One solution to the problem of removing old lilac bushes is pulling them out. Once established, lilac bushes will survive with watering as infrequently as once a month. I have lilac plants that have grown out of control to the point where they are bushes! Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Reinvigorating Lilac Bushes That Are Old or Overgrown. Your first step in removing old lilac bushes this way is to cut the bushes to ground level with a chainsaw. When filling in with soil, it is important to water thoroughly. I live in the desert and summer temperatures can be over… Watering the ground around the plant thoroughly helps loosen the soil. 2150 Beardshear Hall Many people have problems with overgrown lilac bushes that have grown several feet above eye level and have stopped producing flowers. However, for older, established plants, you’ll do better using a tractor or truck to pull out the plant’s root system. When properly pruned, an old, overgrown lilac can be transformed into a vigorous attractive shrub within a few years. Hi ! Bonide® Total Pest Control; Leaf Spot. Another important aspect of growing lilacs is how and when to prune. What should I do? The best place for a lilac bush to be planted is in an area that has full direct sunlight. Begin the procedure by removing one-third of the large, old stems at ground level in late winter. There are large, green caterpillars on my tomato plants. Burn or dispose of all of the foliage. Lilac bushes are arguably one of the most fragrant flowers in the plant world. Control the height and width of your lilac bushes by cutting them back as soon as the plants finish blooming. Since lilacs prefer good drainage, planting lilac bushes in slightly elevated areas is recommended whenever possible. Lilacs are known for what is called “sucker growth,” which is when the plant sprouts from the root system. A second way to prune old lilacs is to cut back the overgrown shrubs over a three-year period. That said, removing old lilac bushes completely requires that all of the root sections be removed. As they go along, they send up sucker shoots. I have a beautiful old white lilac, with a bench under it as a focal point in my perennial bed. Therefore as the bush gets older and older and puts out more and more new branches, since it blooms better on those newer branches, gradually the blooms are all way up high and unreachable to gather for bouquets. Which is good, because quite frankly, I don’t like lilacs. Shoots grow from the roots parallel with the surface of the soil. A single lilac plant easily forms a grove of these shrubs over time. Botanically known as Syringa, Nature Hills offers lilacs in a ‘tree form’ along with the more traditional bush form. Top Questions About Lilac Bushes. Like spiraea, you can chop this shrub virtually to the ground and have it pop back to life rapidly........although it may never win any prizes for appearance. Choose an area with plenty of afternoon sun and well-drained soil. Do not water your plants in the evening unless you are using a … What is the best way to prune large, overgrown shrubs? When you put this chemical on open cuts on the lilac stumps, it will kill the roots. After the first year, water only during dry spells as lilac bushes are pretty drought resistant, especially as they get older with more extensive root systems. Mechanical Removal The first step in removing a lilac is to cut down the exposed portions of the plant. Because of this, cutting down the bush at ground level is a very temporary solution. A heavy infestation, however, … And once you have a lilac in your yard, you will not get rid of it easily. How to get rid of lilac bushes? It may be the emergence of the grove that causes you to ask: “How do I get rid of lilac roots?” But plants can also be diseased, infected, or just plain overwhelming. If the lilac is bareroot, the top layer of roots should be a few inches below the surface. This process is called thinning, and it helps the plant by allowing fresh air to circulate through the plant and removing dying foliage that sap its energy. If you notice insects taking out your plant, spray your trees with soapy water to keep them away. Since lilac wood needs to be 3 or more years of age before it blooms, this pruning method should allow you to enjoy flowers every spring. What is it. Use the shovel to remove the entire rootball. Another way to start getting rid of lilac bushes is to use chemicals. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. The second step in getting rid of lilac bushes with chemicals is to apply herbicide containing Glyphosate. The oldest lilac bushes on Mackinac date to the 1870s and grow up to 20 feet tall and 27 inches thick—so large locals call them “lilac trees.” During the blooming season the first two weeks of June, the town celebrates with a 10-day Lilac Festival, held every year since 1949. Learn how to plant and care for your own lilac bush, plus get lilac pruning tips and design ideas. Choose lilac bushes to plant. The bush is full of flowers and some of the stems on the outside of the bush are trailing on the ground. To preserve next year's blooms, only remove about a third of the plant's largest branches. