My lilacs grew so high and blooming into next door's yard, that I pruned the main stems (trunks) way down. Now all these suckers are growing very green, but can they ever bloom? Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 6b
Blanche from Pennsylvania
Lilacs need to bloom on old wood, so they won't bloom next year, but the year after that, they will do just fine. Don't worry! Lilacs can take tons of abuse and recover nicely.
Be sure to select just a few suckers and cut away the rest, so that they become strong branches and the shape of the bush is selected for years to come. Not just a fuzzball of suckers that nobody did anything with, how unnatural.
They might bloom next year IF you pruned them right after they bloomed this year and did not cut them too severely. It is always recommended not to prune anymore than 1/3 of the bush at one time.
Beth has it right! Flower buds for the next year's flowers are formed in June, so if it is a dry summer, be sure to water. In a drought, typically the fruit is sacrificed first, then some of the outer stems and leaves, then the flower buds for the next year, then more leaves. Usually the leaf buds for the next season are retained, and the plant just shuts down for the year. This scenario is for a long extended drought. Watering about 1" per week (1 x) for a good soaking will avoid all these problems.
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