When should lilac bushes be trimmed? - Knowledgebase Question

holland, mi
Avatar for sjvaalburg1
Question by sjvaalburg1
July 24, 2010
I have a lilac bush. Should it be trimmed after it has bloomed so that it will start to bloom again?
About what time of year should we do this?

If it is trimmed down, then does that mean there will be more blooms on it next year than this year?

Answer from NGA
July 24, 2010
Lilacs bloom once a year, in the spring. After flowering has finished the stems where the flowers were elongate and new flower buds develop over the summer months for the following spring's bloom. For that reason, pruning in the winter or early spring is not a good idea - you may accidentally prune off the flower buds. To keep your lilac looking nice, allow it to flower and as soon as the flowers are spent, prune it back a bit. New growth will develop and new flower buds will form on this new growth. They will open next spring and you can repeat the pruning process. As long as you get new growth, you will get flowers. The goal is to have new growth all over the plant, not just at the top, and pruning annually will help you accomplish your goal. Best wishes with your new lilac!

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