The Clever Zip Tie Hack To Protect Your Hydrangeas During A Rainstorm

The large flower heads of hydrangeas are stunning to have in the garden, but, unfortunately, the cause of their beauty can also be a cause for disaster when they flop over during a rainstorm. Known as the hydrangea flop, the heavy flower heads can be weighed down by excess water collecting on their petals. Stems often bend over, taking on a floppy appearance. A type of hydrangea, called hydrangea arborescens, better known as smooth hydrangea, is especially prone to flopping because it has large flowers with stems that are too weak to hold them up. Luckily, flopping hydrangeas can be a thing of the past if you use zip ties to keep the hydrangeas standing upright, even during a rainstorm.

This hack lets you group together the stems of your hydrangea and secure them in a bunch with zip ties. This is one of a few simple tricks that will make any drooping hydrangea thrive again. The extra support from the multiple stems and the zip tie holding them together maintains the flowers' sturdiness so the stems aren't prone to snapping when rainwater weighs down the flower.

How to incorporate the zip tie hack

To support your hydrangeas using zip ties, grab at least two to three zip ties and four to five sturdy hydrangea stems. Once you have your stems selected, fasten each zip tie around the group of stems. Make sure not to secure the zip ties too tightly to avoid accidentally injuring the stems or breaking them. The zip ties should be tight enough to keep the hydrangeas upright, but loose enough to allow for adequate air circulation between each stem.

The reason why you want to keep space for airflow between each stem is to prevent overcrowding of the flower heads. If the hydrangea blooms are too close to each other, they may develop mold and fungus. Powdery mildew, in particular, is a type of fungal disease known to occur in overcrowded hydrangeas, so it's important to keep this in mind when tying up your stems.

Alternative methods to keep your hydrangeas from flopping

If zip ties aren't your thing, don't worry — there are a few other methods and hacks you can use to protect your hydrangeas from heavy rain. The first alternative to experiment with is by using a tomato cage on newly established hydrangeas. This will wrap around the hydrangea and support the stalks of the plant. The reason this tool isn't as effective on older hydrangea bushes is because the plant is often too big for the tomato cage to wrap around. However, you can use a few bamboo stakes on mature hydrangeas instead. All you need to do is place the stake in the center of the plant and attach stems to the stake via a few pieces of cord. 

For those big on container gardening, consider planting your hydrangea in a pot so you can move it indoors or under a patio roof during heavy rain. For this, a lightweight pot or a pot on wheels is the best type of pot for flourishing hydrangeas so that you can maneuver the plant more easily.