How to Cut Lilac Flowers


Colorful lilacs bloom in spring or early summer. The lilac is a woody shrub but often is allowed to grow to the size of a small tree. Their cones of small, pastel flowers and heady aroma makes them a prized ornamental in the home landscape. Lilacs bloom in white, lavender or pink, with both double and single petaled varieties available. The cones of small blossoms are an attractive and fragrant addition to cut flower arrangements and bouquets. Cut lilac blossoms properly to ensure they have the longest display life possible.

Step 1

Inspect the lilac cones in spring when the flower buds begin to show color. Cones often start off green, for white and pink varieties, or nearly black for purple types. Cut flower cones once the green or black fades to the color of the expected flowers and some of the flowers have begun opening.

Step 2

Cut through the stem supporting the cone with a pair of shears. Leave 4 to 6 inches of stem attached to the flower cone.

Step 3

Strip the leaves from the stem. Trim them off with the shears or gently pull them off with your hands.

Step 4

Place the lilacs in a vase of water immediately after cutting. Add a cut flower food to the water, which is available from most florists.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lilac flowers do not open if they are cut too soon.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Vase
  • Cut flower food


  • Western Nevada College: Woody Ornamental for Cut Flower Growers
Keywords: cutting lilac flowers, cut lilac arrangements, cutting woody flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.