How To Bring Back Your Wilting Hydrangeas

Over the weekend I picked up some hydrangeas at Trader Joe’s. I just love them, but every single time I buy them, half of them die within 24 hours. I honestly never thought to Google or ask my Instagram friends what the hell to do. To be honest, I just assumed they were stupid flowers that were finicky. Which turns out, they are. But I finally asked YOU my followers and readers for tips and you all came through. Within a few hours, my hydrangeas went from wilting sad flowers to fluffy flowers again.

How To Bring Back Wilting Hydrangeas

The first thing I learned about hydrangeas is that their stems are very waxy and woody making it very difficult for water to get into them. They’re also a very thirsty flower and drink A LOT. Also, the flowers of the hydrangeas also drink up water! Who knew. So with those two things in mind, here’s how you can bring back your hydrangeas.

Soak The Stems In Hot Water

Since the stems are waxy it can be hard for water to get into them after you cut. So soaking them in hot water, yes, boil water and put it in a big vase and let them soak, will help to remove that wax buildup. Just make sure to leave space so that the steam doesn’t wilt the entire flower itself. A big bucket works for this too. Leave them in there for a few hours after you do your 45 degree angle cut on the stem (and always below or above a node, not through one!).

Dunk The Whole Flower In Water

Yup, it’s true, it works. Take your entire stem, flower and all, and dunk it in warm water for about an hour. Since hydrangeas soak up water through the flower, soaking them allows them to drink up water and come back to life. You can fill up your sink with warm water and soak everything in there.

Lots Of Fresh Water

These flowers drink LOTS of water so make sure to add water to your vase every single day. You may also want to use a clear vase so you can keep an eye on the water levels.

Add A Penny, Sprite or Aspirin

So many tips on what to put IN the water. From a penny to Sprite or aspirin, these all are supposed to help perk them up. My friend who’s a wedding planner said she uses Sprite all the time day of weddings to get flowers looking their best.

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.20.20
    L said:

    Similar tip: I take a potato peeler to the stems and peel off the outer layer so that it can soak up more water.

    Also, like you said, I often give them warm water.

    And I take off pretty much all the leaves because they use up the hydration as well.

    I had some last 3 WEEKS!!! Couldn’t believe it.

    • 5.20.20
      Jessica said:

      Woah that’s amazing! Great tip for the peeler going to do that next when I refresh their water

  2. 5.20.20
    Laura Leigh said:

    Hydrangeas are my jam! Aka favorite flower. We recently planted some in our front yard and I am just dying for them to be HUGE and offer up all of the blooms. They’re just as (if not more) tricky in the ground – the amount of water they need is no joke! Will be using all of these tips once I bring them indoors!

    xo Laura Leigh

  3. 5.20.20
    Rachel said:

    LOVE these tips! I always avoid buying hydrangeas because they die so fast but I’m definitely going to grab a bunch on my next grocery store run.


  4. 5.21.20
    Lisa Autumn said:

    My fave flowers x

    Lisa |

  5. 5.21.20

    Wow, I never knew this. I do know that I have dried many of these and they dry wonderfully. It must be because of those waxy stems. Thanks for sharing.