The Q&A Archives: Lilac Without Blooms

Question: Why won't our lilac bush bloom? It is about 10 years old. Looks fine.

Answer: If your lilac has bloomed in the past, but won't bloom this year, there may be one or two reasons: lilacs need a pronounced winter chill to make them bloom. Was your winter mild? If you pruned heavily late last year, you may have cut the flower buds off. Lilacs need all summer to form buds for the following year's growth and flower display. Lilacs prefer full sunshine and alkaline soil, with very little fertilizer. Over-feeding with too much nitrogen will encourage lush green growth at the expense of flowers. To help your lilac bloom next spring, prune lightly now, and water regularly during the summer months. It will probably bloom for you next spring.

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