The Q&A Archives: Help with Lilac Bushes!!

Question: My mother received Lilac bushes for mother's day from her mother. My boyfriend and I planted them in the front yard for her. Our yard has sun on it all day long, there is no shade what so ever. The bushes do not look dead, but they do not seem to be growing at all. What can we do for the upcoming winter, and what can we do to promote growth before now and come the spring time. Do you recommend any certain fertilizers or winterizers that I should get? If so, when is the optimal time to do all of this?

Thank you very much! Happy Autumn!

Answer: Lilacs grow best in full sunshine but they can take a full season to become established after being planted. They form flower buds for next year's floral display during the summer months so you'll want to wait until after flowering has finished next year to prune. Since pruning encourages new growth, pruning early next summer will help your lilacs become bushy and full. Don't feed or prune now - wait until spring to feed and early summer to prune. Lilacs are cold hardy so no special treatment is necessary. Be sure your lilacs are getting adequate water (one-inch per week from spring through fall) and look for healthy new growth next spring.

Best wishes with your lilacs!

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