Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Growing Lilacs

Category Shrubs
lilac flowers
Lilacs are known for their beautiful sprays of flowers and lovely scent. This is a guide about growing lilacs.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

April 18, 20170 found this helpful

Careful pruning can, not only keep your lilac well shaped and of a size that fits your space, but it can also encourage new growth and blooming. This is a guide about pruning and rejuvenating overgrown lilacs.

Lilac blossoms on an overgrown bush.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes
Ad

June 11, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about rooting a cutting from a lilac bush. Propagation from cuttings is a common way of cloning your plants and shrubs, making for more plantings for your garden.

Lilac cuttings in a lime green pot next to a matching watering can

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
May 1, 2011

I planted two lilacs at least two years ago. They are in full sun with forsythia, buddelia, etc. While everything else is thriving, growing, and blooming the poor lilacs grow (they are about 3 ft. tall), but haven't even produced one bud.

Ad

I don't want to dig them up (even if they never flower), but I really want lilacs. I just love the scent. Should I just wait or feed them something special or give up on them?
I know someone will have the answer - so. "Thanks" in advance.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Ann from Pawtucket, RI

Answer Was this helpful? 1
May 1, 20110 found this helpful

If they are all from the same plant (or same parents)they most likely are not self pollinators. If this is the case, add another lilac from another source and within a couple years they should all bloom.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 10, 20110 found this helpful

Ann, it's quite possible that your lilacs simply aren't old enough/large enough to bloom yet. Here's a ThriftyFun article with some other possibilities: http://www.thri … 5671124.tip.html

Ad

Mom-from missouri, a plant's pollination needs do not affect whether if blooms, only whether it is able to set fruits and make seeds. Plant bloom regardless of what is nearby.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

November 9, 20060 found this helpful

Question:

I have searched the Q&A for answers on lilacs. I have done all that is suggested, no cutting after July, right amount of nutrients. All day light and still no blooms. It suckers like crazy, new sprouts all around the parent bush, but no blooms. What to do?

Hardiness Zone: 6b

Jenny from Nashville, TN

Answer:

Jenny, Don't despair; you're not the only one out there with cranky lilacs. Here are a couple of suggestions. Try driving a spade into the soil around the base of the plants to cut off some of the roots (but not all). This may be enough to shock your lilacs into flowering next season. Is that your lilacs are planted too deep? Pull back some of the soil so the tops of the roots are slightly exposed. Lilacs really don't need any additional fertilizer other than nutrients taken from the soil. If you fertilize the lawn near your bush, your lilacs could be getting too much nitrogen, which will cause them to throw energy into producing leaves rather than flowers. I would also suggest going at least one full season without doing any pruning at all just in case you are inadvertently cutting off the flower buds. (June or July may already be too late to prune for you).
Ad

Ellen

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 28, 20060 found this helpful

I am no expert but I think the problem may be all those suckers. You need to dig them up and transplant them or give them away. They are probably taking all the food from the mother plant.

Good luck !

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 28, 20060 found this helpful

I'm not sure either but I think lilacs need a cold winter. Are there other lilacs growing around you? Ask their owners what they do (people love to give advice). Or find out if you need a particular type of lilac for your climate. I know that lilacs grow easily in NH, but not in RI. And that's just 2 zones diffference.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
August 29, 20060 found this helpful

I have stubborn lilacs too. I live in a very cold climate gets down to -30 or colder zone 3. My lilacs flowered when I first planted them and never again, cut them, fertilze, and put them in the sun. Still no luck, I have many varieties. Same way with my apple and plum trees, they are dwarfs about 4 years old and I get plenty of flowers covered with bees, but no apples or plums. Anyone have any ideas? please help

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Ad
By guest (Guest Post)
August 30, 20060 found this helpful

I also have a very subborn lilac bush. I am so jealous when I see huge gorgeous lilacs in bloom. I read somewhere that if you prune them, you are cutting off the next years blooms. I don't know how true this is but I am willing to try it this year. I kept the pruning shears far away!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 10, 20060 found this helpful

