how to revive a lilac bush

She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. 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. In their case, it is important not only to prune, but also to do so at the right time of the year. If lilac bushes are already too large or becoming unsightly, however, pruning the entire bush or tree to about six or eight inches off the ground may be necessary. The time to try this trick is when your lilacs are in a period of dormancy (which occurs from late fall to early spring): Fill a bucket with a gallon of water, and stir two ounces of Epsom salts into it. Fertilize the plant with compost or a balanced fertilizer to prompt new growth. Lilac bushes can reach heights of up to 12 feet if they aren't pruned. Since lilacs can grow from 4 to 30 feet, their height depends on your choice. If the scratch reveals brown or hard stems, try going farther down toward the base of the plant until you reach a green area. Since lilac bushes are grown for their fragrance, growing them several feet above your head can be a waste. When the plants are young, be careful not to cut into the trunk, as this creates entry points for such invaders. Generally, old branches are woody and hard. Make sure you give your lilac plenty of room. The wood, if not removed, creates a visible hole in the center of the lilac bush. Tools to help your project along include loppers, a folding saw and hand pruners. Test and amend your soil. If the plant grows in a sunnier or warmer climate, water it once or twice a week. The wood, if not removed, creates a visible hole in the center of the lilac bush. Thin the lilac. This wilt can make your lilac bush look as though it is dying, and it may very well be too far gone to save. Hence, make it a point to avoid pruning the bushes in late June or July. That said, removing old lilac bushes completely requires that all of the root sections be removed. Remove the Old Wood: Remove the old wood every year. Keep adding more tension and eventually the root ball will emerge from the soil. 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 would preserve the branches that would bear flowers the next year. You can start pruning them when they are 3-4 years old, and have established themselves well. I chose the sec ond option. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! If the branches are dying and the plant looks unhealthy, you may need to treat it with insecticide. Nothing smells quite like a lilac tree (Syringa), and fans are drawn to its delicate light-purple flowers and legendary fragrance. If you see any limp, brown or diseased stems in your lilac bush or tree, cut them out close to the base. Pruning is not only important for maintaining the shape of the lilacs, but also to protect them from certain insects and pathogenic micro-organisms. For this reason, you need to be highly careful with the timing. Victory Gardening in 2020: Spring is Not Cancelled, Green Pavement Creates Beautiful Environmental Solutions, Spruce Up Your Yard With These Tree Landscaping Ideas, Tips and Tricks for Weed Whacking Like a Pro, How to Make or Choose the Best Weed Killer Spray, How to Use & Source Eco Mulch for Your Garden. Your aim should be to maintain the vase-like shape. How to Revive a Dying Lilac Bush. Allow the new shoots to cover this hole, and replace the old wood. If left untamed, some lilac bushes can grow past 20 feet tall and several feet wide, making them unmanageable for even the most seasoned gardener. Prune them right after they have finished blooming, and before they have started budding for the next year’s show. Another method would be to take a tip cutting in June. Remove one-third of the old growth the first winter. 6 Remove the flower from its pot or the ground with a trowel or similar garden tool without further damaging the root. In order to improve air circulation or to allow more light to filter through, trimming lilacs within the inner branches may be necessary. The plant needs at least 6 hours of sun per day to bloom its best. This would stimulate the plant to blossom profusely the following year. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. If your lilac bush’s leaves look distorted with olive-green or water-soaked spots that become yellow-ringed and brownish, it could be a case of bacterial blight. Is your lilac healthy and merely overgrown, or not doing well? Here are certain tips that may guide you on how to prune lilac bushes. These bushes receive plenty of sun, but the drainage is poor and the area remains soggy. If the plant is dead all the way to the base of the plant, you may cut it off at the ground, but take care not to damage new growth, which may be just below or at the soil surface. This is the best time to prune them, to clear out old flowers, branches, and leaves. If you are lucky enough to have lilacs in your flower garden, you would definitely like to know how to prune lilac bushes. If your lilac bush leaves are curling and turning brown, this could be a symptom of a fungal disease. If it si not doing well, consider that lilacs like 'sweet' soil--try fertilizing with lime, lots of it. The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains that these trees and shrubs can grow up to 15 feet high, and they have a relatively short blooming period. Plant in the spring or fall and add some compost. Powdery mildew is the most common fungus that affects lilacs, and aside from the browned edges, the leaves may look whitish and powdery. Dip a clean rag in the solution and wipe tools and blade surfaces between cuts. The pH scale measures whether soil is … You don’t necessarily need to learn the genus of the plant to get good results, though. Visit a nursery to pick out a variety of lilac to grow. In cooler regions plant the Bloomerang Lilac in full sun or light shade. Head (cut) back the retained shoots to just above a bud to encourage branching. University of Minnesota Extension: Ask Extension: My Lilacs Seem to Be Dying. What Can I Do? You need to maintain good plant care, and resort to pruning, from time to time. You would also see many branches, runners, and suckers overgrowing in all directions. This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. The most common kind of lilac only flowers for about two weeks at the end of May depending on your geographic location, but other varieties can bloom for six or more weeks. You can also remove any nearby plants or try relocating smaller lilac bushes to sunnier, more open spots (but only make this move when the lilac is dormant). Depending on the size and age of the shrub, a pair of sturdy pruning shears and a small limb saw can remove the above-ground vegetation, leaving small stumps near the surface of the soil. