What Can I Do With An Overgrown Lilac Bush?

What can I do with an overgrown lilac bush? 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). This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season.

How do you trim an out of control lilac bush?

Trimming lilacs is best accomplished using clippers. Remove spent blooms all the way to the stems to prevent seeding and encourage more blooms later on. Cut back about a third of the branches. Cut away shoots growing near the ground that may be sprouting from the main trunk.

What is the best time to cut back a lilac bush?

When To Prune

As a general rule for all lilacs, they should be pruned immediately after they're done flowering in the spring. Since lilacs set next year's flower buds right after the current year's flowers have faded, pruning later in the summer or fall will result in cutting off many or all of next year's flowers.

How do I get rid of a large lilac bush?

You can try pulling out the roots by hand if the plant is young. Use a shovel and hoe to dig down on all sides, exposing the roots. Use the shovel to remove the entire rootball. However, for older, established plants, you'll do better using a tractor or truck to pull out the plant's root system.

Can you cut a lilac bush to the ground?

Lilacs should be pruned yearly to develop a good framework of stems and promote vigorous growth that enhances flowering. Yearly pruning consists of cutting diseased, misshapen, and unproductive stems to the ground. I also thin and remove some stems to encourage properly spaced, vigorous growth.

Related guide for What Can I Do With An Overgrown Lilac Bush?

Can you use hedge trimmers on lilac bushes?

Hedge trimmers are not ideal for pruning lilac bushes for two main reasons: 1) you might unknowingly cut off next year's forming blooms while you're shaping and 2) lilac bushes should hold a round shape rather than a flat-top shape.

How much do you prune lilac bushes?

Pruning lilac shrubs

A good rule of thumb when pruning lilacs is not to prune more than one third of a shrub's stems per year. When one of my lilacs climbed a little too high towards the eavestrough, I simply trimmed those branches to a reasonable height.

Can lilacs bloom twice a year?

This lilac tree blooms twice a year, filling the air with the aroma of its deep purple-lilac, star-like flowers. After an initial stunning show in spring, Bloomerang lilacs take a rest until late summer, when they rebloom until the first frost.

How do you reset a lilac bush?

Are lilac bushes deep rooted?

Potential Damage from Lilac Roots

Since lilac root systems are shallow, they can only reach the base of shallow foundations. If you have a deep foundation, there is little risk of damage. If you've planted your lilac shrub 8 to 10 feet (2.5-3 m.)

What killed my lilac bush?

Verticillium wilt affects a number of plants in our landscapes, including lilac. It is caused by two fungi: Verticillium dahliae and Verticillium albo-atrum. Individual branches turn brown and die suddenly due to the fungi blocking the vascular system of the branch, cutting off water and nutrient movement.

Are lilac bushes hard to dig up?

If you are transplanting a lilac that is mature and large, expect to work hard at digging out the rootball. You still need to take out as large a rootball as possible, and you may need help to lift the mature plant's rootball onto a tarp to move it. Plant the rootball in a prepared hole twice as large as the rootball.

What months do lilacs bloom?

About Lilacs

The common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, blooms in the northern states for 2 weeks from mid- to late spring. However, there are early-, mid-, and late-season lilacs, which, when grown together, ensure a steady bloom for at least 6 weeks. Lilacs are hardy, easy to grow, and low maintenance.

How tall should a lilac bush be?


The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide. There are many smaller dwarf varieties that mature at 4 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 7 feet wide. Japanese tree lilacs (Syringa reticulata) can reach 25 to 30 feet tall.

Can you keep lilac small?

To avoid this problem choose a compact variety or one that has a second flush of flowers, and make sure you keep it well pruned. Lilacs should be pruned immediately after they have flowered in May or early June, when all the flowering shoots need to be cut back to the first leaves below the flowers.

Do lilacs symbolize death?

The color lilac used to be associated with mourning. Black was worn or used to symbolize a recent death in some European and North American cultures. But after a year of mourning, key mourners, such as the widow, could switch to lilac for clothing, the border on stationary, etc.

Are lilacs poisonous to dogs?

Lilacs do not contain any chemicals that will poison animals or humans, nor do they irritate the skin. Even though lilac stems, leaves, and flowers pose no health threat to dogs, it is a good idea to keep your dog from chewing on the plant.

What should I plant next to my lilac bush?

You'll find many attractive spring bulbs to fill up the area near your lilac bush as lilac companion plants. Bulb plants like daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinth and peonies multiply and naturalize. Plant enough of them and you'll never weed in the area again.

Why is my lilac bush blooming in the fall?

Is July too late to prune lilacs?

Like other spring-blooming woody plants, the lilac produces its flower buds from late summer through fall for the following year's display. Prune after, say, July 4th in the North and you risk reducing next year's bloom. Prune in fall or early spring, and you guarantee that disappointment.

How do you prune a lilac bush in the spring?

  • Get rid of dead, broken or diseased stems first, as well as any weaker branches. In addition, cut branches to prevent rubbing or crossing.
  • Remove old stems that are thicker than two inches.
  • Manage sucker growth.

  • How do I care for a lilac bush?

    Choose an area with plenty of afternoon sun and well-drained soil. Since lilacs prefer good drainage, planting lilac bushes in slightly elevated areas is recommended whenever possible. Following planting lilac bushes, water them thoroughly and add a layer of loose mulch.

    Will lilacs rebloom?

    Reblooming lilacs will bloom once in the spring, take a rest period and then bloom again in midsummer. Some varieties, like the Bloomerang dark purple, will continue to bloom into the fall after their spring rest.

    Do any lilacs bloom all summer?

    Bloomerang Lilac Has Unbeatable Flower Power, Lasting Through Three Seasons. While most lilacs only bloom once in spring, this reblooming variety has an encore in summer and even into fall.

    Can you air layer a lilac bush?

    Propagating lilacs by air layering is also very simple and can be easily done. First you need to pick the part of the plant that you would like. Then cut a slit at an angle 1/3 of the way through the stem just below good, healthy leaf growth.

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