Answer: A healthy lilac will send up new shoots. Anthony enjoys spending time in the workshop, the kitchen, the garden and out fishing. Answer: Planting shrubs and trees too close to the house is a common problem. My property would not seem complete with lilacs. when we bought our house the lilacs must have been new but over the years they have grown huge. If you are pruning lilac trees or shrubs entirely to within inches of the ground, it is best to do so in early spring. For optimal blooming performance, select a planting site that receives full sun. There is nothing in the garden as beautiful as a lilac. I did not do excessive pruning - but will look at again after the blooming so the branches on the Right do not weigh down the large trunk on that side. Pruning lilacs in late spring remove the dead flowers before the plant sets out its buds for next year's blooms. These can be trimmed at ground level, or you can dig up and transplant the shoots to start new shrubs. Simply cutting the shrub down will control it for a few years, but permanent removal requires additional steps. I use a folding pruning saw so that I can safely close the blade for carrying around the yard. I never thought of pruning and had no major issues. Why isn't it blooming again after the first time? Lilac suckers, also known as lilac shoots, are a much faster way to start new lilacs rather than cuttings. It has grown and is now hitting the house and gutter. While purple flowers are the most common colored blooms, horticulturalists have developed many different cultivars with flowers in white, pink, yellow and burgundy. While your plants are blooming this spring, look closely at the shape of the shrub. Step 4: Water your tree. Proper pruning and thinning also helps to increase air circulation; promoting new growth for a strong and healthy plant. Peach Tree and Lilac Tree. This well shaped lilac blooms profusely every spring. The most important thing to remember is to prevent desiccation. In most cases, lilacs do not require much pruning beyond deadheading and removing a few select branches to improve the shape and appearance of the shrub. Sharp, quality tools not only makes the job easier, but sharp blades slice cleanly for cuts that heal quickly. To reinvigorate an older plant and to encourage more blooms, remove about one third of the plant each year by cutting the selected shoots and branches back at ground level. Bruise the cut ends and set them in water. Some said ‘cut back hard’ while others said ‘don’t cut too much’. Answer: Lilacs are hardy plants that can withstand pruning at just about any time. That is, only cut out approximately 1/3 of the older branches each year so that the lilac stays healthy and keeps blooming. Bypass loppers are designed for pruning and cutting live branches up to 1-1/2" thick. Depending on the variety, these hardy growers can reach up and over 20 feet in height. Do not spray the lilac tree itself, as this exposes the branches to moisture and may perpetuate fungal growth. They grow quickly and they can grow quite tall so they need an annual trimming to retain their shape and to keep them blooming consistently every year. Search for dead or diseased stems. Answer: Lilacs typically bloom once a year in the late spring or early summer. } Lilacs will bloom reliably for years with minimal care, but some older plants may become less productive. And since most of the buds form on the tips of the branches, the flowers of a tall lilac will bloom near the top of the plant—out of reach and perhaps beyond where the flowers are easily seen and enjoyed. Blooming in spring with a burst of color and filling the air with their floral scent, lilacs are one of the first plants to awaken in the garden after the long winter. The other bush has never produced flowers. Spring is popping with big, beautiful, purple lilac blooms. I stopped by to learn about fertilizing it. Prune out some of the suckers, and remove any crossing branches or leggy limbs. Or if this is a young shrub that is just starting to flower, the plant may naturally set more blooms next year. As the flowers fade towards midsummer, you can deadhead spent blooms and prune shrubs for height and shape. Lilacs are hardy, long-lived plants that are easy to grow. If you can't stand the look of your old lilac or you just want a quicker approach, you can take the drastic measure of cutting back the entire plant to about 6 to 8 inches above the ground in the early spring. By taking cuttings you can clone a lilac bush over a period of months with basic gardening supplies. Follow our guide to turning a hardwood stem into a vigorous new plant. If you see any limp, brown or diseased stems in your lilac bush or tree, cut them out close to the base. Beautifully done page. I have two beautiful nectarine trees in my garden. cuttings, by Richard Fillmore (2) at the Arnold Arboretum. i have taken 30 lilac branch cuttings already this month from the large lilac tree. $.get('/frogs/ajax/print_comment.php', { pid: data} ).done(function(foo) { Follow this same procedure every year for the next three years, until all the oldest canes have been cut back. Question: When is a good time to prune my lilac bushes? He's gone for a few days so I am going to prune as much as I can. If the cutting is 8 inches I leave it that long, if it is 12 inches I cut it in half. