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Lilacs- How to Make Them Last in a Bouquet

Updated on May 24, 2017

The Heady Scent of Lilacs in Spring

For years I thought I could not cut lilacs and bring them inside because the ones I cut would wilt within the hour in a vase. That was a shame, since I have always wanted to take the beautiful essence of the lilac inside. They blossom for such a short interval that I want to enjoy them as much as I can during springtime

Why I Love the Lilac...

As a child I had a lilac tree under my bedroom window. I was spoiled by the soft, delicate fragrance of lilac scent rising through the open window as I lay waking during warm spring mornings.

Some Lilac trivia:

Lilacs are a symbol of early love. They bloom in May and June. In England they are part of cottage gardens and I can understand why.

Some varieties especially white ones are scentless. The old fashioned darker mauve varieties have the strongest fragrance, which is why I love the purple ones!

Cut Lilacs... so beautiful!
Cut Lilacs... so beautiful! | Source
Old-Fashioned Purple Lilacs.. so fragrant!
Old-Fashioned Purple Lilacs.. so fragrant! | Source
White Lilacs.... sometimes non-fragrant.
White Lilacs.... sometimes non-fragrant. | Source

A Technique for Longer Lasting Cut Lilacs

How to Prepare cut Lilacs for the Vase

There are some variations to making Lilacs last. An old friend taught me this technique and I have added a little of what I have also found here it is:

  • Cut Lilacs in the morning. Apparently, that makes them likely to last longer...
  • Lilacs should be cut twice. The first time when cut off the tree; the second cut just prior to placing them in a vase.
  • A clean vase is important with lukewarm water and a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in it! Make sure you add the sugar, it is important!
  • Just prior to adding the Lilacs cut the second time and peel off a layer of bark and split the ends to enable the stalks to pull up adequate supplies of sugar water.
  • Lilacs will drink a lot of water. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level.and top up frequently.
  • Note: as with all cut flowers, keep leaves out of the water and change the water if it gets murky. In that case re-cut the stems.
  • Prepared this way, I have had Lilacs can last for a week. Much better than wilting within an hour!
  • Enjoy!


Submit a Comment

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Christy! I was happy when I was finally able to bring the lilacs inside and keep them fresh longer! They only bloom for such a short time that it is nice to enjoy them 24/7 while they are in season!

  • ChristyWrites profile image

    Christy Birmingham 

    6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I love the smell and look of lilacs. A useful hub!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I love lilacs. Now I know how to make them last a little longer so I can enjoy them more. Up, interesting. useful, and shared with other lilac lovers.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi RedElf, I love the old-fashioned lilacs the best! When I learned this way of preserving them longer in the vase, I have always taken them in so I can enjoy them indoors and out!

    Thanks for your comments, as always very much appreciated!

  • RedElf profile image


    6 years ago from Canada

    We have gorgeous lilacs here - mostly the old-fashioned highly scented type, but they don't bloom long. Thanks for the tips on keeping them fresh longer.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Marcy! Oh lilacs in Texas! I did not know. I know I missed lilacs when I was living in apartments, so I understand. Certainly would be nice if there was a potted version!

    I appreciate your comments! Thanks!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    6 years ago from Planet Earth

    How I miss lilacs! We don't get them in Texas. Makes me wish I could pot them or something. The scent is heavenly each spring. Thanks for reminding me of my hometown in Ohio!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Schatzie! Congratulations on your first home! I think lilacs are a great choice for a garden! Enjoy!

    Thanks for commenting! Cheers!

  • Schatzie Speaks profile image

    Pilar Floyd 

    6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your techniques! I am in the process of purchasing my first home and am very excited about creating my first true garden! There will definitely be lilacs in it, and now I can bring them inside to enjoy as well!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Angie! I certainly am partial to lilacs...they herald the springtime season and I have always loved that fragrance! Hope you find space...apparently there is a variety that blooms twice...however, I don't know about the fragrance!

    As always, I appreciate your comments! Cheers!

  • Angie Jardine profile image

    Angie Jardine 

    6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

    I had quite a few lilac trees in my last garden and I loved their special fragrance ... I think I will have to find room for one in my new garden.

    Thank you for reminding me how wonderful they are, Scribenet.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you Movie Master, Victoria, moonlake, Shea, b.Malin (now...I know to add sugar to other cut flowers!) ...thanks, cabmgmnt, Arlene and Qudsia ( I thought it was pretty amazing that sugar works too.)

    Tina...I am glad the hint is in time for your lilacs...the other method was to mash the stems so more water is taken in, but peeling the bark, splitting the ends and sugar work fine for me.

    Thank you all for the kind comments! I went away for a few days and thought I should share this as my lilacs are coming out and thought this was too good a good hint not to share before the season is done!

  • thougtforce profile image

    Christina Lornemark 

    6 years ago from Sweden

    What a great tips this time of year! I didn't know about the sugar but I will try it this year. Liliacs here are just about to bloom so it is very timely. Liliacs are wonderful and it will be great if they could last longer! Voted up, useful and thanks for sharing!


  • QudsiaP1 profile image


    6 years ago

    I absolutely adore flowers and every time I receive flowers from my darling I do my utmost to keep them fresh for as long as possible. I haven't tried adding sugar to the vase before, I'll go do that just now! Thank you. :)

  • profile image

    Arlene V. Poma 

    6 years ago

    Thank you for the tips. My lilacs (California) are no longer in bloom, but I do enjoy my roses and flowers just by walking around my front yard. Your Hub has inspired me. I am tempted to buy more lilacs to compliment my roses.

  • cabmgmnt profile image


    6 years ago from Northfield, MA

    I Know Mother's day will soon be here because the lilacs in New England have bloomed. It isn't Mother's Day without lilacs. Thanks.

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 

    6 years ago

    I love Lilacs, I remember when I was a Kid, we had Lilac Bushes in our Back yard, and they smelled so good! Looks like you'v given Wonderful tips in your very Informative Hub, Scribenet. I've always wondered about the Sugar, but all cut Flowers from my garden seem to "thrive" on them.

  • shea duane profile image

    shea duane 

    6 years ago from new jersey

    Lilacs have always been my favorite. I have only two bushes, but intend to get more soon. Great hub.

  • moonlake profile image


    6 years ago from America

    I love lilacs and my are just budding out. Good information on keeping them alive. Thanks for sharing voted up.

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 

    6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    Great tips! I just planted a lilac bush this year, so I don't know when I will get blooms. Maybe next year? I'll have to remember these great tips for preserving the flowers a bit longer inside! Thanks!

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    6 years ago from United Kingdom

    I love the dark mauve lilac blossoms and the scent is simply beautiful.

    Thank you so much for sharing this method of keeping Lilacs longer, they look fabulous in an arrangement.

    Voted up and shared.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Susan! I thought there may be quite a few people that would not know this method for keeping Lilacs from wilting.

    Ever since I learned this, I have always made a point of getting a bouquet for indoors...I have one in right now!

    I appreciate your comments! Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I cut lilacs off my tree every year and have always wondered if there was a way to make them last longer than a day. Thank you so much for sharing this as they will be blooming soon.


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