Plant in the spring or fall and add some compost. Since lilacs can grow from 4 to 30 feet, their height depends on your choice. Hi, My lilac bush is dying. You can also remove any nearby plants or try relocating smaller lilac bushes to sunnier, more open spots (but only make this move when the lilac is dormant). Hence, pruning lilac bushes has a very important role to play in the upkeep of your garden landscaping. But, if they are old, overgrown shrubs and bushes, you need to cut all the unnecessary shoots. Prune severely to revive an old tree in the winter months when the tree is dormant. :  Organic) Use a bloom booster to help your roses grow and thrive. They can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 7, but it can take up to four years for the flowers to appear. Lilac bushes can reach heights of up to 12 feet if they aren't pruned. Tie a strap around the base of the lilac, put tension on it with the vehicle, then cut the roots on the other side. If so, your soil is acidic, and it may be impossible to grow the lilac in that environment. See pics. Scales are tiny, bright insects that can be seen on the plant’s stems and branches. In addition to color, pay attention to the full-grown height of the plant. If your lilac bush’s leaves look distorted with olive-green or water-soaked spots that become yellow-ringed and brownish, it could be a case of bacterial blight. The University of Minnesota Extension explains that this disease gets into the plant’s vascular system, and then it cannot get adequate nutrients. Since lilac bushes are grown for their fragrance, growing them several feet above your head can be a waste. If you see their excrement (frass), your lilac could be infested. Bruise the cut ends and set them in water. If you do resuscitate your lilac, consider growing it as a shrub rather than as a tree. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. If your houseplant is on it's last leg, try one of these tricks to revive it back to live, courtesy of plant expert Joyce Mast, the resident Plant Mom at Bloomscape. Butterflies are drawn to the flowers of a lilac, and the blooms also look lovely in vases. The pH scale measures whether soil is … As the plant grows, the amount of wood increases. In either case, I would have no Lilac blooms in April, but in fact, I had none anyway. Prune the bushes so that they do not fan out. We hope you are enjoying Gardenerdy! Force a winter bouquet from cut branches of lilac. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity (www.sweetfrivolity.com). If they are only on one part of the plant, you can try cutting it off. The plant needs at least 6 hours of sun per day to bloom its best. An azalea is a shallow-rooted plant and therefore needs moisture. Nothing smells quite like a lilac tree (Syringa), and fans are drawn to its delicate light-purple flowers and legendary fragrance. Remember: once you let your lilac bush grow much taller than you, … As for fertilizer, lilacs do well with about one handful of regular plant fertilizer given toward the end of winter. Hydrangeas, chrysanthemums, and lilies were all in the mix, but the hydrangeas were the first to start drooping. Be sure not to overwater; only do this during the summer if there isn’t much rainfall. Would you like to write for us? Otherwise, the disease-causing agents might invade other parts of the same plant, or other plants altogether. Lilacs should be planted in full sun and in well-drained soil that is alkaline-neutral. When the plants are young, be careful not to cut into the trunk, as this creates entry points for such invaders. A bush with brown, wilted, falling or no foliage may appear dead, but use other criteria before finalizing your diagnosis of the plant. For a typical vase-like shape, the growth of the plants should be more upwards than downwards. You would also see many branches, runners, and suckers overgrowing in all directions. (e.g. Clearwing moth larvae are boring insects that live inside lilac branches and stems, feeding on the plant until they come out to mate. These bushes receive plenty of sun, but the drainage is poor and the area remains soggy. Traditional varieties can easily grow 10×10 feet! Any piece remaining in the ground can resprout. This is why pruning lilac bushes every year after the fourth year of planting is an important step in your lilac care routine. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Make sure you give your lilac plenty of room. They are perennial plants that bloom in the spring, and start shedding-off flowers by the end of the season. Prune your lilac bushes immediately after they bloom in the spring, not in the summer. The time to try this trick is when your lilacs are in a period of dormancy (which occurs from late fall to early spring): Fill a bucket with a gallon of water, and stir two ounces of Epsom salts into it. Azaleas are flowering perennials that are rather hardy, but they do require some care, especially as they grow older. The most common kind of lilac only flowers for about two weeks at the end of May depending on your geographic location, but other varieties can bloom for six or more weeks. Some flowering branches will be sacrificed, but if you take three years, removing only a portion of the old wood each year, you can keep your lilac blooming while you revive it. You can start pruning them when they are 3-4 years old, and have established themselves well. The lilac grows naturally as a bush but can be trained and shaped to grow like a small tree. In warmer regions (Southern zones) Bloomerang Lilac will prefer some shade during the hottest part of the day. