He's been in the business for over 20 years. The business of flowers that is, and he is actually my mentor and friend, a fantastic friend to have. Pay attention if you LOVE HYDRANGEAS.
This is how to maintain and extend the life cycle of one of our favorite flowers, the fickle hydrangea.
Step one. Remove most of the beautiful large leaves. They are wonderful, showy leaves but they will absorb and take away the water from the flower, leaving the actual blooms to suffer. This is a major cause of hydrangea bloom wilt in arrangements.
Step two. After the removal of the leaves, before the hydrangea begins to look sad, take it for a swim. Take it for a swim? What does that mean? Get a large bowl and fill it up with cold water and dunk the flower into the water upside down. Yes, that means submerge the flower underneath the water with the stem sticking up and out of the water. Leave the flower under the water for 15 minutes or so then gently rinse it off my swinging lightly back and forth a bit to shake the water off.
Step three. Now cut the stem about an inch and a half from the bottom of the stem at a forty five degree angle and place the stem into a clean vase with fresh water. This angle helps to prevent air bubbles from forming as you place the stems into their vessels of water, which could impede the delivery of water up the stem to the bloom. Let the flowers dry off at room temperature, without direct sunlight and away from any ventilation or direct blowing air as they drink up the water.
I do this about once a week and my hydrangeas have lasted up to three weeks. After this amount of time, I am not saying they will all look as fresh as day one (they may!), but at least you've managed to keep them alive longer. If parts of the hydrangea have wilted beyond the point of no return, clip the wilted parts off. Hydrangeas have loads of laterals which are full of florets. When done properly this should help keep your hydrangeas hydrated, happy and with you for as much time as possible.