Lilacs in Jars

I adore lilacs. Which is why I had the landscaper plant ten bushes three years ago while he was sodding the yard. Sadly, two years after they were planted, I started getting seasonal allergy symptoms. I tried to bring cut lilacs into the house last spring. Result: sneezing, itchy eyes and a frantic search for Benadryl!

This is my experiment to see if I can bring lilacs into the house without scratching my face off ... hope it works! 

You will need:
  • Old style canning jar (or any jar with a proper-fitting lid)
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Fresh flowers & leaves. Use open blooms, if possible. Closed blooms in water tend to stay closed.

I was gifted this antique fruit jar awhile ago. So neat. It has a glass lid that's kept in place by tightening some wire hardware. Pretty and functional - can be filled with different stuff year round.  I love gifts that keep giving! Thank you, Jill :-).

Place about a teaspoon of bleach into the jar - just a tiny splash.

Fill halfway with tepid water.

Cut some leaves from the lilac bush. Place leaves in the jar. Swish leaves in a circular motion until they settle on the bottom of the jar. Cut whole blossoms. 

Tip from France Nadeau: Remove withered blooms before placing the lilacs in the jar! {Thanks for the tip, France!}

Fill jar with blossoms.

Fill the jar with tepid water. Any space above the water line will show condensation. Place and tighten the jar lid.

Wouldn't these make pretty centerpieces?

Find this - and so many other - crafts at the following parties! 


  1. This is so pretty. Thanks for sharing. I love lilacs, they remind me of my Grandma:) found at project inspired linky. Have a great week!

  2. Very pretty! What is the bleach for?

    1. Good Question! The bleach extends the life of the blossoms by inhibiting bacterial growth. It also works on fresh cut flowers in vases :-).

      I always forget to pick up those little 'freshening' packs when I'm buying fresh flower bouquets - 1/4 tsp of bleach every other day or so works just as well!

  3. This is such a great idea! I have lilacs bushes in my backyard but could possibly not bring the flowers inside for the same reasons as you. And it's the same for my mother. I will try your idea this very day. I don't have bleach though... but I have some of the "food" powder florist give to their customer. Thank you!

    1. Allergy sufferers unite! The food powder should work just as well :-). I added a couple notes to the above post: Fill the jar completely with water. Space above the water line will be clouded with condensation. Also, use open blooms - looks like the closed blooms below the water line are staying closed!

    2. I did it and was able to enjoy the flowers that I put next to my computer. As you said below, three days is definitely the longest they could last. I would add one tip: to remove the withered petals before putting the lilacs in the jars because we see them very well in water.
      The lilac season is now finished but I will redo the lilacs in canning jars next year for sure. Thank you again!

    3. So glad you were able to enjoy lilacs for a little while ... Lilac season is much too short :-). Thank you for the tip about removing the withered petals!

  4. Great idea, this is beautiful! I love lilacs:-)
    Over The Apple Tree

  5. What a pretty idea, Heidi Kay! I have several vintage jars like yours...they are so fun to use. I'm curious as to how long your blossoms lasted in the water?

    Thanks for sharing your floral inspiration with us at Project Inspire{d}!

    1. Thanks, Diane! My lilacs only had a three day shelf life. On the plus side, that just means that I can go out and cut some fresh lilac blooms :-).

  6. Wow- this is really beautiful! I have never thought o displaying flowers in jars- you just opened up a whole new world for me!