Newly Registered
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 6:29 pm

No scent coming from Lilac bush

Does anyone else have this problem?? The blooms are quite full and although not what I would consider numerous, even when you get next to them there is really no sweet scent like others in the neighborhood. We have had the bush for 4 years now. I fertilize it in the Spring with Miracle Grow and have done a little pruning over the last 2 years. Mainly just to top it. I remember a long time ago my father had a night blooming Jasmine that wouldn't emit their beautiful scent and he was told to feed it a certain fertilizer and in less then 30 days wow it filled the whole neighborhood at night. I don't remember what that particular fertilizer was or if that would help with my Lilac bush. Any help or idea's would be appreciated.
Thank you

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Howdy Deacon,

Can't say I have a good answer for that other than I don't like high nitrogen salt based fertilizers and suggest you go organic (compost, organically based fertilizers like Holly-tone, Coast of Maine and such). These are far more complete in nutritional value than chemical salt base types that can lock up trace elements when the salts build up. Not sure but that could be part of the issue there...

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 8:23 am
Location: Long Island, New York
Contact: AOL

Some species of Lilac do not have a strong smell, or any smell at all. Do you know the species of your plant?

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Deacon Blues,

If you are pruning to keep it shorter, and aren't doing it within two weeks of the finish of bloom, you are cutting off the buds for next year's bloom. Lilacs bloom on old wood and set their buds shortly after bloom.

The fertilizer you are using is too high in nitrogen for lilacs. Nitrogen based fertilizers cause lilacs to produce lots of leaves at the expense of flowers. Lilacs also prefer a more alkaline soil, so if yours is acid or your fertilizer is, you will have less blooms.

Here's some handy sites.

Enjoy your flowers next spring!

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