TomVa
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How long does it take to bloom

I put 7 lilac cuttings in the ground 3 yrs ago this will be 3rd summer.they are about 3 ft tall and they havn't ever bloomed,will they this year..

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thebigtomato
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lilac blooms

hey TomVa,

It could be a few things but not enough light or too much nitrogen could keep your lilacs from [url=https://www.gardeners.com/When-Lilacs-Won%27t-Bloom/5435,default,pg.html]blooming[/url]

shadowsmom
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Are you trimming them? If so, you may be cutting off next years bloom. My neighbor did this for years. When she sold the house the new owners let them be and the second year they were blooming like crazy.

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rainbowgardener
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It can easily be three or four years before a new cutting is well established enough to bloom.

Is it in a lawn? Sometimes lilacs are planted in lawns that are fertilized. Lawn fertilizer is high nitrogen, because you don't want flowering just leafy growth. That tends to push the lilac also towards growing not flowering, especially when it is young. Eventually it will have roots way deeper than the grass and it won't matter so much.
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mkepat
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4 yr old lilac hasn't bloomed

I bought this from a reputable nursery, have not fertilized, in a sunny spot, not on lawn
Any thoughts?

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rainbowgardener
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Patience? :?

Sounds like you are doing everything right.
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thebigtomato
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you might want to try giving them some bloom fertilizer, something with high phosphorus and potassium to induce flowering.

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rainbowgardener
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but not this year. It is already past lilac blooming season. Mine have bloomed and gone and been deadheaded and I am north of OP. Nothing will induce it to bloom out of season.
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Hi everyone, I was Paperwhitenewbie, they made me register again and now I am roseycheeks, I have planted about 4 Morning Glories in some soil and have a flourescent lamp on them and also have a plastic cover on it to kind of give it a greenhouse effect. How long does it take a Lilac to bloom, I have had it for about 2 years and this is the first time it has had new leaves. So wish me luck.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

As you see from the rest of this thread it can take several years for a lilac to be well established enough to bloom.

All the other plants you have written in about are indoors. Is the lilac outdoors? Is it in the ground? In full sun? Lilacs are NOT indoor plants and are not good subjects for containers unless you have one of the most dwarf varieties (like Tinkerbelle) in a very large container (like 10 gallons or more) in full sun.

Lilacs need to be at least three feet tall and well established to start blooming.
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valley
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Greetings, I have here at the mountain ranch Lilacs I started from cuttings over 30 years ago. They give a flower or two, starting a couple years ago each year now. The soil is a on the acid side.

We have a ranch in the high desert with Lilacs that bloom in wild abandon ever year like it or not. We love it. The soil is Alkaline.

I think alkaline is what they like. I began breaking up drywall and putting it at the bottom of the lilacs up here and they started blooming { I was told not to try the drywall, that there might be something in it that would kill the bush, you have to decide} but not like down there maybe they need more alkaline or sun, less hours of sun up here.

Good luck with them. Promise you'll come tell us what you do and how it worked.

Richard

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Re: How long does it take to bloom

The ones we have are at least two years old, they have never flowered or even leafed out. They are outside and I just went out and measured and they are 2ft. and 30 !/2 inches tall. I will show you a picture of the leaves.Image

valley
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

roseycheeks, I think the amount of sunlight has a lot to do with the speed of growth. If you read my first post, I have some at the upper ranch that are over 30 years old and are about waist high. The ph is, I think, the another big factor.

down the road, here at 6800feet, a quarter mile a fellow has large Lilacs growing and flowering. He gets much more sun and he add to the soil to make it more alkaline.

At our lower ranch at 4300ft we get sun several more hours per day and the soil and water alkaline and the lilacs are tall and are covered with blooms. They are about to bloom now while the lilacs up here have yet to put out a leaf.

How many hours of direct sun does the plant you have in the picture get? Is your soil acid or Alkaline?

Richard

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Re: How long does it take to bloom

It gets quite a lot of sunlight, most of the day in fact.

valley
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Then it's amount of water and soil. The place where ours do best is in the high desert. While we give them more water now than they have had for years they have bloomed every year in great puffs. I think, if you have fair drainage it could be a very acid soil. My sister's place is like a meadow, hers are massive and bloom like there's no tomorrow.

Hot tub time.

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Re: How long does it take to bloom

while I was tubing I was thinking: Your plant looks pretty healthy, what's going on up top that we can see is going on down below, it is building a root system, I'm thinking I wouldn't do anything different. I would not fertilize, I have read they need very little. Let it build old wood, the old wood sprouts and new come from the bottom. The big bushy lilacs we have are quite old. At the base they are a great bundle of stalks about 2 1/2' across with each stalk being maybe as big as my thumb. Lets watch them, from the picture you posted looks like it's going to bush up this year.

Unless someone comes on that knows better I'd see what that plant has to say this year.

Richard

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

You can tell if it is going to bloom this year or not, because lilac makes the buds for this year's flowers around Aug or Sept of last year. Actually the buds on mine have opened up in to flower spikes and all the little buds are very close to opening up to flowers. But I don't know where you are located. If you are north of me, lilacs in your area might be on a little slower schedule, but in any case the buds will be visible and should be swelling and getting ready to open:
Image

https://plantwatch.naturealberta.ca/plan ... ge_preview

If it does not have buds on it now, nothing you can do will induce it to flower this year.
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valley
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Good shot of the buds. I think the lilac in question need a little more time.

rainbow, Is that a picture of one of your plants? Did you buy it or start from a cutting?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

That is just a picture I found on line; I gave the credit for it.

