Condition Your Lilacs for Lasting Beauty

So many gardeners enjoy cutting plants from their garden to use in bouquets and floral arrangements.  This time of the year, lilacs and other woody stemmed plants offer color and fragrance for a relatively short time.  How do you extend the life of your freshly woody plant material?  Condition properly with this tried and true method:

  • Fill a bucket with warm tap water and bring it with you to the garden.  The cut stem will absorb warm water faster than cold water.
  • With clean, sharp pruners, cut long stems of the lilac at an angle, taking off 1/3 of the leaves at the bottom and plunge it directly into the water-filled bucket.  A stem out of water forms an air lock that prevents the uptake of water and significantly shortens its life. 
  • Store in a cool space overnight.
  • Either cut the stems approximately one-two inches at the base or smash (not pulverize) one or two inches at the base with a hammer.  In either case, the stem will have more surface area can absorb the most water to hydrate the blooms, keeping them in tact longer.

To learn of our entire selection of lilacs and other woody stemmed plants, visit the Nursery!  We are open daily, 9 am – 6 pm.

Thanks for gardening with us!



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