by April Reinhardt
(last updated September 18, 2015)
Growing as shrubs, small trees, or large bushes, lilac bushes are deciduous bushes bearing large flowers in early spring. Lilac bushes can grow from four to eight feet in height, while there are varieties of lilac tress that grow to heights of thirty feet. Lilac bushes always flower if left unpruned. If pruned or trimmed incorrectly, lilac bushes will not flower at all, since they spend all of their energy trying to regenerate lost branches, instead of growing flowers.
When lilacs flower, they flower on old wood. Meaning, they do not flower on new stems. If you trim a lilac bush in the fall, you are trimming away the flower buds for next spring, and the bush will not flower for one to five seasons. Therefore, it is best not to trim a lilac bush if you want it to flower profusely every year. But, there are times when you need to trim a lilac bush because it has grown out of control. Follow these guidelines to trim a lilac bush, while still anticipating its lovely flowers in the spring:
You may also choose to transplant the suckers after a few years, creating more lilac bushes in other parts of your landscape. Lilac bushes grow better in slightly alkaline soil, so you may want to have your soil tested for its pH level to ensure a proper growing environment. It is always best to prune lilac bushes from the inside out to improve air circulation, since they are prone to powdery mildew disease.
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