I’m swooning a bit today as lilac season has arrived where I’m from and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bunch of the heady blooms!
Do I have my own lilac bushes? Not yet. Our yard is new and it’s a large sand put right now, so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! I took a drive down the highway, and though I saw plenty of GORGEOUS lilac shrubs with their branches and flowers waving to me, practically begging me to cut them, I restrained myself from raiding back yards and took the opportunity to snip only those on the roadside. It’s all that Catholic guilt…
Anyway, 30 minutes later, I was plunging them in cold water after snipping the ends evenly on a diagonal. The scent was heart breaking. Sooooo lovely!
But alas! The perky florets began to wilt a few hours later and I was perplexed. Don’t get me wrong, lilacs do not last very long at the best of times. My garden book says up to a week- BALONEY!!
If you get 3-4 days out of them, you’re doing well. But I did reach out to some Instagram friends for advice and here’s what I discovered…
- Cut them off the branch on a diagonal with a clean cut when the florets are just beginning to open.
- Using a hammer, pound the bottom stem to open up the woody stem.
- Place lilacs in a clean jar of water immediately after.
- Change water daily.
The scent of lilacs is so very fragrant, you’ll want several bouquets around the house.
There is about 25 cultivated species of lilac,and many more hybrids. There are shrub and tree varieties as well.
Why do lilacs die so quickly? Lack of pruning I’m told. The old dead branches left on the tree leech the nutrients away from the growing branches and the result is a shrub that doesn’t last long.
So enjoy them while they last!!