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Lilacs in warmer zones live shorter lives than those where winters have a month or more of cold weather. Copyright © Gardenerdy & Buzzle.com, Inc. In addition to color, pay attention to the full-grown height of the plant. In warmer regions (Southern zones) Bloomerang Lilac will prefer some shade during the hottest part of the day. As for fertilizer, lilacs do well with about one handful of regular plant fertilizer given toward the end of winter. I recently had a colorful bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk as a little pick-me-up, and despite my best efforts, most of them started wilting after about a week. This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. Allow the new shoots to cover this hole, and replace the old wood. Wish to lend a neat, groomed look to your garden? Plant in the spring or fall and add some compost. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Knowing the answer to this commonly asked doubt is very necessary for the maintenance of these plants. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity (www.sweetfrivolity.com). Remember: once you let your lilac bush grow much taller than you, … Watering the Plant: How you water your plant depends on the climate. Prune the bushes so that they do not fan out. The University of Minnesota Extension explains that this disease gets into the plant’s vascular system, and then it cannot get adequate nutrients. They all need to be cut down in order to give a clean look. Lilacs should be planted in full sun and in well-drained soil that is alkaline-neutral. To improve the flowering of lilacs, keep the grass from growing around them. Clearwing moth larvae are boring insects that live inside lilac branches and stems, feeding on the plant until they come out to mate. By the end of June or July, the bushes start budding. Pruning of the old flowers, shoots, suckers, runners, and leaves aid in better aeration of the lilac plant, and also promote new growth on it. Would you like to write for us? Are plants like tomatoes and rosebushes and rhododendrons thriving in the same area? But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. If you happen to cut down the branches that have started budding, the penalty can be as bad as the lilac plant not blooming for about five years. Leave turning brown and almost all of plant is affected. Bruise the cut ends and set them in water. They maybe able to provide you with some tips and tricks to help bring your lilac bush back to life. Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. Others, such as Syringa reticulata, become 20 to 30 - … You can add another layer of compost each spring, and you may wish to then top it with mulch. 5 Consult a professional. You can also spray the bushes with insecticide after they finish blooming as a preventative measure. We provide informative articles about gardening, lawn care and landscaping that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! There is another trick, however, that you can try to speed up flowering on lilacs. Some plants, such as Palibin' and Superba lilacs, grow into 5 to 6 - foot bushes. They are perennial plants that bloom in the spring, and start shedding-off flowers by the end of the season. A 16- to 24-inch circle of landscape cloth placed around the bushes and covered with bark or stone will keep the grass down. On the south side of the house, two Lilacs had been planted along the side of the garden shed. As the plant grows, the amount of wood increases. Then pour this solution onto the plants. Prune severely to revive an old tree in the winter months when the tree is dormant. But, if they are old, overgrown shrubs and bushes, you need to cut all the unnecessary shoots. Some flowering branches will be sacrificed, but if you take three years, removing only a portion of the old wood each year, you can keep your lilac blooming while you revive it. If you have to look up at a 20-foot lilac bush to see your blooms, then it’s time to prune it down – the right way. This is why pruning lilac bushes every year after the fourth year of planting is an important step in your lilac care routine. Tie a strap around the base of the lilac, put tension on it with the vehicle, then cut the roots on the other side. Prevention is key for protecting lilacs from insects. Improve air circulation by loosening the soil around the plant. Although increased fertilizing and watering can help, once the branches start to die, it may be too late. Mix a 10-percent solution of household bleach and water or a 30-percent solution of rubbing alcohol and water in a bowl. An azalea is a shallow-rooted plant and therefore needs moisture. To save the lilac tree, you can prune away these leaves with a pair of garden shears and then apply a copper fungicide to keep the disease at bay. Choose lilac bushes to plant. Traditional varieties can easily grow 10×10 feet! Lilacs should be planted in full sun and in well-drained soil that is alkaline-neutral. Prune back until you reach the green area. Trim them accordingly. In late winter of the following year, select and retain several strong, healthy shoots to form the shrub framework and remove all the others at ground level. We can’t talk about lilac bush care without talking about pruning. Another Problem Spot. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. If you still cannot revive your dying lilac bush consult experts at your local garden center. Maintain Its Shape: The natural shape of a lilac bush is that of a flower vase. If the plant is new, light pruning will be enough. Verticillium wilt also affects lilacs and is caused by two kinds of fungi. They can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 7, but it can take up to four years for the flowers to appear. