Updated: Apr 14
Lilacs are certainly one of the most wonderful things about spring. The colors. The scent. But have you ever cut a big arm load of lilac blooms only to have them crash and wilt down to just about nothing the next day? Well here's a little secret my mom taught me about cutting lilacs that I'd like to share (my mom was born in the midwest and was transplanted to Texas as a young bride. She grew up with lilacs so I guess she knew a thing or two about how to cut them!)
First cut the blooms in the early morning or in the cool of the evening, strip all the leaves from the stem and place them immediately in a bucket of water. We don't need the leaves to be hydrated, just the blooms. Lilacs open very little after harvest so keep this in mind when cutting. Leave the bucket in a cool, darkish place to rest for a least an hour.
Next, using heavy clippers, recut the stem ends, then slice vertically up the stem 1-2 inches and gently splay them out. Immediately place the cut stems back into the bucket of water. This vertical cut (and splay) gives the blooms an opportunity to slurp up all that good water so they can keep their heads up. Allow the stems to take up more water in a cool, dark place for another one to two hours.
The lilacs will then be ready for arranging, and will last for about 5-6 days in the vase.
There you have it! Lilacs to enjoy for almost a whole week! So go out and cut those lilacs with confidence!
Cut them like a mother!
Cut them like MY mother!
(She would be so proud!)