6 Tips for lilac care
- Lilacs do best with at least 1” of water per week during hottest months
- Do not over-fertilize or they won’t bloom. Just feed in the spring with something like Plant-Tone.
- Lilacs love a sweet soil, so if yours are planted near pine trees or oaks, in the early spring add limestone, wood ash or similar products at a rate of 2-3 handfuls per 3 ft of height or spread of the lilac.
- Lilacs bloom on old wood, so pruning should be done in the spring as soon as the plants finish flowering. If you wait too long, you’ll remove all of the new buds for the next year.
- When pruning, remove any dead wood and also the oldest canes. You can cut those right down 5-10 inches from the ground.
- The rule of thumb is to cut out about ½ – 1/3 of the old wood each year to keep your lilac blooming year after year. You can also cut the tallest parts back to about 5-6 feet
- Lilacs are hardy and will grow in Zones 3 – 7 but don’t do well in the warmest climates
Consider planting several varieties of lilacs, selecting them by bloom time and color. By selecting various bloom times, you can enjoy 3-5 weeks of blooms and that lovely lilac scent!