The Q&A Archives: President Lincoln lilacs

Question: I purchased a President Lincoln lilac about 3 years ago and it has not bloomed. However, it has at least tripled in size. Any hints to get it to bloom?

Answer: There are several reasons for lilac not to bloom, but assuming the shrub is growing well, the most common is probably incorrect pruning. Lilac blooms on "old wood" and should only be pruned right after it blooms. Pruning later in the summer will remove the next year's blooming wood and/or flower buds. Other possible causes would be insufficient light (lilac prefers full sun), and possibly overfertilizing (too much nitrogen can cause an excess of leaves and reduced blooming) or less likely but still possible, underfertilizing if your soil is truly terrible. Another reason is immaturity. You may have to wait another 3-4 years for your President Lincoln to mature enough to bloom. Hope this information sheds some light on the possible reasons for non-blooming.

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