Often asked: When To Trim Lilac Bushes In Illinois?

When should lilac bushes be trimmed?

Once a lilac bush is more than two years old, it requires annual pruning. The best time to grab your clippers and get to work is in early summer, after the flowers have bloomed and faded.

How do I prune an overgrown lilac bush?

First, remove any dead, spindly, dying or diseased wood. Cut out about a third of the oldest, tallest branches at the base. Then prune back the rest of the branches by a foot or more. Repeat the same thing over the next couple of years.

Do lilac bushes need to be cut back?

Lilacs should be pruned yearly to develop a good framework of stems and promote vigorous growth that enhances flowering. Removing stems may be done immediately after flowering, or, if you don’t mind sacrificing a few blossoms, in late winter. Shoots and stems should be cut off at or just below soil level.

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Can I prune lilacs in the fall?

For lilacs, the recommended method is generally to remove one third of the old wood each year immediately after flowering and shape the shrub over a number of seasons. Of course, you can prune in the fall if absolutely required.

Are coffee grounds good for lilac bushes?

Organic Lilac Food Create your own organic fertilizer by including slow-acting bone meal, fish emulsion, manure or compost. Grass clippings and coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen, but use them sparingly in compost.

How do you rejuvenate a 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.

Can I cut my lilac bush to the ground?

The best time for pruning lilac bushes is right after their flowering has ceased. If you are pruning lilac trees or shrubs entirely to within inches of the ground, it is best to do so in early spring. New shoots will develop during the regular growing season as long as there are a few healthy shoots left.

What’s the difference between a lilac tree and a lilac bush?

To clear up any confusion, there is no difference between a lilac bush and a lilac tree, they are the same plant just called by different names. Some lilacs flower two weeks earlier, including Syringa x hyacinthiflora varieties and these are often referred to as early flowering lilacs.

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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. I then trimmed the spent blooms and called it a day.

Do lilacs bloom more than once a year?

Do lilac trees bloom more than once a year? Most do not, but the Bloomerang lilac tree blooms in spring, takes a pause in early summer, then blooms again from summer all the way to the first frost of the year.

How do I care for a lilac bush?


  1. Each spring, apply a layer of compost under the plant, followed by mulch to retain moisture and control weeds.
  2. Water during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
  3. Lilacs won’t bloom if they’re overfertilized.

Why didn’t lilacs bloom this year?

Lilac bushes that won’t bloom could be the result of too much nitrogen. Lilacs don’t typically require feeding, improper fertilizing can cause a lilac to take up too much nitrogen, which encourages the plant to green up but prevents the lilac bush from blooming.

Is it better to trim bushes in the fall or spring?

Late winter and early spring are the best times to prune most trees and shrubs. There are some exceptions, such as broad leaf evergreens that bloom in early spring, and should be pruned after blooming. Dormant pruning just before growth begins leaves a wound exposed for the minimum amount of time before healing begins.

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What plants should be cut back for winter?

When to Prune Trees and Evergreens

  • Prune evergreen shrubs (yew, holly, and boxwoods) and evergreen trees (spruce, fir) in late winter or early spring when they are still dormant and before new growth begins.
  • Prune shade trees, such as oak, sweetgum, maple, katsura and hornbeam in late winter or early spring.

Is it better to prune in fall or spring?

For most trees, the best time for major pruning is late winter to early spring because wounds close faster. If you want to prune in fall, wait until trees drop their leaves and are dormant—usually October or November.

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