Beach Cottage Flowers ~ Six Ways to Hydrangea Care

Thu 9th, Feb, 2012

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G’day Beach Cottage lovelies!  Hope all is well with you, thanks for all the sleeping advice…I took it…I got myself some of the products you all mentioned, plus I went for a walk down by the sea about about 5pm…with no bath I ended up on the sofa watching brain-dead tv and if you instagram with me you’ll know I got a foot massage from Mr Beach Cottage.  Sometimes I like him. 

The more I think about it duh, the more I realise it’s a combo of things, but mainly the lack of the bath tub….counting down the days now until that thing is in, but I have to say tonight I think I will be bathing under the stars again, so over it.

So, anyway, enough of my sleep problems if you remember, back at the beginning of summer I promised I would do a post on hydrangeas and how I get them to stay looking all perky and lovely once in from the garden

I have to say it has been a mixed journey for me and growing hydrangeas too… you have to be patient….I am hoping for lots more next year.


But once they are inside, these lovely ladies, if you get it wrong, rather than standing up all beautifully and showing off their colours, can, droop sadly and get a bit forty-is-the-new-thirty saggy around the edges…and worse they can only last a day or so before you have to sling ‘em in the bin.

So I have tried a few different ways to avoid the Beach Cottage Hydrangea Droop…see them below



1. cut hydrangeas in the morning

…my neighbour swears by this, I took her advice, the one time I didn’t and thought I was clever and snipped my hydrangeas in the heat of the afternoon I had a lot of droopy, sad, wilting going on




2. bash those hydrangeas up

I read online that bashing the ends of hydrangeas makes them last longer for display…so I duly got out my rolling pin and started smashin…this definitely makes them last longer than when I didn’t do that


3. put your hydrangeas in ice cold water 

I can’t remember where I read this, and there seems to be conflicting advice on the temperature of the water you put your hydrangeas in….but it has worked for me….now this might be because it’s warm here and they like a cool drink, I don’t know, but when I tried shoving a load of ice in my vase the hydrangeas lasted longer without wilting and getting droopy

4. give your hydrangeas a shot of hairspray 

- I got this from my lovely old Australian neighbour who displays hydrangeas at her church…she swears by giving your vase of hydrangeas a good blasting with some hairspray, just like she does her hair…I now do it all the time too!




5. change your hydrangea water every day

…they like a fresh drink these ladies ;-) …who can be bothered to do that?  Hmm, well not all of the time, but I have, in my sad little life as housewife to one old cottage on the beaches, conducted my own highly technical research on this topic…I filled two jugs with hydrangeas, one I changed the water every day, one I didn’t.  The ones with fresh water, smiled happily at me for much longer, their skin did not go all brown and languid, their heads did not droop, but their forty-is-the-new thirty little bodies rather stayed pert quite nicely, thank-you-very-much.

Note to self :  change one’s own water in system daily


6. Re-Cut the stems 

While changing the water, re-cut your stems & give them another bashing, this has helped my cut hydrangeas last longer and have a new lease of life





Hopefully that might be of interest to any of you who love hydrangeas as much as I do and especially those of you who might not have the luxury of growing them and have to buy them, wow those ladies are expensive in the shops!

and, just before we go, here below are a few hydrangea pictures for those of you who don’t have any hydrangeas in your life, or are on the other side of the world to the beautiful Down Under and need a lil bit of colour xo


these pink ones…were spectacular!  the post was actually more concerned with the makeover of the vintage french chair, but really it was the hydrangeas that stole the day ;-)




these blue ones are very coastal to me, I dedicated a whole post to them 



they liked it out there on the new deck




they like banana bread too…;-)




So happy hydrangeas beach cottage ladies, I hoped you enjoyed that little delve in…next year I am hoping to have more!

Do you love hydrangeas too?  Don’t they just brighten up your day?

If you have any extra tips that have worked for you, I’d love you to leave them in the comments section and I’ll up date this post with them

So long




p.s. oh and the next Beach Cottage Club Newsletter goes out soon, so get your name down on the list here if you’d like a copy in your inbox xo 

p.p.s Saturday Club is on this week, mark your diaries ladies, we are having Beach Cottage Me Time!

p.p.p. if you are pinning your little heart out, like me, on Pinterest I’ve added the little Pinterest button down there at the end of this post…too easy!  