I have a gigantic old lilac in the front yard that was probably planted when the house was new nearly 100 years ago, takes up half the front yard. In the back, there is a smallish one that may have been planted by the guy that rehabbed our house, before we bought it. It was a baby, probably just a few years old when we bought the house 12 years ago. And there is an even smaller one, that amazingly enough volunteered in one of my flower beds. Only time I have ever seen that. So I dug it out and planted it near the other one. They are now crowding out the space they are in. All three are just about to open up blossoms.
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

rainbow, When you say one. Does it have one trunk, or many?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Many, many trunks/ stems.
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valley
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Last year in Nevada I dug a couple starts from around the large lilacs and planted them by the other drive. They took hold right away, this year they are up with no sign of buds, we'll see how long it takes them, they love it there,maybe it will take a year or two.

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Re: How long does it take to bloom

The house we moved to winter of 2012/2013, already had 5 well established lilacs growing.
I have no idea how old they are. They are monstrously large. I'm not good at judging height, but the tops of them are level with our 2nd floor bedroom windows.

I did NOTHING in the garden until after they bloomed last year.
Then we went about pruning them after the blooming was done. I now read that's when you're supposed to do pruning. We just did it then because we didn't want to cut the blooms off! lol
This spring, we did a little pruning on the one around the mailbox... to make sure the mail carrier wouldn't get a face full of bumble bees when leaning in to deliver our mail. :)

We will again be pruning after they're done blooming. At least to keep them from getting tangle-ish or hanging over the path, or whatnot. I've been trying to look into how much we should prune them... if maybe they should be pruned more aggressively. My husband is very tentative about pruning them. I had to talk him into taking out the branches that were likely to be a nuisance to our mail carrier. ha ha. He would let them grow into a wild blur of lilac bushes like they were when we first moved here.

I now read that you're supposed to clip the blooms off? We didn't do that last year. When they got all dried up, and I noticed they started falling to the ground, I went around with the wheel barrel, picked up the ones on the ground, and just started grabbing the dried ones off the bushes as far up as I could reach. And then made my husband go around & get ones he could reach.

And we did nothing to them the rest of the summer.

All of ours bloomed profusely last spring, and most are in full profuse bloom this year right now.
If lilacs get anymore blooms than this I think the entire neighborhood would smell like someone was taking a bubble bath in an olympic size swimming pool. ha ha

We do have one bush that is NOT in the front yard. That one blooms too, but it doesn't bloom as profusely.
It gets mainly midday and afternoon sun.
The ones in our front yard get morning & midday sun only.
Don't know if that makes a difference.
I think the one that's not in the front yard is in extremely well draining soil that is quite toward the alkaline.
I think ALL of our soil here is leaning toward alkaline, or at best neutral pH.

Here are pictures from the past week:

Image

Image

Image

Oh, and another thing I noticed. The one in the front yard with the darker blooms does have less blooms. And the one that's not in the front yard is the same type.
This is what I'm talking about:
Image
The ones that look like this don't have as many blooms.

I assumed the variety is just a lesser-bloomer???

I have no idea the difference.
My neighbor has one that looks like this though a bit smaller (probably more aggressively pruned judging by the rest of her plants/shrubs/trees), and it's blooming about the same amount.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Yes, I have alkaline soil also and lilacs are one of the things that like alkaline soil, unlike many other garden plants.

Even though not deadheading (removing the spent flowers) seems to be working for you, it is always recommended that you should do it. Some lilacs will not bloom as well next year, if allowed to set seed this year. Usually if the blossoms stay on they produce large black seeds. If your lilac does not produce seeds (I think some of the modern hybrids may be sterile??), then this is not an issue and it probably doesn't matter.

For seed producers, it is probably an evolutionary adaptation that they don't bloom as much the next year. The large seeds are heavy and have no real travel mechanism. So next year's crop of lilac babies would tend to be a lot of competition for this year's crop. By spacing it out, it gives this year's crop a better chance to get established. Especially since the seeds seem to be not real productive. My lilacs keep getting bigger and sending up new stems, but there are rarely any lilac volunteers, that seem like they would have come from seed.

And yes, if you are going to prune your lilac, soon after it is finished blooming, is the time to do it. They don't really require a lot of pruning: Cut out any dead branches, any branches that are crossed and rubbing on each other, maybe cut out branches that are growing in to the interior and some stems that are coming up right in the middle of the colony, so that light/air/water can still get in to the interior. If some of the oldest wood seems to be getting tired, you can cut out a little bit of that. But it should not need anything else.
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watermelonpunch
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Thank you!

This branches rubbing thing... you mean branches of the same bush rubbing and branches from each bush rubbing each other, right?

I want to make it so I can walk around each bush, or at least so each bush is separate and not intermingling.
Can go a way toward convincing my husband to cut more branches if it's good for the bushes. ha ha

He seems to be wary of me asking him to cut branches because I want them pruned, when he thinks it might injure the tree. He's always concerned about injuring the trees just because I don't like where branches are growing. But I told him these are not trees... they're bushes. They have multiple trunks from the bottom... that makes a difference right?

I can't say I noticed any seeds last year.
But I wasn't looking for them.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How long does it take to bloom

Yes, any rubbing branches.

And yes, a well established shrub, you could cut out up to one-third of the wood without harming it.

If it set seeds, you would probably know it. Mine always sets some seed at the top where I can't reach it to deadhead (since it's about 12 ft tall). Some of those seeds are still on it now.
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