Root Lilacs

I have a large branch from a lilac bush that broke off a neighbor's mature bush. It is easily five feet tall and the stalk is 1-2" in diameter. I brought it home to salvage it's beautiful blossoms, but now I would love to root it and plant it later in my own yard. Is it too big? I cut the stalk at an angle and have it standing in a bucket of water right now. Should I use rooting powder? Are there any other approaches that may work? Any and all tips will be most appreciated!


- Nancy Richey

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March 14, 20020 found this helpful

I recently moved and have 2 lilac bushes in my backyard. One bush was sadly mistreated by the previous owners (they tied their Doberman to it!) and the center branches are dead from the ground up. A neighbor has offered me the use of a tree saw to cut them out. If I do this will I endanger the rest of the bush, which has bloomed beautifully this May, or what can I do to get rid of these dead branches and save my white lilac bush? Also, my sister-in-law would like cuttings to plant in her yard to replace lilac bushes that were mangled by neighborhood kids & dogs. How do I safely do the cuttings/shoots/whatever for her? Thanks.



RE: Rooting lilacs? 2002-04-26

I have a similar challenge. I have a huge branch of a neighbor's lilac bush that broke off (five feet high, 1-2" diameter stem at the base). I originally saved it just for it's beautiful bush blossoms, but now I would love to root it. I cut the bottom at an angle and have it in a bucket. Should I get some rooting powder? Am I nuts to think I can save this and plant it later? Any and all tips are appreciated!

Instead of rooting a cutting... 2000-12-01

Instead of rooting a cutting for your sister, try looking around the base of the bush and finding shoots (sometimes called suckers). You should be able to pull gently on one and transplant it root and all. Make sure you leave a fair amount of soil around the roots for transportation and replant quickly.



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May 7, 20020 found this helpful

My brother swears by rooting powder for his frangie pannies, but I didn't have much luck with them. On the flip side, when I cut my rosebushes back last year, I trimmed them down and shoved them in an empty pot which I left at the side of the house. I figured, maybe it will work, maybe not, but either way, it doesn't hurt to try.

You will need to cut the stalk down, maybe in half and have 2 cuttings. I would go for foot long sections. Let the bottom of it develop a 'callus' or in other words, let it dry out a little. Pull off any leaves that will end up below the soil line. Dip the base of each cutting in rooting powder and insert about halfway into fertile soil. You also want to make sure they don't have any growing tips at the time you insert it or it won't spend as much time growing roots and more time growing new leaves which will just weaken the rooting in the long run. Leave it alone for at least 6 months. Water it occassionally, when you water your other plants that are in the ground, but otherwise, don't worry about it.

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By Diana (Guest Post)
July 3, 20041 found this helpful

i want to thank you for the information on rooting lilacs, I look forward to my first try at this.. I do have one question though.


I live in the midwest is there a certain time of year to do this, or is this something I can do now in July? Again thank you..

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