The Q&A Archives: Blooms, Cutting Back

Question: I have 5 year old lilacs but they have never bloomed. I have received these lilacs from different friend so they are not all the same however none of my lilacs have bloomed. What am I doing wrong? Also I have stonecrop and I would like to know if I can cut them back so they will not grow so talk and fall over in the fall when they are the in bloom. If I can cut them back now much and at what time? Thank you for what help you may be able to furnish me. Betty

Answer: The most common reasons for lilac not to bloom are too little sun (they like full direct sun all day or at least half a day incl uding at noon time) and pruning at the wrong time. They bloom on old wood that grew the previous year, so the only time to prune is in late spring right after they bloom. Pruning at other times will remove the flowering wood. Another possibility is overfertilizing. When overfertilized they tend to grow foliage at the expense of blooms.

Sedum or stonecrop can flop over for several reasons. If they have not been divided and renewed for several years they lose vigor. If they are in too much shade they will be weak. If they are overfertilized they will flop. If none of these seem to apply, you can try cutting it back in late spring when it is about six to eight inches tall and see if that helps them regrow shorter and stockier. The timing does not need to be too precise but do not wait too long into summer to do it. Remove the tip growth leaving a bit of foliage behind.

I hope this helps!

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