The Q&A Archives: Why Lilacs Fail to Bloom

Question: I would like to know why my lilac bush never has any flowers on it. It looks healthy and has plenty of green leaves but it never gets any blooms or any flowers. Could you please let me know if I need to do something to get it to bloom. I have another lilac bush next to it and it just started to bloom last year. I planted both bushes together. Leslie Beauregard Westford, MA

Answer: I hope our lilacs bloom soon - it's the latest spring we've had since 1884, when it snowed in June! The most common reason lilacs fail to bloom is lack of sunlight. They do best in full sun, but will stand some partial shade. Otherwise, perhaps the flower buds were nipped by a late frost (I know you had a pretty exciting spring snowstorm down there!) Take a close look at the shrub to see if there is evidence of any flower buds. Also, check with the nursery or mail order source where you bought the shrub. You may have purchased a variety that takes a long time to mature and produce blooms.

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