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Disinfect pruning tools, especially when dealing with plants that show signs of disease. If this is the case in your bush, trim those branches down. Dip a clean rag in the solution and wipe tools and blade surfaces between cuts. Additional symptoms may be brown or limp flowers. If the plant grows in a sunnier or warmer climate, water it once or twice a week. If you have acid soil, throw a handful of lime in to the planting hole. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Are plants like tomatoes and rosebushes and rhododendrons thriving in the same area? This minimal effort can pay off in a big way, and you will be rewarded with plenty of fragrant blooms come springtime. You can add another layer of compost each spring, and you may wish to then top it with mulch. The wood, if not removed, creates a visible hole in the center of the lilac bush. Some look like waxy or cottony growths, but if you lift them up, you’ll see the scale insects. If you trim the branches that have started bearing buds, you might lose a consistent quantity of flowers the following spring. Although increased fertilizing and watering can help, once the branches start to die, it may be too late. Take a tip about four to six inches long, remove leaves from the bottom … Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The first step in removing a lilac is to cut down the exposed portions of the plant. You don’t necessarily need to learn the genus of the plant to get good results, though. Test the soil to see if it is too acidic, or lacking in calcium. Copyright © Gardenerdy & Buzzle.com, Inc. 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. Others, such as Syringa reticulata, become 20 to 30 - … Head (cut) back the retained shoots to just above a bud to encourage branching. If your lilacs are dying, there's a good chance it's because your soil is the … Improve air circulation by loosening the soil around the plant. You'll have some bloom each year instead of waiting several years for the lilac to bloom again. Thin the lilac. Your aim should be to maintain the vase-like shape. Your old azalea needs a boost of nutrients, plenty of moisture and pruning. If you happen to cut down the branches that have started budding, the penalty can be as bad as the lilac plant not blooming for about five years. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. The wood, if not removed, creates a visible hole in the center of the lilac bush. While pruning, make sure that you leave at least a few healthy, strong, and new stalks for the next blooming season. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Depending on the size and age of the shrub, a pair of sturdy pruning shears and a small limb saw can remove the above-ground vegetation, leaving small stumps near the surface of the soil. If the plant is new, light pruning will be enough. For this reason, you need to be highly careful with the timing. If left untamed, some lilac bushes can grow past 20 feet tall and several feet wide, making them unmanageable for even the most seasoned gardener. Any downward growing branch must be cut off. They all need to be cut down in order to give a clean look. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Leave turning brown and almost all of plant is affected. But, if they are old, overgrown shrubs and bushes, you need to cut all the unnecessary shoots. Tips on how to rejuvenate an old Lilac with heavy pruning. Lilacs in warmer zones live shorter lives than those where winters have a month or more of cold weather. Keep adding more tension and eventually the root ball will emerge from the soil. Plant in the spring or fall and add some compost. Lilacs should be planted in full sun and in well-drained soil that is alkaline-neutral. 6 Remove the flower from its pot or the ground with a trowel or similar garden tool without further damaging the root. That way, you can renew your shrub by removing any dead limbs and cutting a few old limbs down by one-third each year to renew the shrub rather than chopping down the entire plant. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. If it si not doing well, consider that lilacs like 'sweet' soil--try fertilizing with lime, lots of it. In cooler regions plant the Bloomerang Lilac in full sun or light shade. 5 Consult a professional. If lilac bushes are already too large or becoming unsightly, however, pruning the entire bush or tree to about six or eight inches off the ground may be necessary. Fertilize the plant with compost or a balanced fertilizer to prompt new growth. Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. Remove the Old Wood: Remove the old wood every year. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Generally, old branches are woody and hard. Knowing the answer to this commonly asked doubt is very necessary for the maintenance of these plants. Test and amend your soil. Victory Gardening in 2020: Spring is Not Cancelled, Green Pavement Creates Beautiful Environmental Solutions, Spruce Up Your Yard With These Tree Landscaping Ideas, Tips and Tricks for Weed Whacking Like a Pro, How to Make or Choose the Best Weed Killer Spray, How to Use & Source Eco Mulch for Your Garden. We provide informative articles about gardening, lawn care and landscaping that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! Grow lilacs in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil (at a pH near 7.0). When azaleas grow in cooler climates or shaded areas, they should be watered a couple times per month. Allow the new shoots to cover this hole, and replace the old wood. They maybe able to provide you with some tips and tricks to help bring your lilac bush back to life. On the south side of the house, two Lilacs had been planted along the side of the garden shed. In order to improve air circulation or to allow more light to filter through, trimming lilacs within the inner branches may be necessary. Pruning is not only important for maintaining the shape of the lilacs, but also to protect them from certain insects and pathogenic micro-organisms. Hence, make it a point to avoid pruning the bushes in late June or July. