Is Pruning to Blame? - Knowledgebase Question

Bartlett, Il
Avatar for shimshack1
Question by shimshack1
April 15, 2010
Last spring, I pruned our lilac bush (at least 5 years old) right after it stopped flowering. I read this was the proper time to do it. However, this season the shrub looks like it will only have a few flowers. What went wrong? Should I not prune it this year?

Answer from NGA
April 15, 2010
You pruned at the right time of the year. After being pruned lilacs will develop new growth and then spend the rest of the summer developing flower buds (on the new growth) for the next year's floral display. If your lilac didn't develop a lot of new growth last summer it wouldn't bloom a lot this spring. (perhaps you pruned it back too far and didn't recover well?) In any event, the new growth it develops this year has the potential for developing flower buds for next year. I wouldn't prune it until it begins blooming well again.

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