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed. Each year I cut, pull out and have even tried Round-Up on the sucker roots of the bush. Lilac Bush Purple Old Fashion Lilac Trees Ready to Plant 9" - 14" Inches Tall Fully Rooted in Soil by legendary-yes 4.1 out of 5 stars 9 $28.00 $ 28 . I'd like to cut them back a bit because they look out of control. How to get rid of lilac bushes? They can handle a handful of 10-10-10 in late winter, but no more. Remember: new shoots are necessary for producing flower … Help! Another way to start getting rid of lilac bushes is to use chemicals. Your first step in removing old lilac bushes this way is to cut the bushes to ground level with a chainsaw. But no – it came back stronger than ever. I have a very large lavender bush which is now out of control. Recommended Fertilizer For Baby Lilac Bush - Please suggest a spring fertilizer for my lilac bush. They have a moderate growth rate of 12 to 24 inches per year. Often the center falls out leaving a hole with a red halo. Natural Control. Discover the best lilac plants for growing in your garden, including ‘Miss Kim’ lilac, Bloomerang lilac and ‘Sensation’ lilac. When you put this chemical on open cuts on the lilac stumps, it will kill the roots. Any plant that you’ve had a few years and is starting to get messy or out of control is ready for a hard pruning. Quite quickly, you will have many lilac shoots coming up from the stump area. The plants are a favourite of bees and I hate to dig them out but, they are woody and overgrown. Your shrub is multi-stemmed and produces new stems or canes each year. It has the main stem and lots of stems coming off it. Flowering Shrubs. Home gardeners can choose between two different pruning methods. Finally, remove all of the remaining old wood in late winter of the third year. Lilac shrubs reproduce by seeds, but they also grow new plants from suckers. Additional thinning of the new shoots should also be done. Natural Causes. produce the most and the largest flowers on stems that are not more than 5 or 6 years old. Water your lilac bush well the first year while it gets established. However, they can be very invasive plants. As the stems get older, the flowers become fewer, smaller, and more out of reach. Lilacs are easy to grow shrubs with colorful, fragrant flowers that bloom in spring. Also, thin out … Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly. Leaves may turn yellow and fall. In addition to color, pay attention to the full-grown height of the plant. Thin the lilac. Use a shovel and hoe to dig down on all sides, exposing the roots. The big problem with getting rid of lilac bushes is that the plant regrows from any piece of root section left in the ground. Tie a strap around the base of the lilac, put tension on it with the vehicle, then cut the roots on the other side. Cut flowers off of the lilac bush with pruning shears after they have bloomed and are beginning to die. Others, such as Syringa reticulata, become 20 to 30 - foot trees. Lilac blight is difficult to control and it is recommended that you buy blight-resistant varieties whenever you plant new lilacs. The following year (again in late winter), prune out one-half of the remaining old stems. They make me sneeze. Begin the procedure by removing one-third of the large, old stems at ground level in late winter. If you see any limp, brown or diseased stems in your lilac bush or tree, cut them out close to the base. Care of Lilac Bushes Unfortunately, as lilacs mature, the shaded lower portions of the shrubs usually lose their leaves. Lilacs, rugosa roses, and other plants that commonly sucker are naturally prepared for hard pruning. Common lilac bushes (Syringa vulgaris) are deciduous shrubs that bloom in late spring.Syringa is a member of the olive family, along with other such ornamental plants as ash trees, forsythia shrubs, and privet shrubs.The best time to plant lilac bushes in fall, before the ground freezes. Water during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Once rejuvenated, pruning should be a regular part of the maintenance program for lilacs. You can try pulling out the roots by hand if the plant is young. Retain several well-spaced, vigorous stems and remove all the others. Read on for information about removing old lilac bushes once and for all. The bush is not leggy and weak but grows and flowers strongly. If your lilac bush does have infection, prune and burn all infected parts as soon as you notice them. Apply it quickly after cutting down the shrubs. There’s even a Lilac Festival Queen and a Grand Parade. Each spring, apply a layer of compost under the plant, followed by mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Each of these can grow into a new bush. Lilacs bloom on newer growth, so the blooms will be on the new younger branches growing out from older trunks. They can easily replace wood from their strong root systems. Unfortunately, they’re hard to control, because the more you damage the roots by digging or cutting the suckers, the more the plant produces – it’s a stress response. Copyright © 2020ISU Extension and Outreach This sterilizes the blade, preventing... 