The Q&A Archives: How Soon Will A Lilac Bloom?

Question: I bought a mail order lilac plant, it seemed like such a great deal! I received a little brown stick with roots, I got a similar brown stick they said was a hydrangea. I followed the directions for planting. I now have three little brown sticks in my garden. My mother-in-law told me it takes seven years for a lilac to bloom. Am I doomed to having a stick plant garden, if so for how long?

Answer: Common lilacs can take 4 or more years to mature before they're ready to bloom. Sometimes they're reluctant to bloom, even when mature, if the environmental conditions aren't quite right. Your lilac needs full sunshine, a slightly alkaline soil, and regular watering until it becomes established. Lilacs bloom most heavily after they've experienced a pronounced winter chill, so after mild winters the blooms may be sparse. Just treat your new lilac with TLC and it will grow lush and bloom when it's ready. Hydrangeas bloom in 2-3 years after planting, so you'll have some color in the garden in a few years. In the meantime, why not plant some annuals for a quick burst of color in your garden?

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