claudiakinney
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Lilacs did not bloom

My lilac bushes did not produce a single bloom this year. They are really tall probably 10 feet and look healthy. I know I trimmed them down last year but can not remember when. Since there are no blooms this year I am sure it was not the correct time, so how do get blooms next year?
Claudia

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hendi_alex
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I would google the topic before doing anything, but in the past have remedied a non blooming woody plant issue with adding wood ashes in the soil around the plant. That action can cause the soil to become to alkaline however. Perhaps consider adding bone meal and potash, or adding some fertilizer that is advertised to promote bloom. It should have a relatively low amount of nitrogen compared to the phosphorus and potassium.
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rainbowgardener
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lilac not blooming

They make slow release tree fertilizer spikes. Try digging a few in as deep as you can get them, around the drip line of the tree, NOW, so that by bloom time, it will have had the benefit of them.

If it does bloom next spring, be sure as soon as the blooms are done, before they set seed, you deadhead (clip all the spent flowers off). Lilacs if allowed to set seed, tend to bloom only every other year. It's an evolutionary mechanism to give the new seedlings a chance to get a little established before more competition comes along. Since the lilac seeds are in clusters and are heavy so don't tend to travel very far, the tree has developed this mechanism to allow the seedlings to develop.

claudiakinney
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Thank you for your suggestions, will do. Question They need to be pruned can I do this next year, and what is the best time?
Claudia

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rainbowgardener
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Lilacs bloom on old wood. That means if it is going to bloom next spring it has already set buds for that now. If you prune it now, you will cut off next spring's flower buds and it will again not bloom.

Prune it in the spring right after it has (hopefully :) ) finished blooming.

Margeranium
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Nonblooming Lilac

Thanks for this advice on lilacs. My lilac NEVER has bloomed. It is about 10 years old. I hope that by adding wood ash and fertilizer it will respond. Any other ideas? Thanks again, Margeranium

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rainbowgardener
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Lilacs have to have the right conditions to bloom. That includes at least 6 hrs a day of direct sunlight, well drained not acidic soil, not too much fertilization (especially high nitrogen) which can encourage vegetative growth at the expense of flowering.

If you have all that, things you can do to encourage blooming (probably next year!): Lilacs can be rejuvenated by cutting off some of the old stems at ground level. Remove some of the oldest stems and any weak, spindly shoots, but no more than 1/3 of the plant. You want to open up the center a bit for good air circulation and light penetration. Then you can do the wood ash and add some compost and bury some banana peels around it for potassium.
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davey1965
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lilacs do not bloom

Our neighbors have very large old lilac bushes that bloom every year and hang over our fence. Over the years suckers come up in our yard. Two years ago, I dug up about 10 and transplanted them to the other side of our yard. They have grown to about 4 feet now. My question is how many years before they start blooming. I have read in the forum about adding ash and compost in the dirt. I have added compost every year and will try both this year. Any advice besides patience?

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