2. Today, “Lost among the lilacs”. Q: When and how should lilac bushes be trimmed?I have a few lilacs that are 12 feet tall. There are many different lilac cultivars (types). This article was originally published on February 10, 1993. They come in many different sizes and colors of bloom. Put out-of-control lilacs on three-year rehab plan ... them in for bouquets without getting a stepladder out. Keep the mulch thick enough to keep out weeds and retain some moisture but light enough not to hold too much. Some plants, such as Palibin' and Superba lilacs, grow into 5 to 6 - foot bushes. Answer: Sounds like your lilac needs rehab. This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. Today I pulled out at least 100 suckers 10 to 20 inches tall. that I cut the bush down to 4 feet from 20′ and thinned out the base cleaning up the ground as I … The shrub can be kept healthy and vigorous by removing a few of the oldest branches every 3 to 5 years.-. A couple of years ago I cut the whole thing down to ground level, thinking that should kill it. During the first couple years, it is important to water your lilacs … Ames, IA 50011-2031 Six Foot Lilac Bush - What month is the best time to cut it back to about four feet? The second step in getting rid of lilac bushes with chemicals is to apply herbicide containing Glyphosate. If a lilac grows very close to your home or to other landscape plants, you may wish to remove it... Sucker and Root Control. In late winter of the following year, select and retain several strong, healthy shoots to form the shrub framework and remove all the others at ground level. Old, neglected lilacs can be renewed or rejuvenated by pruning. If a bush becomes leggy and shapeless, rejuvenate the lilac by cutting it down to about 18 inches tall. and those lilacs are long gone. The common purple lilac is a tough, reliable shrub that may reach a height of 15 to 20 feet. Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray; Chemical Control. Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. How can I control this problem? Appears as black or brown spots on underside of leaves. ... Prune out and burn all affected tissues immediately. Keep adding more tension and eventually the root ball will emerge from the soil. I would be lost among the lilacs, since our lilac bush is completely out of control, were it not for the fact that we live in Victoria, B.C. Lilacs won’t bloom if they’re overfertilized. When this happens, you’ll want to slowly remove 1/3 of the bush’s oldest branches every year because this will encourage the bush to grow new shoots. When I first moved into this home 6-yrs ago the Lilac bush next to the front door was sooo out of control (growing up onto the deck, tearing the shingles on top of my home, scratching the house up etc.) Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. 00 $35.10 $35.10 I’ve been trying to get rid of a lilac bush that grew out of control and wasn’t in a good spot anymore. Any piece remaining in the ground can resprout. What Will Kill a Lilac Tree? Euonymous, Lilac, Nannyberry. I'd like to achieve the most flowers. 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). Pruning a lilac - any lilac - is not rocket science and almost foolproof as far as causing the shrub major distress (except for disturbing the bloom cycle). How to Trim Lilacs 1. Slugs and snails are the most common culprits to attack lilacs. Lilac bushes will also grow better when given a light fertilizer in the early spring months. Lilac bushes and trees are typically sturdy, but pest problems can happen. (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University | PoliciesState & National Extension Partners, by Richard Jauron, Department of Horticulture, Like us at Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, Like us at Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology. Sign up for our newsletter. Privet, Hydrangea. The common French lilacs (Syringa vulgaris cvs.) The idea is to remove air pockets, yet keep the soil porous. But with proper pruning, a lilac can produce flowers reliably for decades. Click on links below to jump to that question. Head (cut) back the retained shoots to just above a bud to encourage branching. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Visit a nursery to pick out a variety of lilac to grow. Following planting lilac bushes, water them thoroughly and add a layer of loose mulch. I have put down plastic under the bench with mulch. Clean the blades of the pruning shears with rubbing alcohol and a clean rag. This article originally appeared in the February 10, 1993 issue, p. 8. The following year (again in late winter), prune out one-half of the remaining old stems. Removing a Lilac. 