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Trick to Cutting Lilacs for Flowers

What is the trick to cutting lilacs for flowers that will not damage the bush and give you long lasting blooms from your lilacs?

I have 9 lilac bushes in my back yard and am thinking of getting a few for my front yard as well.

One of my greatest joys is cutting my lilacs and bringing them inside to enjoy the wonderful fragrance.

Lilac flowers should be cut and enjoyed but many people are afraid that they might ruin their bushes if they start hacking away at them.

There is a method to cut your lilacs that will be best for the bush and will give you fabulous cut flowers for your home or to give away.

The trick to cutting lilacs for flowers

Most lilac bushes are top heavy with blooms because they have not been cut enough. 

Lilacs need the blooms to be removed before they go to seed later in the summer.  Removing blooms to bring inside is actually healthy for you lilac bush.

I cut my blooms from very high up on my bush as it is so tall and I want to force more blooms lower on the bush for next year.

Many of the branches that I cut are very thick. This will not damage the bush. Lilacs tend to grow on new growth so removing thick old branches is perfectly OK. As you cut your lilacs step back and take a look at your bush that you are cutting evenly through out the bush and not leaving bald spots. Never cut more than 15% of your bush away in one year.

A good pair of gardening pruners will make the job much easier.

The growth you lilac bush will have over the summer will give you new branches for the flowers to grow on next spring.  The trick is that you need to cut flowers to get more flowers next year. This is the trick to cutting lilacs for flowers!

Now some years your lilac bushes will be better than others because of the winter weather. I noticed that my lilacs tend to bloom more when there has been a very cold winter.

Have your vase prepared with cool water for your lilacs. You will need a vase that has a very heavy base as the blooms are heavy and will tip over a light vase. Your vase MUST be clean, it should be washed with soap, water and 1 teaspoon of bleach after every use.  Bacteria that destroys flowers can live in a dry vase for up to 6 months.

The vase in the center and to the right both have thick heavy bases and would be fine to put Lilacs in. The vase to the left has a very light base and even though water makes a vase heavier the Lilacs would still topple over if you used this vase.

When I want a huge display of Lilacs I use my antique cut glass punch bowl that weighs a ton. I use a flower frog on the bottom. These you can find at antique stores and are made from either glass of metal.

You need to smash the bottoms of the lilac stems so they will draw water up them.

Use a hammer and give the stem a whack so that it splits.

It is best to do this outside on a surface that you won't damage or inside on a work table that can take a few hits.

Lilacs are not long lasting blooms, they tend to stay for about 4 or 5 days but the scent is so heavenly that their brief time in our homes is much appreciated.

Though I find the scent a little too overpowering to have in my bedroom I love to have them in my living room and bathroom. 

I will also tuck a few Lilacs into gifts like this small little gift-basket I made of various soaps. The scent is lovely when they unwrap the gift. Learn more on my post How to Make Inexpensive Gift Baskets That Look Expensive

There are many beautiful varieties of Lilacs and the colors can range from bright white, soft pinks, pastel lavenders and bold stripes.  They are a gorgeous addition to your garden and an stunning cut flower for you to enjoy.

So when it comes to the trick of cutting lilacs for flowers just remember,  don't be afraid to cut your lilacs, your bush will be better for it if you do.

Read more about flowers!

Check out my e-book Make Inexpensive Gift Baskets That Look Expensive that is available at Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Kobo and many more places!