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30 Responses to “Beach Cottage Flowers ~ Six Ways to Hydrangea Care”

  1. Caz says:

    Hydrangeas are so beautiful – love them!! I did try to grow some last year, problem is I don’t have a lot of shade in my yard so I put them down near the dam and I think the effort to go water them combined with bunnies well more like wild hares but we call them the bunnies, cute but destructive to garden!!! so at the moment I have one hydrangea in a pot that I have managed to keep alive on the verandah but that is now looking way past its best as well.

  2. Katherine says:

    Such georgeous, heady blooms – love, love, love them! I have never been able to grow them : ( , so I will admire yours instead : )

  3. Kirsty says:

    Yaye! I have been waiting for this post!! Thanks so much Sarah, I don’t dare try to grow any myself but this should help my bought ones last a bit longer, I would have never thought of the hairspray and ice water! xo K

  4. ohhh such beautiful, beautiful hydrangeas!! Just stunning – love ”em, especially the white ones.

    I find cutting flowers really late or early and leaving them, with stems given a slanted cut, in deep cool water somewhere as cold as possible for a couple of hours, really gives them the best start and prolongs their life. Once in the vase, cleanliness is all cos that bacterial gunks up the stems and they keel over. Keep away from heat sources, including sunny window sills. I have lots of info on this on my blog.

    Your photos are gorgeous, have pinned! Bx

  5. alison says:

    Ooooh lovely. Thank you. Didn’t you have some really pale pink ones in a post once??

    My lovely neighbours used a pot of hydrngeas to foof up their property when they put it on the market. I haven’t got to know the new neighbours yet and sadly I don’t think they are hydrangea lovers and I have had to watch this plant decline. I’d love to adopt it. Mmmm, maybe if I do some gardening in the frontyard this weekend I may be able to strike up a conversation.


  6. Fiona says:

    hi Sarah
    I adore hydrangeas also. we had a bush in our garden when we bought the house but it was in the wrong spot and never flowered so we ended up pulling it out. Shame. I look at your photos and wonder how we can be in the same city as your photos are always so white and sunny. not like that in my house here in Lilyfield. LOL.
    BTW i go to furniture auctions twice and week and am happy to keep an eye out for a chest of drawers for you. email me to discuss if you want.
    hope you are sleeping better. ..and I think i need to borrow your broomstick for my 5 year old. he’s doing my head in at the moment.
    cheers Fiona

  7. cheryl says:

    Love your hydrangeas~~~ The pink and blue is so… vibrant.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos
    Fresh Vanilla For C

  8. Susan says:

    I would love to grow hydrangeas – we live in a fairly new subdivision, and our landscaping was already done when we moved in, so I haven’t really had to do much with it so far, but I’m feeling the need to plant some flowers this spring, just so I can have some lovely flowers to blog about – I’m undecided whether to go with hydrangeas or peonies. Your hydrangeas are beautiful.

    • lois munn says:

      Do both- peonies and hydrangeas are beautiful together. In Illinois I had “endless summer” hydrangeas and deep pink peonies~ be still my beating heart!!! Both do well as cut flowers, as well.

  9. Alice says:

    I love these flowers! But mine are not flowering that much… I got about 4 or 5 vases full of these babies but that was it no more since November/ December… I have the pink ones, they are lovely but my favourite ones have to be…. The white ones! (GASP! Not blue?!) Thanks for these tips! Mine last quite a while (like 2 weeks)without doing anything (apart from changing the water every couple of days and giving the stems a bit of a trim, but I will be saving these tips to try the next time… I too am hoping for more flowers but I am not holding my breath… I can’t wait to get the front garden cleared and sorted because I will be going mad planting cuttings there…

    I love iris flowers too (my fav. since child hood, don’t know why… I just remember seeing a picture of one and it was love at first sight) but they are expensive (and fiddly – to me any way) to grow… I’m yet to find someone around my area who sells them by the bunch (instead of mixed in with other flowers)!

  10. fleur says:

    Hello Gorg
    Cant decide if I am a hydrangea fan or not… can I still be a BC fan if I opt out of Hydrangea love?
    I must admit the pink ones are nicer than blue xx

  11. Kate says:

    i LOVE hydrangeas!

    They grow wild and like crazy on the side of the road around me so i am often parked up snipping a few :)


  12. Janelle says:

    Yes LOVE my hydrangeas. They make me think of those gorgeous old gardens of our grandmothers etc. And so easy to grow! Obviously a huge tip is to plonk those hydrangeas in a beautiful vintage enamel vase!!?! Stunning!! xx

  13. Love hydrangeas! So beautiful. And they look so great against all the white in your house.

  14. jeanne says:

    my florist friend tells me that when you bash the stem ends you should impregnate those smashed parts with as much alum as you can – this also helps to prolong their crisp perkiness. she also says when you first cut your blossoms, if you don’t plan on displaying them right away, immerse the entire blossom head in cool water mixed with alum.