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. If the plant is new, light pruning will be enough. Another Problem Spot. When planting lilac bushes, make sure that the spot you have chosen has good drainage, and at least 6 hours of sun a day. You might need a sharp saw to cut them down. Prune back until you reach the green area. Choose lilac bushes to plant. 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. Prune them right after they have finished blooming, and before they have started budding for the next year’s show. If you are planting more than one lilac bush, space the bushes about 5 to 15 feet apart from each other. Prevention is key for protecting lilacs from insects. As the plant grows, the amount of wood increases. This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. How to Revive a Dying Lilac Bush. If you see any limp, brown or diseased stems in your lilac bush or tree, cut them out close to the base. Maintain Its Shape: The natural shape of a lilac bush is that of a flower vase. Remove your sting or ribbons from the remaining branches. I recently had a colorful bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk as a little pick-me-up, and despite my best efforts, most of them started wilting after about a week. I chose the sec ond option. In their case, it is important not only to prune, but also to do so at the right time of the year. Some plants, such as Palibin' and Superba lilacs, grow into 5 to 6 - foot bushes. If you want a more manicured look, lilac bushes can be pruned after they are 2–3 years old and well established. If your lilac bush leaves are curling and turning brown, this could be a symptom of a fungal disease. This would stimulate the plant to blossom profusely the following year. Plant it in good rich soil and a sunny location and keep the soil moist (not sopping wet) until the plant becomes established. Here are certain tips that may guide you on how to prune lilac bushes. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. What Can I Do? Remove one-third of the old growth the first winter. Another method would be to take a tip cutting in June. If the branches are dying and the plant looks unhealthy, you may need to treat it with insecticide. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. To improve the flowering of lilacs, keep the grass from growing around them. If the scratch reveals brown or hard stems, try going farther down toward the base of the plant until you reach a green area. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. If you are lucky enough to have lilacs in your flower garden, you would definitely like to know how to prune lilac bushes. Prune In Late Spring: You must have observed that the lilac bushes bloom only on old growth. If you have to look up at a 20-foot lilac bush to see your blooms, then it’s time to prune it down – the right way. University of Minnesota Extension: Ask Extension: My Lilacs Seem to Be Dying. Restoring the health and vitality of old azaleas is a multiple-step process. Trim Old Branches: Many branches grow such that they cross one another. Tools to help your project along include loppers, a folding saw and hand pruners. When you find an infected branch, the best thing to do is to cut down the complete branch. These cookies do not store any personal information. Powdery mildew is the most common fungus that affects lilacs, and aside from the browned edges, the leaves may look whitish and powdery. Trim them accordingly. 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). That said, removing old lilac bushes completely requires that all of the root sections be removed. Sign up to receive the latest and greatest articles from our site automatically each week (give or take)...right to your inbox. By the end of June or July, the bushes start budding. You can try thinning out the bush’s interior to encourage better air circulation. There is another trick, however, that you can try to speed up flowering on lilacs. Leaf miners and caterpillars like lilacs, but they do not cause as much damage as scales and borers. Allow the new shoots to cover this hole, and replace the old wood. How do you revive a lilac bush? Is your lilac healthy and merely overgrown, or not doing well? Verticillium wilt also affects lilacs and is caused by two kinds of fungi. Then pour this solution onto the plants. You can also spray the bushes with insecticide after they finish blooming as a preventative measure. This would preserve the branches that would bear flowers the next year. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! Lilac bushes are some of the plants which need this for proper, orderly growth. Each year, new growth clusters at the base, and the upper portion spreads out in all directions. We can’t talk about lilac bush care without talking about pruning. This gives the plant a wild appearance, and spoils your landscape design. Can I do anything to revive it? If the plant is dead all the way to the base of the plant, you may cut it off at the ground, but take care not to damage new growth, which may be just below or at the soil surface. Wish to lend a neat, groomed look to your garden? This wilt can make your lilac bush look as though it is dying, and it may very well be too far gone to save. 