My lilacs are 50 years old and they thrive on neglect. No chemicals, some modest trimming after they bloom, nothing special. Remove suckers for cosmetic appearances only.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

October 19, 20060 found this helpful

Question:

We have a cabin up in the mountains at this location. It is about 9000' above sea level. The ground totally freezes in the winter and is usually covered with snow until mid May. Will lilac bushes grow here?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Thank you.
Kathryn from Brian Head, UT

Answer:

Kathryn,

Colorado State University recommends two types of lilacs for mountain altitudes. Common lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) should grow to 9,000 ft. The same is true for the Preston or Canadian lilac (syringa x prestoniae). Both require full sun exposure, have light to moderate moisture requirements and grow up to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The common lilac is slightly more upright and vase-shaped, whereas the Canadian lilac has more of an oval shape with upright branches. Both shrubs come in a variety of colors. Before purchasing young shrubs, I would recommend contacting your local county extension agency. They may be able to provide you with more information on how these lilacs perform in your specific growing area.

There are a number of important aspects to consider when growing plants at higher altitudes. Exposure to wind can also determine whether a tree or shrub will survive higher elevations. Lilac flowers are sensitive to frost, so a sheltered site at your elevation would probably be best. The length of your frost-free period matters, too. Some shrubs may survive at a given elevation, but they may not produce flowers if the frost-free period is too short. Roots can be mulched to help delay freezing of the soil in the fall and also to retain moisture.

Ellen

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
September 10, 20060 found this helpful

I live in central vermont and we also get snow in October and it lasts until April - we have no problems growing lilacs here as I have many many of them. You may want to give them a heavy coat of mulch in the fall right after the first hard frost.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 12, 20060 found this helpful

Lilacs prefer cold climates. Look around for some growing in your area and find out just what kind they are. I know they grow good in the mountains of NH (like the other post said in VT).

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
September 13, 20060 found this helpful

We have lilacs growing here in zone 5 in northern PA. I've read that lilacs like sun and slightly alkaline soil.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 13, 20060 found this helpful

I live in Ottawa, Canada, and believe me we have a lot of snow and very cold temperatures. We also have lilacs so there must be some types that would work for you.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
April 26, 2010

I have a lilac bush that is half OK and the other half has buds, but no leaves. On the half with leaves, the leaves are funny looking, kind of cup shaped. I am sending a few pictures. Any thoughts or ideas on what the problem could be would be appreciated.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Dan from Justice, IL

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 27, 20100 found this helpful

I have noticed a few trees here in SD that are like that too. The ones that I noticed are smaller type trees that are planted in the boulevard along the street by WalMart. The trees have been there for several years. The cab driver that took me to WalMart one day and I were talking about it and wondering if it could have had something to do with the hard winter we had this past winter. A lot of snow and cold. I don't know if weather could have had anything to do with it, but just wondered. The trees look really strange. The sides of the trees that don't have leaves are on the south side.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 8, 20100 found this helpful

I have one lilac, it is doing the same kind of thing here in southern CA. I had a few blooms in February, that looked mutated, very small, and almost no leaves. In April it bloomed better, but few blooms and the leaves are looking normal now. I have one small stubby flower today. And the fragrance isn't very strong. Oh, and this bush was developed for our area. GG Vi

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
October 3, 2007

I have three brand new Lilac bushes and it is starting to get very cold here at night. 38 degrees this morning. I am wondering if it will hurt these young saplings to keep them inside for the winter, or if it is wiser to go ahead and plant them outside before the first snow really hits; which of course could be any time.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 5, 20070 found this helpful

My understanding is that fall is the best time to plant the saplings. I would not take them inside -they need the cold/warm cycle of the seasons to grow well (that is why they don't grow down south) - if you are concerned about cold damage, mulch them well and put a burlap or other protective wrap around them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 7, 20070 found this helpful

Your lilacs can take the cold. I lived in Ct. for years and mine always survived the New England weather..You could put some Burlap around the bushes to prevent WIND BURN, this is what really damges the plants, Soak the roots well before you put them to bed for the winter. Many plants suffer because they get dehydrated and wind burned. good luck, jjs

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
May 12, 2016

How can I kill a weed that has grown in the middle of a lilac bush? The stems are woody and as thick as the lilac.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
September 24, 2013

I have a lilac bush in a pot. I live in southern Illinois. Can I leave it out over the winter in the pot or should I bring it in? I rent so I don't want to put it directly into the ground. I need to re-pot it into a larger pot. Should I do it before or after the leaves drop for the winter or should I wait until next spring?

