hydrangeas this way, even when they are not wilted. Place your vases into the fridge overnight to help them last longer!
  • Smashing the stems. Another old florist’s hack, many people believe that smashing the ends of the stems (with a hammer or mallet) helps the woody stems soak up more water.
  • Fresh water. Change the vase water every day, or at least as often as you can! Again, hydrangeas thrive on extra water. You can also mist them daily to give them an extra boost!

What do you think? Are these old wives’ tales or can we depend on some of these tricks to save our beautiful hydrangea blooms?

I promise that the soaking method works, but I’d love to hear from readers! Have you used any of these tips or any of my other florist secrets? Please share in the comments!

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  1. We have tried both alum and boiling water. We’ve had success with both, but the boiling water method seemed to work better. We were able to bring a set of hydrangeas back from the brink a few times – and it was a trick you could repeat multiple times. Eventually it just wouldn’t work anymore, but it did work a few times and really extended their beauty!

  2. Hi I do the same method if any vegetables wilts: just put very cold water with some ice for about 15-30 min and you’ll see it come to life like new!!

  3. Love your tips for hydrangeas….I have another to add! I put at least 5 ice cubes directly into the water everyday and they seem to love it!!

  4. 5 stars
    I’m so glad I saw this tip! I placed my wilted hydrangeas in water for a few hours and they look perfect again! Thanks for sharing!