The Q&A Archives: Non-Blooming Lilac

Question: my 3 year old lilac hasn't bloomed at all. it looks healthy with nice green leaves and has grown. is there anything i can do to encourage flowering?

Answer: There are several reasons for lilac not to bloom, but assuming the shrub is growing well, the most common is incorrect pruning. Lilac blooms on "old wood" and should only be pruned right after it blooms. Pruning later in the summer will remove the next year's blooming wood and/or flower buds. Other possible causes are insufficient light (lilac prefers full sun), and possibly overfertilizing (too much nitrogen can cause an excess of leaves and reduced blooming) or less likely but still possible, underfertilizing if your soil is truly terrible. Another reason is immaturity. Some lilacs take 7 years to bloom! Best wishes with your lilac!

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