The Q&A Archives: Lilac Blooms

Question: I have several new lilacs that I planted two springs ago. This is the first year some of them have bloomed, but they only have 1 branch with flowers and it's only the purple ones (no flowers from the white).

They are in a sunny spot with good soil and are fertlized. What can I do to promote more flowers?

Answer: Lilacs can take several years to bloom after transplanting into the garden. While two years seems like a long time, some take as many as 7 years! Lilacs produce flower buds in the summer months for the following spring's flower display. So pruning at the right time is important. When the purple flowers fade you can snap or cut them off but be careful not to disturb the buds that you'll find at the base of each flower. These buds will be the new growth and the new flowers for next year. On the branches that did not bloom, you can prune them back a little to promote new growth (which is where new flower buds will develop). You can do the same to your white flowering lilac. Prune it back lightly to encourage dense, bushy growth. If it's ready it will develop flower buds for next year's floral display.

Hope so!

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