How to Use Hydrogel in a Vase with Fresh Flowers

Updated February 21, 2017

Hydrogel is comprised of polymer moisture crystals. These crystals absorb large amounts of water for their size. Once fully saturated, they release their water slowly over a period of time. Hydrogel is most commonly used to increase the water-retentive ability of garden soil. However, it can also be used with fresh-cut flowers. Vases filled with hydrogel have unique aesthetic appeal. If the vase is clear, consider saturating the hydrogel with water coloured with food colouring for added pop.

Fill a clean empty vase with approximately the amount of water you desire.

Pour the water into a measuring cup to identify how much water is being held by the vase.

Add the water back into the vase.

Pour the appropriate amount of hydrogel for the amount of water in your vase slowly. The appropriate amount will be found on the hydrogel's packaging; it is usually 14.8ml per 2 quarts of water.

Stir the hydrogel, then leave the gels to completely absorb the water.

Add the fresh flowers to the vase when the water has been completely absorbed.

Re-hydrate the hydrogel as it shrinks by adding small amounts of water a few hours at a time to bring it back to its original volume.

Rinse the hydrogel with clean water if it becomes cloudy. Once the crystals are clean, replace both them and the flowers into the vase.


Keep your vase with hydrogel out of direct sunlight, as it can shorten the lifespan of the crystals.

Things You'll Need

  • Vase
  • Water
  • Hydrogel crystals
  • Flowers
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About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.