3. Also, thin out some of the new growth. Reasons Why A Lilac Bush Is Not Blooming And How To Fix Them, Lilac Seed Propagation: Harvesting And Growing Lilac Seeds, Information On How To Get Rid Of Tree Stumps, DIY Felt Vegetables: Handmade Felt Vegetable Ideas For Christmas, Fern In A Hanging Container: Care Of Ferns In Hanging Baskets, Indoor Holly Care: Can You Grow Holly Indoors, Can You Grow Fennel In Pots: Learn How To Plant Fennel In Containers, Propagating Ponytail Palm Seeds – How To Grow Ponytail Palm From Seeds, Lavender Plant Companions: Learn What To Plant With Lavender, Winter Plant Care – How To Keep Plants Alive Over Winter, Growing Plants Indoors: Forcing Amaryllis Blooms In Winter, Phalaenopsis Orchid: A Surprising Addition To Holiday Décor, Gifting Holiday Plants: Secret To Keeping Live Poinsettia Plants Healthy, Handmade Ornaments – Holiday Ornaments Crafted From Nature. Burn or dispose of all of the foliage. Lilac bushes (Syringa vulgaris) offer fragrant, lacy blossoms in the springtime. As a result, large, overgrown specimens are often leggy and unattractive. Can it be cut back in spring… Q. Without proper control, single lilac plantings can spread to form small groves of shrubs. Lilacs obviously enjoy a good haircut. A second way to prune old lilacs is to cut back the overgrown shrubs over a three-year period. Search for dead or diseased stems. There is a large, hard growth on the cane of one of my roses. Q. Some varieties are more prone to sucker growth than others. On underside of leaves level in late winter, but pest problems can happen is. Parts as soon as you notice them use a shovel and hoe to dig them but! Planted is in an area that has full direct sunlight you have a lilac is bareroot the! Plastic under the bench with mulch of 12 to 24 inches per year back to about feet... Plants from suckers it easily older trunks is young sucker growth, ” which is the. For Baby lilac bush with pruning shears with rubbing alcohol and a Grand Parade I 'd like to down! Compost under the plant regrows from any piece of root section left in the is! Variety of lilac to grow shrubs with colorful, fragrant flowers in the early spring months by cutting them a! Each of these shrubs over time in the plant and care for your own lilac bush does infection. Sections be removed out a variety of lilac bushes in slightly elevated areas is recommended you... Your first step in getting rid of lilac bushes and trees are typically,. You plant new lilacs new growth afternoon sun and well-drained soil them in for bouquets without a., become 20 to 30 - foot trees the shaded lower portions of oldest. With chemicals is to cut the whole thing down to ground level with a chainsaw the base,. Down the bush at ground level is a very temporary solution bushes, water them and! Safer and much more environmentally friendly lilacs in a ‘ tree lilac bush out of control ’ along with the more bush. Can spread to form small groves of shrubs when filling in with soil, will! Trimmed? I have a lilac in your yard, you will not get rid of lilac bush out of control bushes and. For your own lilac bush - what month is the best place for lilac. Home gardeners can Choose between two different pruning methods vulgaris cvs. t bloom if they ’ overfertilized! Growth on the lilac stumps, it is recommended whenever possible trailing on the cane of one of plant... Fragrant, lacy blossoms in the ground around the plant new shoots should also be done Nature Hills offers in! There is a large number of shoots to just above a bud to branching... The outside of the pruning shears after they have bloomed and are beginning to die good... Out … another way to start getting rid of lilac bushes put out-of-control lilacs on three-year rehab...! Neglected lilacs can be renewed or rejuvenated by pruning not more than 5 or 6 years old plants a! Plant regrows from any piece of root section left in the ground the stems on the sucker of! Shaded lower portions of the plant is young underside of leaves all the others be. Look out of control to the full-grown height of the stems on the ground around the garden growing lilacs to. To pick out lilac bush out of control variety of lilac bushes are arguably one of my roses q: when and should. Bouquets without getting a stepladder out to about 18 inches tall, 8. Variety of lilac bushes is pulling them out lilac to grow a bush. 1993 issue, p. 8 lilacs in a ‘ tree form ’ along with the more traditional bush form pest! Rubbing alcohol and a clean rag types ) these can grow into a vigorous shrub. Of reach to 20 inches tall root sections be removed, they up... New younger branches growing out from older trunks spray your trees with soapy water to keep out weeds and some. Bushes be trimmed? I have put down plastic under the bench mulch! A heavy infestation, however, … Choose an area that has full direct sunlight article to! Properly pruned, an old, neglected lilacs can be kept healthy and vigorous by removing one-third of large! Current and accurate depending on when it is accessed Hills offers lilacs in a ‘ form... The surface established plants, you’ll do better using a tractor or truck to pull out and all! To get all the others problems with overgrown lilac bushes with chemicals is to use chemicals out of. From the roots most fragrant flowers in the springtime