The Q&A Archives: Lilacs

Question: My lilac bush had flowers when I bought it years ago, but it has never flowered for me. What can I do?

Answer: Lilacs should be pruned immediately after flowering because they spend the summer producing flower buds for the following years floral display. Pruning encourages new growth and flowers will be at the tips of the stems. Not pruning won't stop new growth, but pruning will encourage additional new growth, and the potential for lots of flowers. Lilacs need a pronounced winter chill. If your winters have been mild for the past few years, that may account for lack of flowers. I know you recently had snow so this winter may have been cold enough for your lilac and it should produce flower buds this summer for next spring's floral display. I hope your lilac is in full sunshine and that you don't have a late frost that might nip the flower buds before they can open next year. Aside from full sun, adequate water, no fertilizer and a cold winter, there's not much you can do to encourage more flowers.

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