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Old 07-29-2021, 07:52 AM   #1
twoplustwo
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Default Lilac bush question

We re-did our front porch this summer and now we have this nice new porch to sit on and have a coffee break.

Sitting out there reminds me that I have a lilac bush project that has been ignored for years.

We used to have 2 large blooming lilac bushes and our neighbor* said don't prune it let me prune it because otherwise you will do it wrong and it wont bloom.

*long since moved away

So we said OK! because that sounded great to us. He pruned it and it never bloomed again.

I have read a lot online and I think we are way beyond pruning it now. I think we need to cut it down and start over. Some of the internet seems to think we can do this and itll work . but that is not most of the info out there. Most recommend regular pruning. Anyone done it? Does it work?

Next up - WHEN? Seems to be some before it blooms, after it bloom mixed info out there. Can we just do it now? Im ok if doing it now means waiting 1 more year for the blooms or should we wait until next spring to have any luck. And IF we have to wait do we do it before or after it blooms - except it doesnt bloom or before or after it is supposed to bloom.

THANKS ALL MY GREEN THUMB GCMers.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lilac bush question

I don't have lilacs but I have other pruning questions.

If someone is an expert I would love to add my question about forsythia, hydrangea and rhododendron.

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Old 07-29-2021, 08:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lilac bush question

following along, because this is the first year our lilacs didn't bloom
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lilac bush question

The bushes straight behind our house are lilacs. I have never pruned them. I don’t know how to prune anything. They have always bloomed since we’ve been here, which is 12 years. They are very tall, though- more like trees. I don’t know if that helps at all.

But I can send you seeds if you want them- our lilacs make tons of seeds.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lilac bush question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerynne View Post
The bushes straight behind our house are lilacs. I have never pruned them. I don’t know how to prune anything. They have always bloomed since we’ve been here, which is 12 years. They are very tall, though- more like trees. I don’t know if that helps at all.

But I can send you seeds if you want them- our lilacs make tons of seeds.
My lilacs bloomed wonderfully until my neighbor "helped" us out. And then never again. He was right that you have to do it right.

You are very sweet, but no to the seeds. I would be ok with even removing the bushes. They are in a spot I would not place them. researching lilac bushes today made me realize why they are there (the front corner - by the sidewalk at the property line) - they need full sun. Im on a fully shaded lot. I get sun at the mailbox and looks maybe that opposite corner of the yard.

So its also low risk - like if we chop them to the ground and never come back we would just do away with them. Just wondering any advice or tips before we do it this fall.
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lilac bush question

You do not have to prune lilacs. You can drive through the Midwest and see abandoned farms, nothing but the foundation of the house left, and lilacs that are over 75 years old in full bloom. I love to think of the people that planted and enjoyed them.

If you want to prune them, yes, you have to prune them the right way, like most things.

I decided not to prune mine and they get more and more blossoms every year. If they get leggy, maybe I'll prune them.

I found this. You can call your local university extension and see if a master gardener will talk to you. I think it's likely your lilacs will bloom again, though.

https://hortnews.extension.iastate.e...993/lilac.html
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