All of the many varieties of hydrangeas sport beautiful flowers. The worst feature of the white “snowball” type however, is that they are easily damaged in a heavy rainfall, creating a mess of floppy hydrangeas.
The large balls of flowers soak up the rain water causing the stems to bend and eventually snap from the excess weight. This happens more often if the shrub is cut back each spring as the stems never get a chance to get thicker and stronger.
However, when your hydrangeas flop in the rain, cut the stems near the spot they bent/snapped, turning the floppy mess into a beautiful bouquet. Do this as soon as possible after the offending downpour, remove all but the top set of leaves and immerse the cuttings into water immediately.
I encountered such a display of floppy hydrangeas recently in a client’s garden and rescued them to do just that. I used my smoothie cup for a makeshift vase, and voila, a gorgeous and fresh bouquet, ready for gifting…
I have done this before, with peonies too as they suffer the same fate during heavy rain. If the client whose garden I am tending is home, I give the cuttings to them to beautify their own home. This client happened to be away enjoying the summer weather at her cottage though, so these floppy hydrangeas were destined to go elsewhere.
On the way home I dropped the bouquet off at a local nursing home. As it turned out, my timing was perfect. As I walked in with them, the staff was organizing a get-together for the residents. My offering was gladly accepted and my gift turned into a beautiful centerpiece for the occasion! In a new vase of course.