The Q&A Archives: Lillac Bush Problem

Question: Category: Annuals

I live in a townhouse. The associate (a long time ago) planted lillac bushes in between the houses. The bushes are very sparse and have a LOT of dead branches with no new growth on them. However, the lillac bushes that are planted in the front of my house are doing wonderfully.
My dilema is what to do with the bushes in the back of my house. The back of the house faces East. It gets full sun for most of the day. I would like a bush that has a manicured look and will be easy to care for. Or, is there anything I can do to encourage new growth on my lillac bush? Please help.

Answer: If you want, you can completely rejuvenate the back lilac bushes on the three year program. Takes awhile, but it's worth it. Just cut out 1/3 of the old branches each summer, for three years....i.e., 1/3 in 2000, 1/3 in 2001, 1/3 in 2002. This completely revitalizes the lilac. Also, try fertilizing them with a blend high in phosphorous and potassium (second two numbers of mix). You can also work some triple superphosphate pellets into the soil at the base of the shrubs. This feeding regimen is good for all of your lilacs. Also, top dress them in the spring and fall with compost or composted cow manure.

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