Can you start a lilac from clippings?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Shar from Chicago, IL
I never have but I would sure try! Take a piece that isn't so woody and snip it, cut all the leaves off, dip it in rooting hormone and some sandy dirt, and try it. Heck do 5 or 6 at a time cause maybe you'll get 1 out of 6. Happy gardening.
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Does anyone know how one can begin lilac bushes without purchasing from a nursery? We have several wild lilac bushes near our house and my wife wants to put some in our yard but I do not know if we can " root" them or how to "root" a branch from the wild lilac bushes.
Q: I am disabled and on medicaid and hence have no dollars to spend on my garden. Many of my neighbours have lilac bushes and I'm sure a request for some part of their bushes for rooting or transplanting would meet with generous approval.
What part(s) of these bushes should I ask for? How do I go about rooting them? Is it too late for this year Also, there are several mature but small (about 3 feet high) bushes that I may be able to transplant. Again, is this the wrong time of year?
If I can transplant these bushes - beyond digging them up - what immediate care will they need?
Thank you so very much for any help you can give me!
Suz Long Island NY
The usual way to root lilac bushes is to dig up suckers near the base of the plant and transplant them. To minimize stress on the transplants, the best time to do this is in the fall after the leaves drop, but before it freezes. Or if you prefer, you can also do this in the spring before the buds start unfolding. In an area receiving full sun, dig a hole at least twice as wide and deep as the roots. Lilacs prefer well-drained, not-too-rich soil that has a neutral or slightly alkaline pH. As you fill in the hole with dirt, add in a small amount of compost. You can also add some compost to areas around the hole to encourage the roots to spread out as they grow. Make sure you water the transplants thoroughly and add mulch around the base of the plants. After planting, the transplants shouldn't need any special care other than routine watering. Expect transplants to take at least three years to get a decent start.
By Leigh Ann
It is generally about three years before lilacs are able to create blooms once they have been planted.
I wish you luck! My parents had their entire yard enclosed in lilac bushes and it smelled heavenly and looked gorgeous! (05/31/2006)
Q: Can you get a lilac branch to root in water? I have a 6 foot branch in a 5 gallon pail with rocks and water. Will this work?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
Rose from Clinton, Maine
You can root lilacs this way, but it's not easy. They usually require a little help in the form of a rooting hormone. I've never tried this, but you can make you own rooting solution using "willow water." Cut willow branches into 1-3 inch lengths until you have about 2 cups worth. Add these to 1/2 gallon of boiling water and let them steep overnight. If you don't use boiling water, the branches should soak in warm water for at least 48 hours. The next day, drain off the liquid from this solution. Take any lilac cuttings you want to root and soak the ends in this water overnight before you plant them, or simply water the soil you plant them in with this water (2 applications).
There is another way you can get more lilacs, and that is to propagate them. A simple way to do it is to take softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings are taken from the new growth that is coming out this year. Usually you'd cut them, dip them in some rooting hormone powder and plant them in potting soil or stick them in a product like Gel 2 root. Moisten the soil and cover them with plastic to create some humidity. Most lilacs will root this way in 6 to 8 weeks).
By Ellen Brown ***
Is this possible and how do I do it?
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Sandra from NH
Lilacs can be rooted this way. I've never tried it, but the basic premise is simple. Select a few shoots (maybe 12 inches long and the diameter of a pencil), dip the cut ends in some rooting hormone, place them in a pail of water, and wait for roots. It may be a whole lot easier and faster just to transplant some suckers. Use a shovel to dig up and slice the sucker's roots away from the mother plant, trying to preserve as much of the root as possible. Replant in the prepared location of choice, water well, and voila! New lilacs.
A third way is to root cuttings in soil. Take 6-8 inch softwood cuttings from this year's new growth. Remove the lowest leaves (leave 2-3 pairs on top), dip the cut end in some rooting hormone, and plant them in potting soil. Moisten the soil and cover them with plastic to create some humidity. You should expect to see some roots in 6 to 8 weeks.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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