Ask a Question forum: dwarf lilac bushes

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May 26, 2016 8:06 PM CST
I've noticed that the dwarf lilac bushes in our area {Bloomington In.} had very few blooms this spring, mine included. My lilacs have become very dense and are growin in all directions. I would like to tame then down a little by pruning but have been told it would affect next years blooms. Is it too late to prune?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 26, 2016 8:42 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA

Lilacs, dwarf or otherwise, bloom on old wood. That means prune as soon as blooming is done.

Lilacs are often victims of the weather as they form buds so early in the season. If all the lilacs in your area suffering from a lack of flowers this year, blame the weather. If only yours are affected, worry about what you did wrong. Smiling


Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Jun 1, 2016 11:59 AM CST
Be careful when you trim.
The dormant flower buds for next year are just below the blooms for this year.
Trim those off and you have cut of a bloom for next year.
My brother once trimmed our old lilac the way you trim a hedge and it was years before flowers were more than few and far between.
I used to trim my lilacs so they were clear approx. five feet above the ground, looking more like clumps of small trees but over the years I think that did more harm than good as I have not had steady good blooms for awhile now, so now I let them get more dirty with new growth.

Trimming old blooms though does improve the bloom for the next year.
ON occasions when I have a burst of energy I get out the step-ladder and get as many as I can.

Weather snaps are very hard on lilacs and a drop into the twenties, as it did up here this year cut way back on the number of blooms.

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