6 tips for making a better lilac bouquet

November 21, 2014

Ah, the glorious scent of lilacs. If you’re fortunate enough to have a flowering lilac bush, you’ll want to know how to make this short-flowering beauty last.

6 tips for making a better lilac bouquet

You know that amazing smell that scents the air in the springtime? Chances are you are smelling the beautiful lilac bushes in your neighbourhood.

If you're cutting fresh lilacs from a bush, here are a few tips on creating a beautiful bouquet and treating the flowers right so they last longer.

  1. When cutting, be sure to use sharp pruning shears. Dull ones will leave a ragged edge, which shortens the lifetime of the fresh-cut flower.
  2. The best time to cut fresh lilacs is first thing in the morning. If you cut during the mid-day heat, they will wilt much faster.
  3. When you're ready to cut the flowers, bring a bucket of lukewarm water that has flower food dissolved into it. (You can get packets of plant food from local florists.) It’s important to immediately put the stems in water.
  4. Once you have your flowers, bring them inside and remove any foliage. You want the plant food to go to the blooms, not the leaves. (However, if you want to keep the foliage as part of a handheld bouquet or to fill out a vase, keep the cut portions in another container of water.)
  5. If you are putting the flowers in a vase, use a clean glass or ceramic one. Avoid using metal. Fill it with fresh water and add more plant food.
  6. If you need to re-cut the stems to fit in your new vase, be sure to trim them under water and then immediately move them to your vase, which is waiting with its water or plant food punch. Why? You want to avoid getting air bubbles in the stems, which make it more difficult for the flowers to soak up the much-needed nutrients.

Using your fresh-cut lilacs for a hand-held wedding bouquet

    • Select the largest, prettiest bloom to be the centre of your arrangement.
    • While holding the centre bloom in one hand, use the other hand to select and add additional flowers, turning as you add to ensure the bouquet has a round shape.
    • Once your lilac bouquet is the right size and shape for your needs, add a few pieces of foliage to frame the outside.
    • Wrap floral tape or wire around the stems to create a “handle” for your bouquet.
  • Cover the handle with silk ribbon, lace, meshed burlap, twine, or any fabric that matches the decor and theme of your wedding and dress.
  • Use your imagination to further decorate the bouquet. An antique brooch, a string of pearls, or mixed fabrics can add a personalized touch.
  • Trim the ends of the stems so they are all the same length and store in a cool place until needed.
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