And the great star early drooped in the western sky in the night,
I mourned, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love." - Walt Whitman
Its that time of year and the Lilac's are blooming and making everything smell like heaven's laundry detergent. Whats the story with Lilacs completely wilting once inside and in a vase?!!
Well here are some steps to help keep your house smelling and looking lovely while the beautiful flowers are still in bloom.
- Cut the lilac flowers off the plant in early morning or late evening, if possible (never possible). Use a sharp knife to make a cut at least a few inches longer than the final stem length desired and just above a leaf, bud or branch junction.
- Place the cut ends of the flowers immediately in a bucket, pail or other container filled with warm water between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (hot water from faucet for those that aren't running a lab).
- Fill a clean vase or other container with warm tap or distilled water and a floral preservative added according to instructions on the floral preservative label. (Don't worry if you dont have this preservative, nobody else does either)
- Cut any leaves or small stems off the portion of lilac stem to be submerged in water while the stem is still in the pail or bucket of water, so that the cut surface is not exposed to air (they don't like air in their veins like us). Use a diagonal cut to remove at least 1/2 inch of stem off the bottom of each cut flower.
- Transfer the flowers quickly into the prepared, water-filled container/vase.
- Display the cut lilac flowers out of direct sunlight and in a cool, draft-free position, if possible. At night, or when you will not be at home to enjoy the cut flowers, storing them in the refrigerator between 40 and 50 degrees can prolong flower life.
- Replace the water (and preservative mix) if/when the vase appears cloudy, which indicates bacterial activity. When you replace the water, trim off at least 1/2 inch of stem from the bottom of each flower stem.
Enjoy the smell of spring and enjoy it longer!!!!!! Oh, and get the kids to help!