ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Lilac Bushes Only Bloom For Two Weeks

Updated on January 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

In New England, I am reminded that Mother's day will soon be upon us due to the fact that the lilac shrubs are in bloom. I am also reminded that summer is near.

For the Massachusetts area, this typically means that lilacs will be in bloom during the end of April until the second week of May, if we are lucky. Depending on the altitude and location of our lilac bushes we may loose blooms earlier while a shaded shrub may keep its blooms for a few days longer. Lilacs are shrubs not trees. The genus, Syringa, is so popular that over 1000 hybrids have been produced from the 25 species. Lilacs are increasing in demand and the shrubs are known for their longevity.

The scent of lilacs is so intriguing, it is sweet and intoxicating and very distinct. Every year I cut a few blooms to bring that scent inside the house with me. I also cut a bunch to give to my Mother on Mother's Day. Maybe one of the reasons that a lilac blooms for such a short period of time is to remind us not to forget our mothers. The lilacs remind us how quickly time passes and that we should enjoy every moment and be thankful for our mom's at the same time. This is my theory. In reality, why do lilacs only last for two weeks? If the shrubs are known for longevity, why hasn't someone produced a lilac bloom that is also known for its longevity?


Okay Lilac Shrub, What's Up?

The lilac shrub was imported from Europe. The shrubs get very large and have been mistaken for trees but they are not. The lilac scent intoxicates us and the flower can feed hummingbirds, honeybees, insects and the leaves can be a source of food for deer. The colors of the petals and blooms can be white, pink, lavender, magenta, violet and purple.The flower takes anywhere from 16 to 20 days to fully bloom and fade.

Lilacs are a part of the olive family and should be planted in early spring. You will get up to a six week span of flowering blooms by planting several different varieties of lilacs in your garden. There are certain varieties that will repeat bloom. This repeat bloom will happen in about 7 to 8 weeks after the initial bloom. Dwarf lilacs will not repeat bloom. Expect a new lilac planting to take two to three years until it first blooms. They should be pruned after flowering to retain their shape. The lilac petals are edible and can be candied or used in cakes.

The two week blooming period is something we have to put up with in respect to the lilac. Besides planting different varieties to extend bloom some of these lilacs have been breed to bloom later and can reach a four week blossoming period. Try the Arnold Arboretum in Boston for more help with your lilac knowledge. The second Sunday in May is "Lilac Sunday" at the Arboretum. Visitors can browse the garden and get insightful gardening tips for their lilacs.


How to Keep Cut Lilacs Fresh

When you cut lilacs from a shrub and place them in a vase indoors, you reduce their blooming period. Expect a lilac to stand in water for approximately 5 days. By following some of the tips below you can extend the "vase life" to 7 or 10 days.

  • Cut stems early in the morning when their water content is highest
  • Mix water in vase to include warm water, 8 ounces of lemon-lime soda and couple drops of bleach. The sugar in the soda feeds the blooms and the bleach keeps bacteria from forming and killing blooms early.
  • Re-cut ends with a sharp knife under running water before placing in vase. This re-cut under water limits an air pocket from forming in the stem and allows for even water flow through the stem to keep it fresher longer.
  • Keep the vase away from direct sunlight or direct heat to prevent wilting.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)