Hydrangeas are a very thirsty flower. They must have a constant water source for they will wilt quickly.

Here are some tips in order for these lovely blossoms to last throughout your wedding day:

1. Always buy from a reputable wholesaler (preferably from a farm if you are ordering bulk flowers online) This ensures the hydrangeas are fresh, fresh, fresh!! Have clean buckets and tools (knives, etc) already cleaned and ready to use. Use water that has been prepared properly with flower food. (This cheap product is so important to the life of flowers - but many amateurs skip this step). Measure the flower food according to label directions - too much can be worse than too little.

2. Cut and process the flowers immediately upon arrival. Don't be dismayed if they look "wilted". They are actually in cold pack and just haven't opened up to their full beauty yet.

3. Cut the stems UNDERWATER - so the first "gulp" is that of water. If you cut above water, the flower can suck in an air pocket that prevents water from traveling up the stem and the head will drop quickly.

4. Immediately dip the cut end into a flower hydrator (such as Quick Dip). This product helps the flower take water quickly up the stem, again - helping to prevent a droopy head.

5. Mist my flower heads with Finishing Touch, which hydrates thru the petals and seals against moisture loss.

6. If you store in a refrigerator, be aware that hydrangeas are sensitive to ethylene. That is the gases given off by fruits. This can cause premature wilting. So don't store any flowers in a refrigerator that also contains lemons, oranges and other fruit.

7. Store the buckets in a cool basement or air conditioned room. A florist's cooler is very humid, whereas an air conditioned house is constantly REMOVING the humidity. To combat this, LIGHTLY lay a protective layer of plastic wrap gently over the heads. Do not WRAP THE HYDRANGEA HEADS - simply lay over them after they've opened up to their full beauty. Remist occasionally with Finishing Touch until you are ready to design the centerpieces.

8. Did you know that a couple bunches of hydrangeas can drink a bucket of water a day? After designing - be sure to keep a full water level in the vase or container. A flower arrangment with hydrangeas can quickly sucked foam dry. More water needed to be added on a regular basis to keep the flowers fresh looking.

If you use hydrangeas in hand held bouquets, be sure to keep vases of water handy so the bouquets can be popped in water whenever they are not being held.

Because this can easily ruin ribbon wrap - I like to use colored wire around the handles. Just keep a towel handy for wiping the handle dry each time they are removed from the water vase.our first paragraph ...

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