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); if ($(window).width() > 1024) { They are such a fragrant flower I can see why they are so very popular as a choice of wedding flower. Poet Walt Whitman thought of lilacs when Abraham Lincoln … If you want to propagate a lilac without digging up new shoots you can always take cuttings from a healthy lilac and start each cutting as a new plant. The problem is that lilacs only bloom on branches that are a year old or older, so if you want to prune and still have blooms, follow the 1/3 rule. Al- A pair of bypass shears slice cleanly for collecting fresh flowers, as well as making quick work of nipping off spent blooms. Hope you are having a wonderful spring. By planting several different varieties with different flowering times in early, mid and late spring, gardeners can extend the blooming season. var url = "/frogs/ajax/post_comment/"+pid+"/"; Use a sharp spade to dig down and around the shoot, creating a small root ball while severing the shoot from the parent plant. The lopper's cushioned handle grips are comfortable and slip-free, and the bright orange label helps the tool standout and made it easy to find when I carelessly left it on the ground. Answer: Lilacs are usually reliable bloomers, though there are a few possible causes for poor flowering. Deadheading spent lilac blooms in summer Mulch annually in spring. in Japan grows to be a tree 30 feet tall. However, pruning helps to control the height and shape of the shrub, and helps to keep them blooming consistently every year. function Frog_Cancel(pid) { A well-shaped lilac needs annual pruning to retain the rounded form that most gardeners desire. Question: I have a lilac tree next to the house. The long handle length also gives the tool some extra leverage for slicing through branches. if ($(window).width() < 1025) { Only the sweet-smelling English violet consistently beats it for first place. Thin the lilac. The buds that bloomed in the 'second bloom' will not bloom next spring, so you might see fewer flowers next year. type: "POST", var pid = mySplit[1]; Was the lilac pruned last year, and were these limbs trimmed after the buds started to set? Spray the branches frequently. I’d need to wait on the Poison Ivy until it emerged later in the spring. My grandfather loved growing lilacs. Will a tree trimmer know how to trim and shape this tree? Lilacs are a landscape staple for several reasons: they are easy to grow, they bloom proficiently and even after the flowers fade, the shrub looks good in the landscape. Darcie French from Abbotsford, BC on April 06, 2012: I always used to bring my mom lilacs from the neighbour's yard for mother's day and her birthday, which is in May as well. For the next couple of months until your tree begins making a comeback, make sure you water it daily (unless it rains or the soil is notably wet). Answer: We prune our lilacs right after the flowers fade. Never knew you had to prune lilacs -- good to know. Now that the fruiting has finished, will it harm them to cut them down a bit because they have reached about 13 feet in height. I love the story about you having descendants from your grandfather's beautiful white lilacs...blessed! For old dead wood, use an anvil style cutter. How to Prepare Lilac Cuttings I haul them all to my potting bench and begin. Some of our lilacs have grown too tall to prune safely, and for these, we just let nature take its course. Is the leafy side of the shrub shaded more than the flowering side? I am working more outside and I noticed the shape shifting to the Right with the major limb on that side larger than the other side - so more growth. I don't fertilize mine at all. They're still her favorite flowers :). I can't wait for spring! Q. var mySplit = thisid.split("-"); This Lilac is about 8 foot high and about as maybe I ought to trim the top a bit after blooming? Kim Smith says: at . They are not designed to cut deadwood, which is extremely dry and hard and can damage the cutting edge or even bend the blade. What can I do to encourage both to produce more flowers? } Question: I have a small lilac bush that has one side full of blooms and the other half all leaves. Healthy and well-pruned shrubs bloom proficiently in late spring, filling the garden with their sweet scent and color that attract the attention of hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and gardeners. This year, only one branch produced flowers. long handled loppers for reaching deep into the shrub and for cutting through thicker branches. $("form.frog_reply_form").submit(function(e) { There is a right time of year to prune a lilac, and there are also lots of wrong times for pruning these flowering woody shrubs. It has grown and is now hitting the house and gutter. Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback The following winter, choose the shoots you want to keep and cut back any you do not. Most licensed arborists can prune your shrub correctly, but be sure to ask the trimmer questions about how they suggest pruning your lilac. Spring involves lots of yard work including shaping and thinning out the shrubs, pruning and limbing up trees, cutting out dead and broken branches damaged by the ice and snow, as well as working on a list of new spring projects. The first step in removing a lilac is to cut down the exposed portions of the plant. I may try some spot applications of a weed killer directly on the cut. document.write(''); This lilacs bright, vibrant colors make it a beautiful ornamental tree that is loved my plant enthusiasts everywhere. I would like to know if I can start a cutting from the California Lilac. Spring is a great time to do this as the soil is moist and easy to dig and the suckers are really growing. Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on July 12, 2012: The smell of lilac is uplifting and mood changing. Taking hardwood cuttings is easy and often the only way to propagate many trees and shrubs. Lilac bushes and trees are typically sturdy, but pest problems can happen. A thriving lilac that grows in a color you enjoy and at a height you prefer is worthy of cloning to plant more lilacs like it throughout your property or to give to friends and family. I will cross my fingers for next spring, but it will probably be the following spring like you say. }); « Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage. do a 45 degree cut on the branches. $("#"+thisid).slideDown(); If ever I get to live with a garden again, I will have lilacs. thats all you need to do,your done. I'll need someone to do this. the bypass shears for deadheading spent blooms and clipping off the ends of thin branches. } It sounds like your house is at risk from the overgrown lilac, and the plant should be pruned so that it will not cause any damage to your home. Fertilize in early spring with