Hydrangea was given its name because the seed capsule resembles a water cup, the name being a composite derived from the Greek for water , Hydra; and cup, angeion. Examine the blooms carefully, especially looking for slimy or brown flowers within the dense umbels. It is important to remove any brown flowers that you find. Any hydrangea displaying a large amount of brown flowers should be removed from the cooler and proximity to other flowers, and preferably dumped to avoid cross-contamination. (Do not confuse with natural discoloration caused by ‘antique-ing’.) Also make sure that the umbels are dry. Remove all lower foliage, and most of the upper foliage. This is because the vascular system is very delicate and leaves divert energy needed to draw water into the flower heads. Stems should be cut cleanly and crisply and placed immediately into water. Cutting underwater is recommended. The flowers should be hydrated in a low sugar holding solution and preferably should be processed in the cooler, and held at very low temperatures.