Lilac Won't Grow - Knowledgebase Question

Staten Island, NY
Avatar for elainebear
Question by elainebear
March 28, 2000
I have a lilic bush that I planted five years ago and it's the same size it was when I planted it,could you please tell me what I sould do to get my bush to grow,I can't wait to smell the lilics,I have waited so long,I just can not wait any longer........HELP.

Answer from NGA
March 28, 2000
Based on your description I am not sure what is wrong with your plant, but here are some suggestions. L:ilacs need to be in full sun in soil with at least average fertility and while they are able to survive drought, will establish and grow better with adequate watering. At planting, the soil should be loosened deeply to about 18 inches over a wide area because this is ultimately a large plant and then the shrub should be planted at the same depth as it grew originally or possible a tad higher to allow for the soil settling over time. That would be followed by a deep watering and a layer of several inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark. During the establishemnt period, usually about two years, the plant would be watered as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Each spring the plant would be given a top dressing of compost and/or a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 according to the label instructions. One common reason for a plant not to grow is that the roots have failed to reach out into the surrounding soil and are still in the original potting mix. This can happen if the plant was rootbound with the roots encircling the inside of the pot at planting. If you suspect this is the case, you might dig it up and loosen the roots as best you can and replant it. If you do this, treat it like a newly planted shrub. I hope it blooms for you soon.

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