Decorating with Lilacs – What to Know Before Clipping

What you need to know before decorating with lilacs!

Decorating with Lilacs is one of my favorite things about May. By the end of the month, our weather here is more consistent, the days are so much longer, and the lilacs bloom. I absolutely love bringing them into my home, and today I’m sharing some tips that will make them last longer the moment you clip them. 

YouTube video

Do you love decorating with lilacs as much as I do? This year I wanted to learn more about when to clip lilacs, how to clip them and how to make them last longer once I brought them inside. I asked my followers over on Instagram and got some great feedback, so I thought I’d share it all here with you on my blog. 

cottage decorating with lilacs
dining room decorated with lilacs!
Our high back sink, filled with lilacs
Lilac tips and tricks

A Word about Creativity…

I have to say, this blog post was so much fun. Just me, being creative and playing with flowers. No deadlines, no collaborations. No pressure. Just a camera and some gorgeous lilacs. And it felt really, really good. And I probably took WAY too many photos. But I loved every single one. 

decorating with lilacs in our cottage entryway
Lilacs in our cottage style living room
lilacs in our cottage style dining room

If you’ve been following along lately, we have definitely been in project mode these past few months. I’m not one to sit around, my head is constantly spinning and once I finish one thing I’m immediately on to the next. 

It’s the creative side of me and it’s something I really struggle with. It’s so difficult for me to JUST BE. To sit still. To listen and not think. Present in the moment and not daydreaming about what I’d like to do next. 

decorating with lilacs - what you need to know!
Our cutting board display, all dressed with fresh lilacs!

I shared a little bit about this in my Instagram stories, and honestly that’s why I think painting has been SO good for me. Every Sunday after we all rest in the afternoon, my husband takes the boys outside and I take a few hours to paint. I listen to music in my sunroom and get lost in the painting and it feeds my creative soul. 

how and when to cut lilac stems!

Clipping, decorating with and shooting these lilacs did the exact same thing for me. I got up early and went outside to cut some branches, and in that moment I had so much peace in my heart. The birds were singing and cool morning air was perfect. The warmth of the sun felt just right. Bringing them inside brought me so much joy. 

decorating our cottage with lilacs!

All that to say, don’t ever feel like creativity is a waste of time. It’s a gift from God, our Creator. The ultimate Creator. The One who formed mountains and valleys, oceans and rivers. Beautiful meadows dressed with trees and flowers. And lilacs. He created those, too. 

Tips for decorating with lilacs!

And when I pause to consider a lilac, and how God created it, and painted it so beautifully onto this earth, I’m reminded that my desire to create and capture that flower is only His image reflected in me. 

Take time to create. For no other reason than to create. Not for likes or follows, but just because. I am still working on this in my own life, and I hope this post reminds you to do the same. 

Tips and tricks for decorating with lilacs
Cottage home tour dressed in lilacs!
Stunning lilacs - cottage home tour!

Now onto the lilacs. Here are the tips from my wonderful followers – 

Tips for Decorating with Lilacs

Be sure to clip lilac stems before they have fully bloomed.

Our cottage home decorated with lilacs!

Cut lilacs in the early morning when they are still covered in the morning dew. Flowers will fade quickly if they are cut in the heat of the day. 

Choose larger stems and be sure to cut them at a 45 degree angle. This allows for more water uptake. 

Cozy cottage corner with fresh lilacs
Filling our farm sink with lilacs in our cottage kitchen!

Split the end of your stem by smashing it with a small hammer to keep your flowers even more hydrated. 

In order to keep your water clean, be sure to remove any leaves under the water line. Removing all the leaves will help your flowers to last even longer, but I personally like to leave some leaves for a beautiful arrangement. 

Tips for decorating with lilacs!
Our rustic cottage entryway, filled with lilacs!

Have a container of warm water nearby so that when you cut, you can immediately place the cut ends underwater. 

When to bring lilacs into the home!

I was given three separate suggestions as to what to put in your water – 

One person said to add a little bit of sugar to the water in order to make them last longer. 

Another person said to use  crushed aspirin which will keep the water free from bacteria. 

I had many suggestions saying to add floral preservatives to the water as well. 

