Having trouble hydrating these beauties? Alum stem dip not giving consistent results? Do you use warm water to fill vases?

Maybe pounding is your preferred method of stem prep. Perhaps you submerge the entire flower head…  Here are a few tips on how to care for fresh cut hydrangeas.   

HYDRANGEA Processing for Consistent Results

1. Prepare bucket solution with cold water–cold moves faster through stems than warm

2. Start with a hydration solution to boost flow   and turn on the vascular system. Use Chrysal Professional #1 or Rose Pro hydration. Mix according to directions.

3. Using a clean, sharp knife or flower cutters– cut above old tissues (above any brown stem tissue).  Cut an inch off to remove all the gunk lodged in bottom of stem that stops flow. Let blooms drink hydration solution for at least 4 hours–overnight even better.

4. After 4-12 hours, transfer blooms into Chrysal Professional #2 or Rose Pro Vase flower food.  OK to leave in either solution up to 6 days

5. If designing blooms without a water source, prep as listed about, design and then wrap stems with Arrive Alive.  Dip Arrive Alive sponge in Chrysal Professional #3 or Rose Pro Vase food for 1-10 seconds and add the outer plastic bag. Secure rubber band above foam to prevent leaks

6. When temps soar–spray bloom and foliage with Hawaiian Floral mist (a light spray 1 x a day is adequate). Allow blooms to dry completely before placing in cooler.


Rehydrating the stems
















Same day, after the top photo was taken, the dehydrated stem was placed in Chrysal Professional #1 and fully recovered in 6 hrs

Once flowers are cut/harvested they are deprived of water, food and growth regulators naturally supplied by the mother plant.  In order for the flowers to develop in a natural way, we have to continue to supply the flowers these ingredients dissolved in water every time the flowers are hydrated at the grower, wholesaler, retailer or in the vase of the consumer.  Cut flower foods contain all the necessary ingredients for the natural development of stems, leaves and flower petals, as well as for size, color and scent.

In Chrysal’s product development we aim to mimic the natural flower development.


Best solution for maximizing vase longevity of Kitayama Brothers stemmed gardenias

Have you seen the latest innovation from Kitayama Brothers? Stemmed gardenias! These beauties are 10 stem bunches of pendulous, fragrant buds, cut at various opening stages from quite green to 1/3 open. Stems are 8-10 inches long with plenty of glossy foliage. Gardenia blooms slowly whorl open which means the flowers open asymmetrically. The flowers and foliage hydrate perfectly—no indication of foliage problems with yellowing or disease. I held the bunches at 34F for several days, but was careful to avoid any blowing air.

The goal was to determine which solutions gave best results in both flower opening and longevity. Comparing several hydration formulas and flower foods, I achieved best results using Chrysal Professional #1 as the first hydrating drink at 34F (representing grower and wholesaler handling) and  transferring stems into Professional #2 low sugar flower food after 3 days at 34F. (Pro #2 represents wholesale/retail handling). And finally vases held at ambient temperature to represent consumer stage. Average vase life was 9 days.


Product cautions:

Always wear plastic gloves to avoid touching petals. Oils in our skin cause petals to discolor.

Avoid cold blowing air. Recommend storing exposed bunches in tropical coolers at 50F.


For more information ask your local wholesaler or email information@kitayamabrothers.com for availability.

Article by Gayle Smith, Technical Manager for Chrysal Americas

For product testing and recommendations email: gaysmith@earthlink.net