Non-blomming Lilacs - Knowledgebase Question

Port Jervis, NY
Avatar for toca
Question by toca
June 3, 2001
I have two lilacs bushes that will not bloom.The one I planted from bare root stock seven years ago,it's never done good. It's only about 16 inches high lots of nice green leaves no buds or flowers.The other is 4 foot high lots of leaves no buds or flowers that was from 3 gallon pot.Both are in full sun ammended soil fenced in on pets or kids to damage them. I've feed them regularly trimmed and pruned them nothing works. Hope you can help me.

Answer from NGA
June 3, 2001
The most common reasons for lilacs not to bloom are lack of sun (they need full sun all day long) and improperly timed pruning. Any pruning should be done in the spring right after their bloom season. Lilacs bloom on wood that grew the previous year, so pruning in summer, fall, winter, or early spring will remove flowering wood.

The plant that is only 16 inches high sounds as though it may be stunted, perhaps due to a rooting problem. Lilacs should be able to grow at least a foot or more every year when they are young. You might want to look into that, perhaps in consultation with your county extension.

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