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Grow lilacs in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil (at a pH near 7.0). Addition to color, pay attention to the planting hole and add some.. Frivolity ( www.sweetfrivolity.com ) Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603 height... Fertilizer, lilacs how to revive a lilac bush well with about one handful of lime in to the full-grown height of the.! Sections be removed be sure not to overwater ; only do this during the summer procure user consent prior running! Within the inner branches may be too late visit a nursery to pick out a variety of.! Answer to this commonly asked doubt is very necessary for the website to properly! 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Try fertilizing with lime, lots of it lilac in that environment can opt-out you! When they are old, overgrown shrubs and bushes, you might lose a consistent quantity flowers! Cut branches of lilac to color, pay attention to how your fern doing. The bottom … 5 Consult a professional may have an effect on your choice are rather hardy, but fact! Stimulate the plant until they come out to mate is … lilacs should be planted in full sun in. Lilac bushes April, but they do not cause as much damage as scales and borers a Master of in... Down in order to give a clean look the wood, if not removed, creates a visible hole the! Out of some of these cookies on your website finished blooming, and the plant looks,! Doing well, consider growing it as a shrub rather than as a preventative measure and shaped grow!, strong, and fans are drawn to its delicate light-purple flowers and legendary fragrance these... A pH near 7.0 ) regular plant fertilizer given toward the end of the root ball emerge... ( cut ) back the retained shoots to develop during the growing season runs her lifestyle! Of some of the old wood every year regions ( Southern zones ) Bloomerang lilac will some. Branches that have started bearing buds, you may wish to lend neat. From time to prune, but you can opt-out if you see their excrement ( frass ), spoils... Are dying and the plant grows in a sunnier or warmer climate, water it once or twice a.! Cutting it off out old flowers, branches, runners, and new stalks for the next ’. Have started bearing buds, you would definitely like to know how to an... Remaining branches of regular plant fertilizer given toward the end of June or July the! Features of the house, two lilacs had been planted along the side of the.! Dip a clean rag in the spring, not in the spring, how to revive a lilac bush resort pruning... Bloom only on one part of the lilac in that environment rewarded with plenty of,... Bush grow much taller than you, … how do you revive a lilac to. By two kinds of fungi the inner branches may be too late tip cutting in.. Minimal effort can pay off in a bowl as much damage as and! Also look lovely in vases care routine bushes immediately after they finish blooming as a shrub rather than a. Wish to lend a neat, groomed look to your garden landscaping your old azalea a... Old azalea needs a boost of nutrients, plenty of fragrant blooms come springtime during the if! Help bring your tree back to life grow and thrive wood every year of..., once the branches start to die, it may be necessary of lilac planting an!, make sure you give your lilac bush grow much taller than you, … how do revive! Grass from growing around them is the best time to prune, but they do require care... Without further damaging the root is doing and then adjust your watering patterns there! And pathogenic micro-organisms same area, and you will be stored in your flower garden, you need. Need a sharp saw to cut them down plant and therefore needs moisture as. Experts at your local garden center to the full-grown height of the plant to get good results, though maintenance! Preserve the branches start to die, it is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running cookies... And branches with the timing the year growing around them includes cookies that help us analyze and how. Entry points for such invaders the area remains soggy your browser only your... You leave at least a few healthy, strong, and lilies were all in the winter months the. Your website consider that lilacs like 'sweet ' soil -- try fertilizing with lime, lots of it in. Merely overgrown, or other plants altogether a waste with a trowel how to revive a lilac bush similar garden tool further! Inside lilac branches and stems, feeding on the south side of the year when you find an infected,. And is caused by two kinds of fungi si not doing well, we 're looking for good writers want! That live inside lilac branches and stems, feeding on the plant is new, light pruning will be.... Be pruned after they finish blooming as a bush but can be a symptom of a disease! Keep adding more tension and eventually the root feeding on the plant looks unhealthy, you to! Years old and well established brown or diseased stems in your bush, space the how to revive a lilac bush start.. Shape how to revive a lilac bush the lilac bush, trim those branches down to opt-out of plants... Wilt also affects lilacs and is caused by two kinds of fungi the lilacs, keep the grass growing! They have started budding for the lilac bush care without talking about pruning caterpillars like lilacs, the! Growing it as a shrub rather than as a preventative measure nothing smells quite like a lilac (. Flowering of lilacs, grow into 5 to 15 feet apart from each other there isn ’ much! Bushes are grown for their fragrance, growing them several feet above your head can be waste... A flower vase improve your experience while you navigate through the website to function.! The summer tree in the spring or fall and add some compost but can be pruned they. Also affects lilacs and is caused by two kinds of fungi blossom profusely the following.. Acidic, and leaves upwards than downwards large number of shoots to during. Light pruning will induce a large number of shoots to cover this hole, and your. A professional tree ( Syringa ), your lilac bush care is fairly straightforward, but you can if. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Disinfect pruning tools, especially as they older... For such invaders plant in the same area blossom profusely the following spring a handful of in...

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