Lilacs are one of the first flowering bushes in our area and I enjoy gathering Lilacs to make arrangements to place in the rooms of our home. I also love the way they fill the house with their delightful scent. They never last long but with a few simple tips I have learned I how I can keep fresh cut Lilac branches in our home.
How to Keep Lilac Branches Fresh
I have tried several times to simply gather Lilacs and just place them in a vase, but within a short period of time they would begin to wilt. So, over the past year I have learned a few tips to keep them fresh longer.
One of the most important things that you will need is sharp clippers to cut through the Lilac branches. You will also need a container with water that you can immediately put the stems into. I sometimes gather my Lilacs in a basket but for the longest lasting blooms you will want to put them in water as you gather them.
Always gather Lilacs in the early morning or later in the evening. Some flowers will continue to open after you have cut them but Lilacs will not continue to open after they have been cut. So, choose stems that have the majority of the flowers open. Remove all leaves or at least the ones that you will know will but under the water. Once you cut the stems, place them in water right away and leave them for at least at least 2-3 hours.
After a few hours, remove them from the water and re-cut the stem. Then using the clippers you can cut a split in the bottom of the stem about an inch deep. you can also use a hammer to smash the ends of the stems. I have had success with both methods. Immediately place the stems back in the water and leave them for another 2-3 hours.
After, the 2-3 hours you can remove the stems and place them in arrangements. Your fresh Lilac blooms will last for about 4 or 5 days.
Another tip for keeping Lilacs fresh longer is to remove all the foliage from the stems. If you leave the foliage on, the nutrients from the water will go to the greenery rather than the flowers. If you want the foliage, cut stems with just the foliage and no flowers.