The Q&A Archives: Lilac Not Blooming

Question: Last year my 6 year old lilac had very small leaves and a few very small blooms. It had previously bloomed normally. This year the leaves are very small and there are no blooms forming at all. Any ideas?

Answer: Sounds like your lilac may need some fertilizer to get it back into shape. Generally, lilacs prefer rich, well-drained soil that's slightly alkaline, full sunshine, and, to bloom well they need a pronounced cold spell in the winter. If your winter weather was on the mild side, that may explain the lack of blooms. Fertilize with a quarter-pound of 12-8-8, sprinkled over the root area of the plant and watered in, or spread a 3-4 inch thick layer of compost over the root area. This should help with leaf formation. You might also want to prune lightly, to encourage new stems and leaves.

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