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Transplanting a Lilac Bush

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


Transplanting a Lilac Bush

I had a neighbour that had to get a ditch dug right through his lilac bushes. His bushes were dug up, then replaced in the same place once the work was completed. They all grew back beautifully. Just make sure they are given enough water and they will be fine.

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)

By Karyn01

Transplanting a Lilac Bush

Lilacs are so easy. I transplant them all the time, in fact all the lilacs in the area are from my "mother" lilac. I like doing it in the spring when the ground is wet and muddy. Preferably later afternoon, cloudy weather is OK too. If the next day is going to be yucky even better.


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)


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