VIDEO: Floral Designer Lewis Miller Shows You How to Care for Cut Lilacs

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Lilac’s are traditionally a harbinger of the arrival of spring—and the season is upon us. Whether you’re getting your lilacs from the farmer’s market, the grocery store or your garden, you may need some help keeping them looking fresh when you arrange them in your home. So we were thrilled to see that Lewis Miller, one of our favorite floral designers and creator of the celebrated Flower Flash, has created a video showing us how to care for cut lilacs. While lilacs often seem to droop soon after you put them into water, Miller offers some guidance to ensure that yours stay looking as fresh as they moment they were cut.


Here are the tips distilled for you in a few simple steps:

1. Cut in the morning: If gathering them from your garden, cut them in the very early morning, not the afternoon.

2. Get them home: If you’re getting them from the grocery store, don’t walk around with them, but get them home immediately.

3. Remove the leaves: Lilac foliage takes a lot of water away from blossom, so clean the stems of all the foliage.

4. Skin the base: take a knife and skin the base so more water can be absorbed into the stem.

5. Split it: take a cutter and split the base so as much water as possible will get up to the flower. If you don’t have cutters, you can also just break the stem or mash it with your fingers.

6. Get them in water: Put them right in water, without flower food.

If you’re curious about the meaning of lilacs and other flowers, check out our piece on the origins and meanings of your favorite flowers. Petal on!