The Q&A Archives: Lilacs not blooming

Question: I planted two lilacs two years ago in the spring. They did not bloom the first spring, which I expected, but they also did not bloom this past spring. They were small but are now growing very nicely. I really miss the beautiful lilac blooms. any advice? I realize it is a while until Spring again, but want to be prepared! thank you!

Answer: The most common reasons for a lilac not to bloom are immaturity, too much shade, pruning at the wrong time of the year and excessive nitrogen fertilizer. Since your plants are only two or three years old, I suspect that is the problem and as they mature, you'll begin to see them develop flower buds. Lilacs bloom on wood grown the previous year, so any pruning must be done in the spring immediately after the shrub blooms. Pruning in summer or fall or early spring will remove flower buds. At this point, I'd just be patient, and withhold fertilizer. Watch your plants next spring and summer. I'll be you'll be able to detect flower bud formation at the tips of the new growth. Hope so!

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