Drooping Flowers and the Hat-Pin Trick

Hat-Pin Trick

gerbera daisy with pin

Hat-Pin Trick

I’m not sure where I picked up this handy piece of advice, but it works…most of the time.  Cut flowers, especially those with hollowed stems will often droop after a short time in water. The reason: the stem is no longer siphoning water.

Simply insert a pin or needle all the way through the stem of the drooping flowers, about one-inch below the bloom, then carefully remove it.  Within an hour or two, your flowers will be standing tall. I’ve used this trick successfully over the years with Gerbera daisies, roses and tulips.

Gerber Daisies hat pin trick

Gerbera Daisies Revived: The yellow flowers perked up; but the orange ones did not.

Rubber-band Recovery

In the event the hat-pin trick fails, move on to plan B.  Gather the flowers into a loose bunch and slide a rubber-band over the stems and up to the neck of the flowers.   Wrap a second band around the bottom of the stems.  Return to the vase, and enjoy your perky arrangement.

cut flowers rubber-band recovery

Rubber-band Recovery in Action

Lift and Separate

I don’t know about you, but I like to get as much “life” from my cut flowers as possible.  Most mixed bouquet flowers have varying shelf-lives.  Some of the blossoms are spent within a few days while others can last up to a week or more.  Rather than dump the entire bouquet, I change the water and return the flowers that still have life.  As those fade, I’ll cut the healthy flowers down to a few inches, and display them in a smaller vase.  If I have nice greens, I’ll see what’s blooming in the garden and I’ll mix the two together. I make a game out of it to see how long the flowers will last.

Do you have any tips or tricks you’ve used to preserve the life of your cut flowers?  Please share in the comments, below.

Halloween Countdown

Nautical Pumpkin

Nautical Pumpkin

Eye Candy

Look who else has cut flowers this week:

28 thoughts on “Drooping Flowers and the Hat-Pin Trick

  1. I have never seen that pin trick before, that’s handy dandy. Adele uses fat straws for heavy headed Gerbs, but I don’t always have those around. Are the Gerbs from your garden Alys? I like that they last so long, they’re great value. Thanks a bunch for the Link back too, you spoil me 🙂 with your thoughfulness.

    I popped over (and followed) Tea On The Terrace. Kats arrangement was sooooo gorgeous, I’d love to have that at a dinner party or in an entry way on a side table. Stunning. What a good selection she still enjoys.

    I also scooted over to Mini Manor. I had it booked marked before, in a file, but don’t seem to remember to stop in. How do you subscribe to her posts? I can’t see a button on her page. I’m going back to snoop some more, I must have missed it.


  2. What a great idea. I always used to put lemonade in the water of my shop bought carnations to make them bloom for longer. I’ve absolutely no idea if it ever really worked, it’s probably just some old wives tale passed down to me by my mum! I’m like you, I’ll hang on to the last stem in the bunch, the vase I use just gets smaller and smaller as I change the water each time 😉


    • Eleenie, we are kindred flower spirits! Down to the last stem! I’ve never heard the lemonade story, but we used to use sugar, which is pretty much the same thing. I’ll do some research on this for another blog.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m really loving your smiling face, too.


  3. The picture with “the hat pin trick” made me sad. It seemed to me that it was a flower that got left behind and not taken to the prom. It was already for a teenage boy’s lapel, but, alas, did not make the cut. Oh, well, thanks for the tip anyway. HF


    • It’s so interesting the different interpretations we take from each others writing isn’t it? I try to run a cheerful blog over here, so keep reading. I never went to a prom. I didn’t date in high school (I was far too shy for that), so mostly had a mad crush on boys who were oblivious. Thanks for reading and commenting.


    • That’s interesting, PJ. Do you use a piece of ribbon from your wonderful oak chest? I’m still dreaming of all your bric-a-brac.

      I’m glad the pumpkins are keeping you smiling. I’m smiling too whenever you comment. 🙂


  4. hi there, would you mind clarifying please? do you leave the pin in the stem for the full hour? or you poke through and remove immediately?


  5. I’m going to try this now. The other hint would be to take floral wire and wind it up to stem to hold the heads up so that they’re perky again. I also learned a new trick to rehydrate hydrangeas. I boil about 2 inches of water in a big measuring cup, snip an inch off of the stem of my hydrangeas that are drooping and place them in the boiled water. They will rehydrate and I’ve actually done this more than once on the same flower. It’s pretty amazing!


  6. Pingback: How to Revive Gerbera Daisies

  7. Pingback: Revive Drooping Flowers With A Baby Pin | Lifehacker Australia

    • If they’re drooping while growing in a pot, they may be having trouble taking in water. Before you pierce the stem, why not try aerating the soil by digging it up, then replacing it so that air gets at the roots. Also, scratch the surface of the soil and if it is really dry, you may need to soak the plant to get to the roots. Good luck.


  8. Thank you for this tip! I really do not like it when my flowers droop.

    You asked for tips to extend the life of your flowers. Well, this is more a garden “illusion” that I learned from my Mother-in-law: When your daffodils fade cut off the spent flower only and leave the whole stem. Then insert a nicer looking silk flower into the hollow stem. When the last of them faded she waited about a week and then cut all of the stems back. Gently wash in cool water, rinse, dry and repeat next spring. She did that for years and her neighbors always commented on how long she got her daffodils to last. 😉


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