  15. Deb says:

    Great tips. I love that you did a little research for us all. You are like the Mythbusters of housiness!

  16. Ohhhh now I really can’t wait for summer! And I’m tempted to buy a starter pot in every color. ~Love~ Thank you so much for the tips, I am bookmarking this! Enjoy your bath, so glad you have that laundry hook up! -Jen

  17. Rukmini Roy says:

    Oh yes. Hydrangeas definitely brighten my day. The hairspray thingy I knew and it pretty much works for any flower. It is an anti-transpirant. You know, it basically seals all the pores in the petals, stopping transpiration. Pure science. :)

  18. Paula says:

    Do you grow your own bushes. I would love to see pictures of them. And what are your tips for successful growth outside? I have one bush but it doesn’t flower very much and when it does, I don’t have the heart to cut off the beautiful blooms

  19. judy says:

    hi Hydrangeas are my most favourite flower.thanks for sharing yours they are unbelievable- so beautiful Im jealous.I only have luck growing them in pots so they never get very big.sure wish i could grow a blue one they are gorgeous.love your blog thanks for sharing

  20. Candy says:

    One of my favorite flowers!! Can’t seem to get them started here in my new FL cottage. I know they grow here as I used to have a beautiful bush at a former cottage nearby. It had been there forever and bloomed like crazy. Will keep trying and thanks for the tips if and when I get to use them…lol Your photos are beyond devine!

  21. Sharon says:

    Thanks for the tips.

    I love hydrangeas and yours are so beautiful. I have a small shrub with pink blooms and it’s pretty but I am going to plant a one with blue flowers this summer. I’m in the US so it’s winter now and your photos of the pretty flowers sure did brighten my day today. :)

    Um, I feel silly asking this but could you explain the hair spray part again? Do you put it in the water or spray it on the blooms or the newly pulverized ends? I’m not sure why I am confused by this, I know I am making it more complicated than it is – LOL. Thanks!!

  22. Sharon Forward says:

    I am going to try these tips oh that would be in about five months time when mine are flowering over this side of the world….
    Yep enjoyed these fresh summery shots its brrr over herex

  23. Penny says:

    Hydrangeas are beautiful. I themed our Christmas around them because I’m nutty like that. Advice I got from a stylist friend, Jane Frosh was to do the bashing then place them upside down in a cold bath overnight. They lasted 3 weeks with some TLC

  24. Kimberly Buca says:

    Hey Sarah!
    my mom has them in her yard of every color shape and size the lace capped one the regular ones the pee gee ones there are soo many kinds!!! she used coffee grounds in her sopil around them this helps them turn a lovely darker shade!! she also uses egg shells m,any of her s have been started with a clipping in fact almost all except the 3 i bought her were started that way i will have to take a few pics in summer for you! i cut them and sometimes dry them!! i will have many in my yard as soon as wwe (hopefully) find the perfect little cottage this summer!!! thanks for sharing!! no bath yet?? i feel for you!!! i think i would be out there in the yard too!!! i cant live without my bubble baths and candles!!!!

  25. Diana says:

    Hydrangeas are my very favorite! I have two vases of dried ones in my house from last summer. I am trying to get my landscaping together in our newish house (actually old house but new to us). Gorgeous pictures!! Keep them coming. I think I love the blue ones best and would like to decorate with the varied blues and whites in my wholes house! Too much? I think not!

  26. Ingrid says:

    Love, love , love hydrangeas! I’ve heard that they grow on the outer islands especially Big Island but have yet to see any here on Oahu. I will see if they are being sold at the nursery, would love to grow some at my new house. Love the blue !

  27. Glennie says:

    Great tips! I have gorgeous ones at the moment – they get morning sun and afternoon shade which they seem to love.

  28. Heather says:

    I love hydrangeas and used them in my wedding. Instead of smashing the stems, we used floral shears to do a vertical cut up the stem, and had no problems with wilting. We kept them as cool as possible by keeping them in a fridge overnight, adding new cold water in the morning, and positioning them away from air vents.

  29. Ok I am a florist by trade. The trick with these beauties is to sink them overnight. If I have a wedding or such I will fill up the kitchen sink and put the flowers in overnight upside down with their heads in the water stems in the air. If they are looking droopy after a few days try this. I swear they will perk back up! I have saved many of hydrandea this way. Good luck!