How to keep lilacs alive longer inside the house!
How to keep lilacs alive longer inside the house!

I tried using sugar in one vessel and since I didn’t have floral preservatives, I tried a tiny little bit of Miracle Grow in another…not sure if that was a bad thing but my blooms were cut early Tuesday morning and some started to fade by Friday, while others still looked amazing. 

White cottage kitchen filled with fresh lilacs
Bringing lilacs inside the house - what you need to know

I definitely noticed that the tiny stems faded much faster than the thicker branches. Next year I want to try aspirin and see if that makes my stems last longer! 

Cottage home tour all dressed in lilacs
Cottage summer home tour
Cottage style entryway filled with lilacs
Lilac tips and tricks!
Diy shelves in our cottage dining room

Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed this post, I truly loved decorating with lilacs this year. These photos will forever make me smile! 


Come see our cottage all decorated with lilacs!


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  1. I absolutely love your comment about creating. God is the ultimate Creator, and he smiles when we are also creating.

    My husband and I got a lilac bush last year, and it bloomed a few weeks ago. I’m so sad the blooms didn’t last longer on the bush! However, the scent was heavenly. Hopefully it will grow stronger and bloom longer next year. Thanks for the awesome tips and absolutely beautiful photographs!🧡

    1. Thank you Anna! Yes, they don’t last long. I’m sure your bush will only get bigger and bigger! 🙂

  2. Hi, Andrea.
    I stumbled onto your YouTube and I have been so inspired. Thank you.
    I find that I am exactly like you, always thinking of the next thing. 😀 Thank you for reminding me to take time and create.

  3. Beautiful! I love the fresh lilacs, but my husband is allergic. Questions: How do you keep your faux flowers clean? Are your floors real slate or another product…I am searching for this look in flooring. The doors above your fireplace have me curious–are they concealing a television? Blessings!

    1. Hi Karen! I usually just give them a shake and then vacuum around them but I don’t have a huge problem with them honestly! And yes the floors are slate 🙂 And you are correct, those doors hide our television!! 🙂

  4. Your home is light,happy, and so beautiful.I have always loved my home and strive to have it reflect who I am. The lilacs add a fresh and beautiful touch through out. Always enjoy seeing what you are up to.

  5. Looking at these beautiful photos filled me with such a happy calm. Your flowers and your home are incredibly lovely.

      1. Andrea, I found out that they canceled that festival too. Well, maybe we can go next year! I think Michigan beaches are going to be super busy this year. There’s not going to be much going on this summer.
        Thank you for all your hard work.

  6. We are created in the image of God, like you said, the ultimate creator. I think that is why so many people, maybe all people if they had the time and resources, love to create. Cooking, decorating, painting, writing, gardening….

  7. You don’t have to worry about your “weakness” everybody has it’s own more or less weaknesses. You’ve your visions of how beautiful the things around you and your love ones should be. You always want only the best for them, right. So, that is another form of being there for someone 😉
    Dein Umfeld liebt Dich aufgrund vieler anderer Eigenschaften wie Deiner Fröhlichkeit und DeineFreundlichkeit. Bleib so wie Du bist!!!

    1. Thank you Tanja that is so kind!! 🙂 I had my husband translate your German for me, thank you for the sweet message! 🙂

  8. Absolutely lovely – your home and your spirit! You are wise to recognize your struggle with being still and address it intentionally now – I know that the Lord will bless your efforts to follow His leading in this! We are told to be still, to be quiet, and to rest in Scripture – the busyness of this life can be a distraction from the richness of experiencing the presence of God in those reflective moments. Idleness is not wasted when it is spent contemplating the goodness of God!

    1. Heather that is so beautiful and so very true. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me that! I needed that reminder. I try to rise early to meet with the Lord, and sometimes it’s so hard to pray because my mind is racing with all the to-do’s. I’m so glad we serve a God who understands and always provides the strength we need to grow. Thanks again Heather! 🙂

  9. I love these pictures. I can almost smell your home and oh my word…the very best smell.

    I think God had such fun creating such beauty for us. The ultimate Artist!!!!

    What are the names of your kitties? I think they need a little blog post. I do love kittens and cats!

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