Lilac Tips, Facts and Uses
Hi there friends. Lilacs are one of the most beautiful flowers in my opinion. I love both their scent and the casual ease in which they elevate any room they grace when you add a cut flower bouquet. My Lilacs have come… and gone. But I know many of you are still awaiting the day your blooms burst forth, so I decided to look into how we can make our cut lilacs last longer. Along the way I discovered some tip and uses, so I’m sharing it all with you! They are such a glorious flower and I know we all want them to last as long as possible once we cut them, and bring them indoors. So let’s get some great lilac tips, learn some facts, uses, and find out what else we can do with them.
TIP ONE: When to cut – It’s best to cut your lilacs when it’s cool out. So early morning, or evening are prime times. Cutting in mid-day heat will result in wilted blooms.
TIP TWO: Which stems to cut – To help your cut blooms last, select stems prior to full bloom. Try for about 75% of the flowers to still be in bud form.
TIP THREE: How to cut – When you cut your lilacs you want to use a sharp knife or shears and cut each stem approximately 1 inch from the bottom of the main stem, at a 45-degree angle.
TIP FOUR: After you cut – Don’t dilly-dally after cutting. Have lukewarm water ready and place them in it as soon as possible. Lilacs have a woody stem, you can score the outer stem, as well as “smash it” – so they can more readily drink and receive water. Much like you would a hydrangea. Also make sure to remove any leaves below the water line, and any excess foliage.
TIP FIVE: Best time to prune. New lilac bushes don’t require maintenance pruning until they are about 6-8 feet tall. The time to prune mature lilac plants is just after the flowers have faded. Lilacs bloom on old wood, so it’s critical to prune in the spring right after they bloom. If you prune later in the summer, you may be removing the wood. Late pruning will mean sacrificing next year’s flowers.
TIP SIX: If your lilac flower clusters are getting smaller, it might be time to prune!
There are over 1,000 lilac varieties.
Lilacs attract bees.
Reblooming lilacs do exist.
Syringa ‘Josee’ or Josee – Lilacs tend to bloom for about three weeks in the Spring, but there are re-blooming varieties that will produce multiple times and give a showing in the Fall as well. The Syringa ‘Josee’ or Josee re-blomming Lilac thrives in cool weather. So the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies, New England, Canada, and other regions with reasonably cool summers should see a prolific blooming and re-blooming during a growing season.
Bloomerang – Better Homes and Gardens magazine first introduced the Bloomerang, in a limited release in March of 2009. The variety is reported to do better than the Josee in warmer climates. The initial bloom is heavy and appears in mid-May. It goes through a rest in June and then begins to rebloom in July and continues on until frost. While the summer and fall panicles are not as large as those in the spring, it puts on a very good show. Every single branch bears flowers (not just an occasional flower). One of the reasons for its propensity to flower is its strong growth. As long as it continues to grow it continues to produce new flowers. You don’t have to prune it get it to rebloom, however, a light shearing after the initial bloom results in a fuller plant with more branches and thus more blooms. (More Bloomerang info here.)
Purple lilacs are at their most fragrant on warm, sunny days.
Find more Planting, Care and Cutting Tips read here at the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Lilacs belong to the Olive family.
Lilacs are edible!
As I said above, lilacs are edible, which opens up a variety of uses!
You can use lilacs to create: Lilac Jelly – Lilac Wine – Lilac Cocktails & Liqueurs – Lilac Infused Syrups – Lilac Honey – Lilac Ice Cream & more…
Lilac Simple Syrup
Lilac Haze Cocktail
Please visit Holly & Flora [here] for these three beautiful lilac recipes!
This past Mother’s Day weekend we got three new Rhododendron varieties, one is called Strawberry Cheesecake. It was tight in bud so it’s going to be a real surprise for us when it blooms!! We also got a new Honeysuckle. Sadly, there were no lilacs though. I might have to resort to mail order. Because as I’ve mentioned here and there in comments around social media, when we had the workshop built… my one, little lilac was demolished.
I’ve been getting my lilac fix via my very generous sister in law, who happens to have a tree next to her house. I’ve been able to get bouquets from her place, but I’d really love my own.
Do you have lilacs? What colors and varieties? Did you learn anything new today from my lilac tips, facts and uses post? Do you have something lilac related you can add? I’d love to chat with you more in the comments and hear from you!
Wishing you lovely lilac dreams, xo Shannon