The Q&A Archives: Pruning Llilac Bushes

Question: How and when should I prune my lilac bushes? They are getting very leggy and thin.

Answer: Lilac bushes develop buds during the summer months for the following spring's bloom. Prune after this season's flowers fade by cutting back the stems that produced flowers. Cut back to a pair of leaves and new flowering shoots will develop. Annual late-spring trimming will keep your lilac compact in size and enable it to produce new shoots for the following year's bloom.

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