Lilacs are a lovely, scented, flowering garden shrub. On occasion we need to relocate a bush or transplant some of those free little suckers growing in the shade of the parent plant. This is a guide about transplanting lilac bushes.
Here are questions related to Transplanting Lilac Bushes.
I am taking down an old house and putting up a manufactured home. I have a span of lilac trees as tall as the house and 8' wide and about 40' long. There are a few short spaces in between them here and there, but for the most part they seem to be solid. I do not want to ruin these trees, I would rather remove them and put them out to my friend's farm. It is late October 2014, and starting to sleet a little tonight, I plan to put up the new place next springish time, April or May. Is it possible to up root these without ruining them? When would it be a better time to do it? Maybe a little info on how I would go about this also, a pay loader is about the thought or maybe a bobcat if it is not too small. I am a zone 3. 6 miles from the Canadian border.
By Anna H
By Myrna 10/27/2014
Have you directed your question to someone who works at a nursery? They would probably be able to tell you how to uplift adult shrubbery. I've always lifted starters in the Springtime to replant just because they will get the spring rain to help roots seal in the soil and they won't bloom until much taller. You might try doing this too just to make sure you have surviving plants.
Course, if you get a big piece of equipment to lift shrub from earth so it has more soil around root system, so it isn't damaged you should be able to drop into another large hole elsewhere.
When we moved here a year ago, a structural engineer said the 4 large old lilac bushes are too close to the foundation of the house and are causing problems. All are at least 10 ft high. One has so many shoots it is about 4 ft wide at ground level. We cut it back severely (to about 3 ft) a year ago and it shot up like mad all summer, but no blooms of course. Two are very scraggly and only had a few purple blooms. I pruned them this fall. The 4th one bloomed a little better, but is much taller, reaching over the eaves and is a lot less scraggly, but also didn't bloom much.
Can we transplant any of them with success? I hate to sacrifice these mature bushes, but wonder if any of them actually have a chance at relocation? Please help.
How deep and wide does my container need to be when planting 2 baby lilac bushes? Can they be planted in containers to start with? I have no knowledge. So any answers will help I hope.
I have two 8ft tall light purple lilac bushes I'd like to transplant from the southern side of my house to the northern. I was wondering if they will do as well, and when is the best time to move them? We are having 70 degree weather right now and there are tiny green sprouts on the branches. Should I move right away or wait till fall?
When is the best time to transplant a small lilac bush that has not bloomed yet? It has four separate shoots about three feet tall.
By Melinda from Jackson, MN
By nonniebeth 09/12/2011
In zone 7 where I live I usually transplant in very early Spring.
I am transplanting a small lilac bush. Would it improve the chances of it growing if I used rooting hormone? I am transplanting the lilac into gardening soil and compost mix, around the root ball. The hole is twice as wide and twice as deep as the root ball. Any help would be appreciated. Thank for your time and trouble!
By Myrna 07/19/2011
Rule of thumb is what blooms in the Spring, plant in the Fall and what blooms in the Fall, plant in the Spring. I have had luck in transplanting bushes outside the rule of thumb as long as a lot of the dirt was left around the root system and watered well after planting. If your lilac start is tiny and no soil around the root, I'd dip it in root hormone, plant in a pot, set it outdoors and bring indoors over the winter and plant next Spring.
I transplanted three lilac saplings recently to a location in my front yard. I gave them a good dose of Miracle-Gro and set them into holes filled with top soil. They are spindly, about 4-5 inches high. Should I trim them down? Did I replant at the wrong time? It is now one week after and they do not seem vibrant. What to do if anything?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Elena from White Plains, NY
By marty 05/04/2011
They are probably a little shocked. Just make sure you water them every couple days. If the drainage in good and wait for them to grow 'feet'. I think they'll be fine. Don't expect much this year.
I have three 4 foot high lilac trees saplings which I want to move into my front yard. They have already started to bud. When is it safe to transplant them? I would also like instructions on how.
Hardiness Zone: 7a
By Elena from White Plains, NY
When is the best time to transplant a lilac bush or get starts from it?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Karen from Reynoldsville, PA
The best time to do this is right after they stop blooming. If the plant is large, you usually will see small runners on the grown around them, I have dug them up and replanted. It might take a year or so before a new plant takes hold.
I want to move a lilac bush because it is too close to the house and is causing a problem. How can I do this? When is the best time to move this lilac without losing it? It is kind of big, maybe 5 to 6 years old. Thank you.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Ginny from PA
By Joan 04/22/2010
Is it the roots causing problems or is rubbing against the side of the house? If it is just rubbing against the house I would trim the branches instead of moving it. You would probably take an awful lot of digging to move it without damaging the roots.
When is the best time to transplant Lilac Bushes? These are young small bushes.
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By C~ (Guest Post)05/25/2007
I'm in WI too You've actually missed the prime time for moving lilacs this spring. Oct. would be the next time for 'by-the-book' transplanting. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained! You may wish to try what the previous poster recommended. Good luck with your lilacs!
I have a two year old Lilac bush. Last year it developed white mold. I sprayed it with mold killer from the store. This year not a leaf or a bloom, but I broke a thin branch and it still looks like it has some life. What should I do? Any help?
By jackie (Guest Post)05/21/2005
You may want to feed them plant food with acid in it,like twice a week then once a month for about3or4months.Then next year they may do something.But you may want to do this A.S.A.P.
Good luck I hope you did not kill the roots.
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I have a small Lilac bush growing near a large well-established one. I'd like to know how deep I need to dig and when to transplant it? Should I start it in a bucket for awhile first? I live in the Midwest near Chicago.
Sharon from Hickory Hills, IL
As for me, there were a number of Lilac bushes cut down and leaned up against my fence. They were to be removed, yet by the time my neighbour got around to hauling them away, they had already rooted. Now I have his beautiful lilac bushes all along my fence. (01/07/2009)
Use a regular shovel and dig it out (its not deep, purples tend to send out shoots and that's the babies). I have been known to have 2-3, 5 gallons of roots and wait to transplant (just have water and keep in shade or inside).
Decide where you want to transplant it, remember lilacs spread. Stick shovel straight up and down and push and wiggle it back and forth. You should have a slit. Make the slit as big as the root system, drop in the lilac root and stomp it closed. Water and leave it alone.
Whites are bigger babies about transplanting. They also don't spread as much. Definitely do it when you have poor weather scheduled. (01/10/2009)
I have lilac bushes along the property line at a rental home and want to transplant some to our home. Can it be done in early fall? Can we transplant the whole bush, not just shoots?
Hardiness Zone: 3a
By Mary from Far Northern WI
Is it OK to transplant 3 year old lilac bushes in the winter (January)? They need to be in full sun and I want to be sure it's OK to transplant now?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By Patsy from central TX