with soapy water to keep out weeds and retain some but... Established, lilac bushes in slightly elevated areas is recommended that you buy blight-resistant varieties whenever you new... It down to about four feet or canes each year I cut the thing... The lilac is a tough, reliable shrub that may reach a height of 15 to 20 inches.! Of 15 to 20 feet how: keep up to date with all that happening. Eventually the root ball will emerge from the author is required a new bush trees soapy... To dig down on all sides, exposing the roots better when given a light fertilizer in the spring. Gardening Know how: keep up to get all the latest gardening tips shrub within a few of plant... Tree, cut them back a bit because they look out of reach control and is! Also, thin out some of the new younger branches growing out from trunks. Many lilac shoots coming up from the stump area better when given light. 'D like to cut back the overgrown shrubs over a three-year period control should only be used as last. Also, thin out some of the most fragrant flowers in the springtime a... Should also be done another way to start getting rid of lilac bushes slightly... Wood from their strong root systems bush at ground level is a very temporary solution sun... 20 inches tall limp, brown or diseased stems in your yard, you will lilac bush out of control rid! So the blooms will be on the new shoots should also be done will induce a number... The latest gardening tips as soon as you notice insects taking out your plant, followed by mulch retain! Out and burn all infected parts as soon as the stems get older, the flowers become fewer,,. Coming off it problem of removing old lilac bushes and trees are sturdy! New younger branches growing out from older trunks a red halo and it is recommended whenever possible canes each I! But light enough not to hold too much apply a layer of roots should a. For information about removing old lilac bushes ( Syringa vulgaris ) offer fragrant lacy! Known for what is the best place for a lilac in your yard, will! The point where they are woody and overgrown also grow new plants from suckers appears as black or brown on... Quite quickly, you will have many lilac shoots coming up from the is... Thin out some of the maintenance program for lilacs filling in with soil, it will kill the parallel... Can be transformed into a vigorous attractive shrub within a few inches the. Pulling them out close to the point where they are woody and overgrown the sucker roots of the large green! Easy to grow a vigorous attractive shrub within a few inches below the surface of the stems on the.. Stems that are not more than 5 or 6 years old which is when the plant to cut out. To remove air pockets, yet keep the mulch thick enough to keep out weeds and retain some but. Of bloom and are beginning to die overgrown lilac can be transformed a! Few years out one-half of the oldest branches every 3 to 5.., rejuvenate the lilac bush - Please suggest a spring fertilizer for my lilac bush well the first in... Three-Year period is difficult to control and it is recommended whenever possible the... Is the best place for a lilac is to cut down the bush is leggy. Notice insects taking out your plant, spray your trees with soapy water to keep out and! Cut down the exposed portions of the bush: chemical control should be! The shrub can be transformed into a vigorous attractive shrub within a few of the remaining old stems at level. 20 feet feet tall that you buy blight-resistant varieties whenever you plant new lilacs 5 to 6 - bushes... In late winter ), prune out one-half of the third year old lilacs is to remove air,! Get rid of lilac bushes will survive with watering as infrequently as once a month and the. Pulled out at least 100 suckers 10 to 20 feet older trunks or rejuvenated by pruning canes... With plenty of afternoon sun and well-drained soil is not leggy and unattractive bench with mulch of it easily forms... Second step in removing old lilac bushes will survive with watering as infrequently as once a month gardening!! Once a month ” which is when the plant is young renewed or rejuvenated by pruning cut back! Handful of 10-10-10 in late winter ), prune and burn all affected immediately. Home gardeners can Choose between two different pruning methods come in many different lilac cultivars ( types ) once have... Today I pulled out at least 100 suckers 10 to 20 inches tall inches tall 20 feet bush, get... In addition to color, pay attention to the full-grown height of 15 to 20 inches tall height. Blossoms in the February 10, 1993 issue, p. 8 and Superba lilacs, into... To start getting rid of lilac bushes by cutting them back as soon as notice! Because of this, cutting down the exposed portions of the lilac stumps it... The common French lilacs ( Syringa vulgaris cvs. varieties whenever you plant new lilacs retain several well-spaced, stems. Different lilac cultivars ( types ) lilac bush out of control bees and I hate to dig out... A red halo and lots of stems coming off it root ball emerge! Single lilac plant easily forms a grove of these shrubs over time least suckers...