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How to Keep Your Hydrangeas Upright (and Fix the Ones That Flop!)

Kelly Lehman is the owner of Cranbury Fields Flower Farm and shows everyday gardeners how to grow amazing flowers on her Youtube Channel.

Lucy enjoying some R&R in front of our Annabelle hydrangeas.

Lucy enjoying some R&R in front of our Annabelle hydrangeas.

What to Do If Your Hydrangeas Have Flopped Over

Huge rainstorms can be disastrous if you have a garden full of blooming hydrangeas. Annabelle hydrangea flower heads get so large that when the rainwater gets trapped on their petals, it often makes them fall to the ground.

If you've pruned them, this is even more likely, as the flowers are on new growth, which means a floppier stem than hydrangeas that come in on last year's wood. When you have floppy stems combined with super heavy flower heads, they're likely to drop to the ground as soon as they get soaked.

Luckily, when that does happen, it's not a big deal.

Don't flip if your hydrangeas have flopped. There are a few super easy ways to fix this problem (and prevent it in the first place).

Don't flip if your hydrangeas have flopped. There are a few super easy ways to fix this problem (and prevent it in the first place).

How to Fix Collapsed Hydrangeas (4 Ways)

There are a few easy ways to fix fallen hydrangeas. Here are the best methods I've found.

1. Prop Them Against One Another

Sometimes I'll just pick up some of the heavier flower heads and prop them up against each other. Since these gals also have a giant leaf-support system, a lot of times they'll just kind of support each other.

Gently shake off some of the water and prop them up against each other. Once the rest of the rain evaporates off the flower heads, they should stay upright again.

If you look closely, you'll see a wooden dowel and some twine supporting these hydrangeas.

If you look closely, you'll see a wooden dowel and some twine supporting these hydrangeas.

2. Create a Support System With Dowels

Other times it's just too much to handle, so I have to step in and add some more structure. Luckily, this won't change the appearance of your hydrangeas unless you're looking closely. I like to use wooden dowels (your local hardware store should have these) and twine.

  1. Hammer a wooden dowel on either side of the plant.
  2. Pick up four to seven of your heaviest stems (make sure they look healthy and sturdy).
  3. Tie the stems to the dowels with a little bit of twine.

Note: Make sure that you don't have them tied really tight together. If the blooms are too crowded, they might start having mold issues and fungal issues. So make sure that you have a lot of space for the plant to have some airflow.

Zip-ties are another easy way to fix fallen hydrangeas.

Zip-ties are another easy way to fix fallen hydrangeas.

3. Zip-Tie Them Together

If you don't feel like fussing with the dowels, you can just use zip ties. In the photo above, I added two or three zip ties together, got a whole bunch of the sturdiest stems (I had probably four or five in there), and gently zip-tied them together.

As with the dowel method above, be careful not to tie the stems together too tightly—airflow is critical to keeping your plant healthy.

Cracked, broken, or mushy hydrangeas are past the point of rescuing, but cutting them off may help get the rest of the plant upright again.

Cracked, broken, or mushy hydrangeas are past the point of rescuing, but cutting them off may help get the rest of the plant upright again.

4. Cut Off any Cracked or Broken Stems

If you come across stems that are cracked or broken or flower heads that are dead or mushy, just cut them right off. Sometimes this will alleviate the pressure from the plant and they'll just spring right back up!

Installing a tomato or peony cage in early spring can help prevent fallen hydrangea blooms in the first place!

Installing a tomato or peony cage in early spring can help prevent fallen hydrangea blooms in the first place!

How to Keep Hydrangeas From Falling Over

A way to alleviate this problem altogether is to put some tomato cages or some peony support cages in the center of the plant at the beginning of spring before any of the new growth even starts.

As the stems start to grow, they'll come up through the cage and wind up having a stronger support system in place from the get-go. It's a really easy way to get your hydrangeas to stand upright.

Want More Hydrangea Care Tips?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Kelly Lehman

Comments

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2021:

That is a great idea to use tomato cages to help support the hydrangeas. Thanks!

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