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! 

hydrangea soaking in sink to revive them
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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!

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

Why Are My Hydrangea Wilting?

This might be a loaded question! Obviously your hydrangea could wilt for a multitude of 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”? It’s important to step back and look at this bloom for the water-lover it really is!

With that in mind, it’s easier to understand the reason your hydrangea might be wilting! 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! 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. 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.

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

Other Ways To Save Your 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 can 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!

hydrangea soaking in sink to revive them
5 from 7 votes

How to Revive Wilted Hydrangea

Bring new life to hydrangea with this simple step-by-step tutorial.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
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  • wilted hydrangea


  • Re-cut your stem at a deep angle.
  • Remove all the leaves.
  • Fill your sink or a deep bowl with water. Dunk the heads of the hydrangeas right under the water. Leave them for at least 15 minutes or submerged overnight. 
  • When you remove them from the water, gently pat them dry with paper towels. 
  • Place in a vase filled with fresh water.


Use cold or lukewarm water.




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  1. Reviving the flower heads under water usually works but here’s a tip to prevent them from wilting in the first place. When you bring them home, after making a fresh stem cut and removing the leaves, use a push pin to make holes in the part of the stem that will be under water. I make two vertical rows on opposite sides of the stem of about 4 or 5 holes per row, about 1/2 inch apart. I push about halfway through the stem. This does not have to be precise. This has always worked for me and I am an amateur who has done several hydrangea weddings. You’re just allowing them to take up more water and I have found this easier and more effective than smashing the stem.

  2. 5 stars
    My neighbor once gave me a beautiful vase of hydrangeas from her yard and they lasted forever! When I looked at the stems I noticed that she had cut them in half going up the stem, then in half again. So now the stem was kind of cut in four pieces. I actually stick my finger in there gently to spread them open a bit. Works like a charm!

  3. 5 stars
    I recommend not allowing any of the leaves touch the water. That creates Bacteria which will cause your flowers to die. You can also put a small amount of bleach in the water. I have submerge many a hydrangea. They can not get enough water. Don’t be afraid .