Luckily we do have 3 lilac bushes in our yard so I do get the enjoy the lilacs for the very brief time they bloom. I almost always cut lilacs and arrange a few containers to scatter around the house. But these prettily scented flowers don’t last long; the average lilac bush only blooms a few weeks each year. And once cut, the typical blooms only last around five days.
Keep your Fresh Cut Lilacs Longer
- Choose lilac stems in the morning when they are filled with moisture from the morning dew. Warm days dehydrate flowers. Flowers cut at the end of the day will fade quickly.
- Look for stems with firm leaves and strong colors. To maximize vase life, choose stems before they are in full bloom; with at least one-third of the flowers still in bud.
- Use a sharp knife or pruning shears, and cut each lilac stem approximately 1 inch from the bottom of the main stem at a 45-degree angle. Cutting at an angle will help ensure a larger area is exposed to water for maximum water uptake.
- Smash the bottoms of the lilac stems so they can draw water up through the woody stem to the blossoms. Use the back of your garden clippers like I did in the video or use a small hammer, and give the stem a whack so that the stem splits.
- Remove any leaves, this will reduce the loss of water due to transpiration.
- Immediately place the lilac stems into a container of warm water with Floral Preservative or crushed aspirin. The salicylic acid in the aspirin will help keep the water clean and free of flower-damaging bacteria.