By Brian

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 5, 20140 found this helpful

Hi I live in Washington state on the eastern side of the state where it is a hardy zone 5a. I have had a liliac bush in a container during the winter it did just fine and it was nice and green the next spring and summer. And the liliac bush in a container will do mostly the same thing as if it was in the ground. Covering the container in the winter will be a good to help it be protected in the winter. The lilac bush has done will without being protected in the winter too. The soil has frozen solid before, but it will not hurt the lilac bush it should do just fine!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

May 12, 20120 found this helpful

We moved into our new home last October. We noticed that the bark on the lilac tree is coming off. A lot of the branches have died. I am not sure if the previous owner chopped it. I tried my best to cut all the dry branches and it seems like it's OK. It does have some flowers on it. My question to you is why is the bark falling off the tree. And I notice where the lilac tree is there is a bit of moss on the ground and a bit on the tree. Could this be the cause of it? Is there something I could put to help it?

By Lisa

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 15, 20120 found this helpful

Try moving it in a different location away from where the moss is growing, the moss is taking all the nutrients away from tree. After you dig up the tree get as much of the dirt out of the roots that you can and then use some garden soil, and water for 7 days straight till it takes root. After about 7 months add some fertilizer like bone meal or blood meal. Good luck! Lilacs are my favorite flower and I wish they bloomed all summer long but they don't.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
June 11, 2011

A friend was trimming her lilacs and gave me the trimmings. She told me that I might be able to grow a plant from the clippings. The clippings are fairly large. Can I grow a plant? Is so, how? Thanks!

By Mindy from Terrebonne, OR

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 24, 20130 found this helpful

I've had real good luck in growing many variety of plant cuttings using a growth hormone. I place the plant in a plastic bag after watering and use a twist tie. I leave it this way for several weeks. Good luck, Bri

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Is it best to plant lilacs after the blossoms fall off, or doesn't it matter?

By Barbara

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Usually you should plant lilacs in the spring time but since that is passed you can still plant them as long as you make sure to water them and make sure they have plenty of sun.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

May 15, 20110 found this helpful

How do I root a piece of lilac tree from another branch? I was told not to take any cuttings while the trees are in bloom! Does it matter? I am getting impatient.

By Celeste from Bridgeport, Ct

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 1, 20110 found this helpful

Try it anyway, taking off one little cutting won't hurt the plant. Place cutting with bark in water to see if it roots. Wait till its strong enough before replanting it. Good Luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

May 9, 20120 found this helpful

Are lilacs, such as the big beautiful French lilacs grafted? I ask because mine died. It left suckers some 3, 4, or 5 years ago. Will these suckers come back true to form or were they below a graft and I am waiting for something that will never come?

The lack of bloom could be due to not enough light or too much water. I would move one or two and try to improve both drainage and sun location, but if it is a rat, I am better off buying a new plant. I so want a thriving lilac. My little Kim does just fine, but is not the real deal in my thinking. Can you help?
Thank you. Smiles.

By NWRose

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Categories
Home and Garden Gardening ShrubsMarch 22, 2012
Guides
A butterfly on a lilac bush.
Best Time to Prune Flowering Shrubs
Lilac blossoms on an overgrown bush.
Pruning and Rejuvenating Overgrown Lilacs
Lilac cuttings in a lime green pot next to a matching watering can
Rooting a Cutting From a Lilac Bush
Lilacs growing near a white fence with a weathered outbuilding in the background.
Transplanting Lilac Bushes
More
📓
Back to School Ideas!
😎
Summer Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/08/10 08:39:18 in 2 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!