The Q&A Archives: When Does Red Lilac Bloom?

Question: Last year I purchased a red lilac & a yellow lilac. The red lilac is in an area protected by a large evergreen & does not receive as much unprotected, direct sunlight as the yellow lilac. The yellow lilac already has plenty of leaves & buds that are ready to open. Should I continue to wait for the red lilac to produce greenery & buds or should I assume it is no longer alive at this time of the year (mid May)?

Answer: Lilacs tend to show swelling of their buds well before they actually leaf out. I would expect the plant to show some signs of life by now even if it is partially shaded and thus a little behind the other plant. You could begin at the top of the plant and look for life by trimming away the stems bit by bit until you reach some with green on the interior, indicating it is still alive. The plant can regrow from a relatively small amount of wood. (It can also regrow from the roots, although if grafted the new plant from the roots would not match the old plant.)If it is still alive, you might consider transplanting it to a better location with full sun. I'm sorry about your lilac.

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