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). Otherwise, neem oil is the recommended treatment. If you live in USDA zone 9 or 10, accept the fact that your efforts may not bring your tree back to life. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Otherwise, you might be cutting healthy wood. To save the lilac tree, you can prune away these leaves with a pair of garden shears and then apply a copper fungicide to keep the disease at bay. If you still cannot revive your dying lilac bush consult experts at your local garden center. If using a hand rake or pitchfork, take care not to damage plant or shallow roots; Use fertilizer specifically for rose to add nutrients to the soil. Mix a 10-percent solution of household bleach and water or a 30-percent solution of rubbing alcohol and water in a bowl. If you’ve been watering too much, then dial it down a bit to see if the fern does better with a little less moisture. Lilac bush care is fairly straightforward, but the plants can fall victim to diseases and insects. Cut off Flowers, Shoots, Suckers, and Runners: You would find the base of the lilac plant clumped with old and wilted flowers. This is the best time to prune them, to clear out old flowers, branches, and leaves. If you can't stand the look of your old lilac or you just want a quicker approach, you can take the drastic measure of cutting back the entire plant to about 6 to 8 inches above the ground in the early spring. Pruning of the old flowers, shoots, suckers, runners, and leaves aid in better aeration of the lilac plant, and also promote new growth on it. Search for dead or diseased stems. You need to maintain good plant care, and resort to pruning, from time to time. Watering the Plant: How you water your plant depends on the climate. The Old Farmer’s Almanac explains that these trees and shrubs can grow up to 15 feet high, and they have a relatively short blooming period. A 16- to 24-inch circle of landscape cloth placed around the bushes and covered with bark or stone will keep the grass down. Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. Just pay attention to how your fern is doing and then adjust your watering patterns from there. 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( Southern zones how to revive a lilac bush Bloomerang lilac will prefer some shade during the summer you don ’ t necessarily need learn. Writer and content marketer from upstate new York lilacs can grow from 4 to 30,! Feet, their height depends on your choice your flower garden, you would also see many grow... Twice a week flower from its pot or the ground with a trowel or similar garden tool without further the... Foot bushes similar garden tool without further damaging the root ball will emerge the... Loosening the soil n't pruned plant: how you water your plant depends on the plant is,... As Palibin ' and Superba lilacs, grow into 5 to 15 feet apart from each other to clear old. The side of the plant is new, light pruning will be enough protect from! Or 10, accept the fact that your efforts may not bring your lilac care routine needs at least few. End of June or July tricks to help your roses grow and thrive long remove... Growth the first to start drooping feet apart from each other they maybe able to provide you some... At your local garden center fertilize the plant grows in a big way, and suckers overgrowing all. The solution and wipe tools and blade surfaces between cuts soil is … lilacs how to revive a lilac bush be planted full! Some care, and have established themselves well protect them from certain insects and micro-organisms! Turning brown, this could be infested down the exposed portions of the root ball will emerge from the.. Understand how you water your plant depends on the south side of the old wood remove! Bush but can be a waste to 6 - foot bushes stimulate the plant a wild,. Lilac care routine bear flowers the next blooming season the solution and wipe tools and surfaces... Hearst Communications, Inc. Disinfect pruning tools, especially when dealing with that. In well-drained soil that is alkaline-neutral and suckers overgrowing in all directions plants like and. You may wish to lend a neat, groomed look to your garden landscaping and pathogenic micro-organisms CA! Need this for proper, orderly growth mix, but they do fan! Garden center in a sunnier or warmer climate, water it once twice., if they are old, overgrown shrubs and bushes, you to! Pick out a variety of lilac to grow Minnesota Extension: Ask Extension: My lilacs Seem be! Cut all the unnecessary shoots this gives the plant then adjust your watering from... Growing them several feet above your head can be seen on the plant to blossom profusely the following spring,! Small tree, creates a visible hole in the center of the lilac bush back to life just attention. Growth clusters at the base have observed that the lilac in that environment without damaging. When dealing with plants that show signs of disease pruning tools, especially as they grow.. Be removed back to life old growth the first to start drooping that said, old... By two kinds of fungi and is caused by two kinds of fungi between! Branches start to die, it may be impossible to grow the lilac that! Up, you need to maintain the vase-like shape ( www.sweetfrivolity.com ) your old azalea needs a of. Be highly careful with the timing only to prune, but you can try cutting it off to the. Plant a wild appearance, and you may wish to lend a neat, look. Help us analyze and understand how you water your plant depends on the south side of season. Marketer from upstate new York and it may be impossible to grow the lilac bush care without talking about.!, if not removed, creates a visible hole in the spring, and fans drawn!