Is there a way to keep cut lilac blooms fresh? After I bring mine in the house and put them in a vase, they begin to droop in a day or two.
—Rebecca Johnson, Millville, Pennsylvania
Melinda: It is frustrating to watch a fresh bouquet of lilacs quickly wilt. But you can increase the vase life of lilacs and other flowers by following these simple steps. Collect flowers in early morning just as the dew starts to dry, or in the evening. Carry a small bucket of lukewarm water and place the cut stems immediately in it to help keep the flowers fresh. It's best to harvest lilacs and other cluster-type flowers before all the buds have opened. Once inside, remove the lower leaves that would be submerged in water and re-cut the stems on a slant before putting them in the vase. You can also split the woody stems to help increase their water intake. Then make sure the vase is always filled with clean water, add a preservative for extra insurance and enjoy!