It is lilac season for many of us and I don’t know anyone who can resist bringing this intoxicating flower into their home and floral arrangements. You should know a few things about lilacs though to keep them from wilting and to get the longest vase life possible. Below: How to condition lilacs, how to arrange and style lilacs, and how to eat lilacs!
How to Condition Lilacs
- Put them into water immedietly upon harvesting.
-Slice up the stems in a cross shape. You can also smash the stems with a hammer but florists like to argue about this one. Some say that smashing is too agressive and will actually damage the stems so that they cannot take up water. At any rate, it is important to do more than just cut the stem diagonally, you need to actually break it open so that the stems can take up water.
-Your lilacs will last longer if you remove more foliage than normal. This way the water can get to all of the blossoms. Usually one part of a lilac will wilt in every bunch, you can cut it short to put in a small vase to see if it revives but you should remove it from the larger stem to let the other flowers open.
-In some cases or if the lilacs start to wilt, it will be better to cut them shorter as they will take up water more easily.
-Lilacs are especially sensitive to heat and cold, bright sun, and ethylene gas emitted by fruits.
-Harvest your lilacs when the flowers are closed but just beginning to open.
-They like to be misted with water.
How to Arrange and Style Lilacs
-Lilacs are stunningly gorgeous on their own. Arrange tall stems at slightly different heights into your favorite thrifted ceramic vase at your entryway and smile every time you enter your home!
-Lilacs are perfect filler flowers! Add them with other flowers into bouquets and arrangements to fill space, add texture, and emit fragrance.
-Lilacs also look good cut low into pudding bowls, ceramic cups, or vintage glassware.
-Purple lilacs look sleek with a black vase or backdrop.
-White lilac charms next to other spring favorites like snowdrops, spirea, or violets.
-Filler on filler. For a rustic, casual look layer in purple lilacs with waxflower and heather or layer in white lilac with white spirea and white waxflower.
How to Eat a Lilac
Please only eat flowers that you know or organic and safe to eat. You can download our full guide here. We take no responsibility for sickness resulting from the ingestion of edible flowers.
-Syringa vulgaris is the species most commonly known to be edible.
-Lilacs are one of the more pungent edible flowers. Use them sparingly.
-Lilac water. Infuse sparking or simple water with lilac blossoms overnight in the fridge for a refreshing floral drink.
-Make a lilac syrup to add to cocktails, lemonades, or cakes.
-Decorate cakes sparingly with lilacs (the fragrance can overwhelm)
-Lilac sugar. Lillac is one of the edible flowers that works well for floral infused sugars.
For more on edible flowers, check out our full length class that does a deep dive into extracting floral flavors, safety, history, and identification of edible flowers.
Lilac Styling and Arranging Inspiration
Ok, I got a little homesick writing that post. Lilacs are one of those flowers that are linked with my childhood in the best way. Does this ring true for you?