The Q&A Archives: Lilacs

Question: In the fall last year I planted one common lilac and this year in the spring I planted 2 more lilacs they have leafed out very little just really on the tips and a little growth but just on the top of the branched the rest of the branch is bare the bushes were bought from gurneys they are about 2-3 feet tall I figure the first year they will be slow is that true or doyo u thing something is wrong so can you tell me if it will just take a little while to recover I am not too worried about the flowers now I just want the bush to leaf out and look good so any info would help very much

Answer: Small, young lilacs naturally tend to be a bit sparse. They should increase in size and have more leaves each year. They may also take four or five years to become well established and bloom. In the meantime, make sure they are planted in a full sun location and are watered as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy until they become established. A year round layer of several inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark along with an application of compost and/or a complete fertilizer such as 5-10-5 according to the label instructions each spring should help them along.

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