an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer. They have taken over the alley. document.write(''); slip them down into the blue stone hydro system. Second blooms can happen, and may be weather related. There was even the ‘you have to prune regularly’ and ‘you should not prune very often’ debate. Over time and as the plant ages, the interior may become congested with a tangle of older limbs. In pruning your dwarf lilac tree, cut the branches back a bit, ideally only by 1/3 at the most. Lilacs are easy to propagate from the many new shoots that sprout from the base of established plants each spring. $("#"+thisid).html(foo); My husband is afraid to prune them in case they don't bloom again. Thank you for the tips again. My mother loved me picking them and bringing them to her for the inside of the house. The bypass blades on shears and loppers cut cleanly through live branches with very little effort. Proper pruning is also important, to avoid trimming off next year's buds. }, © 1972 - 2020 National Gardening Association, Times are presented in US Central Standard Time, Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Caladium 'White Queen'". If your lilac grows taller than desired, right after the blooms fade cut back a few of the tallest stems to vigorous side branches a third or more of the way down the branch. Big, beautiful and fragrant flowers makes the lilac one of the most recognizable and well known of the flowering shrubs. Also, take note of where the plant is sporting most of its blooms. Thanks for the tips on pruning. }); My new lilac bushes can hit by the frost before they had their 1st Bloom. This is usually achieved through pruning, but it can be hard work and expensive. Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on March 31, 2012: Lilacs always rank right up there as one of my two or three favorite flowers of all time. Today I started to prune off the dead areas between the two good small branches, but I also trimmed off some branches on the Right side to sort of balance the shape. What do I do? $.ajax({ They are to tall now to do much but I want to reclaim my yard. This year they had loads of fruit on them. To correct this and promote more growth and better flowering, renewal prune one-third of the oldest canes close to ground level just after flowering ceases in the spring. Carefully pull away a healthy sideshoot of the current season's growth so that it comes away with a sliver, or "heel" of bark from the parent shoot. I then pruned away all the small lilac suckers, leaving only those measu ring 3/4-inch or larger. The pruning is bonus information. Can you suggest some very fragrant purple lilac hybrids that don't need the low chill factor and can grow in the south (N.C.). var thisid = $(this).attr('id'); } One way to renew a large, overgrown lilac is to cut the entire plant back to within 6 to 8 inches of the ground in late winter (March or early April). Here are a few tips for pruning lilacs to get the most blooms every year. Question: I have a lilac tree next to the house. If these blooming shrubs have any drawback, it's that their flowers tend to fade quickly. For larger diameter branches, the aggressive teeth of a pruning saw rips through wood quickly and with little effort. Privacy Policy and The alternative is to replace the tree with one to suit the space, but this is not always practical. Question: I have two lilac bushes; both are about three-years-old. Hal Gall from Bloomington, IN on February 26, 2013: I can smell the lilacs now. If you have shaped your lilac bush to have one main stem like a tree or prefer an alternative to the three year plan, do one severe pruning in late winter. $("#show_answer_button").hide(); A heavy infestation, however, … Thanks to his gardening skills and generosity, I have several plants growing in my yard that are the direct descendants of his prized plant. Semi-ripe wood responds best and this is the right time of year to take them. One of the things you’ll need to do with a dwarf lilac tree is to shape it. I have native ceonothus, a white California lilac that blooms at the edges of my back yard meadows. Transplant the new little plant into a sunny location and keep it watered well until it becomes established. This plant is relatively easy to propagate using stem cuttings. $("#replyform-"+pid).hide(); $("#show-reply-form-"+pid).hide(); The long handles on give plenty of reach for thinning out shrubs, limbing up trees and reaching deep into the brambles for cutting shoots off at the base. Bigger pruning jobs, such as renovating an old tree, should take place when the plant is dormant, in winter. Apply the water directly to the ground. $("#show_answer_form").slideDown(); I'll cut the limbs more by the ground as I read on this site. Not only will you ensure continuous blooms over the three years, you will gradually change the shape of the bush as well as create healthie… If you notice insects taking out your plant, spray your trees with soapy water to keep them away. Using the right tools makes pruning a more enjoyable task. Reply. Slugs and snails are the most common culprits to attack lilacs. It … Pruning is also important for controlling the overall height of the shrub. Will a tree trimmer know how to trim and shape this tree? Hi, I was walking my dog today and saw a beautiful double flowering white lilac bush and wondered if I could take cuttings from it to get the same results. data: $("#"+thisid).serialize(), It skipped blooming last year. And when I searched for information about lilacs, a few sources mentioned cutting the lilac back in spring, others suggested the fall. This is the second part of the tutorial about rooting Lilac cuttings. Question: What will happen if I did not prune my lilac last fall? Many of the lilacs in our garden started as transplanted shoots from my grandfather's garden. The smaller Lilac is only four feet or so, and has maybe 7 I caught that now so would not lean to one side. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is now interactive: Search using your zip code or click on your state to find your exact plant hardiness zone for your area.