The Q&A Archives: Non-blooming Lilac

Question: I have a lilac bush that barely flowers. The bush usually has one flower. I cut it back. What else can I do?

Answer: Lilacs have a few cultural requirements that must be met for it to bloom. First, make sure it's planted in full sunshine. Lilacs take three or four years to become established before they'll bloom, so if it isn't old enough, it won't bloom. If you've pruned too heavily, you may have pruned off potential blooms; lilacs form blossom buds in the summer. Lilacs require a pronounced winter chill to bloom best. Perhaps the winter wasn't cold enough. Finally, if you've over-fertilized, you may have encouraged lots of new leaf and branch growth at the expense of blossoms. Just make sure your plant is well-watered in the summer, don't prune this year, and don't fertilize.If the winter is cold enough, your lilac should be producing some fragrant blossoms by this time next year.

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