The Q&A Archives: Unblooming Lilacs

Question: My lilac bush has not bloomed for 3 years. The summer of the last year it bloomed, we cleaned out a dead tree that had grown in the middle of the bush. Could we have disturbed the roots so much that it won't bloom again? What should I feed it? Lilacs in our area are beautiful this year and I am really disappointed that mine is not blooming! Thanks for your help

Answer: It is possible that the plant was disturbed, but a more typical reason for lilacs not to bloom is pruning at the wrong time of year. They should only be trimmed in the spring immediately after blooming. Pruning later in the year will remove the following year's flowering wood. Another common reason for poor bloom is lack of sunlight, the plant does bloom best in a full sun location. Lilacs are not too demanding in terms of soil, but an annual application of compost and/or a complete granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10 according to the label instructions might help.

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