May 13, 2020

purple lilacs cover page

Car​​ing for purple lilac

There is possibly no greater bloom than the Lilac! All those little flowers blooming together to create a beautiful ombre bundle that seems to almost overflow from the bush itself! We are so lucky to live in a zone where Lilacs grow easily and hedges get bigger with more blooms every year! Lilacs come in all sorts of pretty colours from muted pinks and whites to deep magentas and beautiful blues, but our favourite colour is the prestige purple lilac. We love bringing big bunches into our homes to enjoy throughout the season, and now we want to share our little secret with you, on how to care for purple lilac trimmings! 

Purple Lilac bunches on outdoor patio table

While Lilacs look lovely outside we all love to bring them indoors! The scent of Lilacs fills our entire homes and they look amazing just as single stems or as large branches!The problem is that lilacs don’t last long once brought indoors, so we wanted to share a few tips to help maximize the life of a cut lilac. To be completely honest, these tips are not guarantees and you will be lucky to get a cut purple lilac bloom to last a week, but we have high hopes for you!

Deb home office with purple lilacs in double strap market basket

Cut Purple Lilacs In The Morning! 

Now, some people say you can cut them in the morning or at night when it’s cooler, but the optimal time is in the morning after it has been cool all night. The lilac petal will be their fullest and most plump at this time. When you cut the lilacs have a bucket of cold water ready! Do NOT even cut them and carry them back to the house. Immediately cut and get the branch straight into water!

fresh cut lilacs in the morning

psst... can you spot Britt's garden boxes? She finally built more and shared a step-by-step tutorial on how she did it HERE!

Cut La​​​​rge Branches ​

If you are able to, we recommend cutting larger branches as opposed to just the small single stems of lilacs. Displaying larger buckets of lilacs are beautiful and we have more success with them this way!

Antique bucket of purple lilacs

Keep Them Cool​

Put purple lilacs outside at night! If you keep your lilacs displayed in large buckets, place them outside in the evening! The cool air will help revive the wilting blooms. Then first thing in the morning, bring them back in and continue to enjoy the amazing aromas.

Brittany Hislop on front step with purple lilacs


Our last suggestion for caring for your lilacs! DON’T DO ANYTHING! After you cut the lilacs place them immediately into water, then if you are putting them in a different container transfer them without trimming them! Britt has honestly had the most success when she DOES Nothing! Put them in containers with cool water and put them out at night! Re-trimming seems to only stress the blooms out! So cut them and enjoy them! If you love the little things in life, like having fresh flowers around your home, you'll love our guide on how to enjoy the small things that make a happy home. Check it out HERE!

deb on back deck placing lilac bundles


  • Removing the leaves will help prolong the life of a lilac? WE have found this makes no difference.
  • Smashing the ends of the branch?? Again we have found that this really does not help much to the life expectancy of a lilac.
  • Give them flower food??? We have tried this and once again found no real difference.
Britt holding wine crate with lilac trimmings

Sorry if you were expecting some magical remedy to make purple lilacs last for weeks, but it just can’t be done! We think having them for a week is pretty good! So bring in lots and enjoy them while you can! Better yet, there are so many varieties of lilacs and they seem to bloom at various stages over a few weeks. Try and find a few places around you that you can trim from over the lilac season!

We are fortunate enough to almost enjoy lilacs for an entire month, because we have neighbours and friends who have lilacs blooming over the various weeks. Now go fill those water buckets and start trimming! Are you obsessed with purple lilacs like us? Let us know how you keep them fresh in your home by leaving a comment down below. We can't wait to hear from you! Happy trimming!

  • Definitely my favorite flower ? going to try these tips tomorrow morning! I usually just leave them outside but would love to bring some inside.

  • LINDA WALTON says:

    GREAT TIPS you gals have given us on keeping purple lilacs for a week…..I add 3 pennies to my container it works for cut tulips as well.

    • Yes pennies for tulips work great! Thanks so much for the message. Enjoy your lilacs!

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    What started out as a duo of Brittany and Deborah has now expanded into a TEAM! 

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    Deborah McDOnald


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    Small town girl living in a 1903 Heritage home she dreamed of as a child.

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    Living a simple life in a rural Alberta town and painting her house white as she goes!

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