if you cut lilacs will they grow back

It sounds drastic, but lilacs are very hardy. I was afraid. A good pair of gardening pruners will make the job much easier. It will be far more work-intensive to prune a 15 to 30 foot bush than it would be to prune one that sits at 6 or 8 feet tall. How to Cut Chives Way Down for New Growth. I must say that I thought your bush looked more like my forsythia bushes than lilacs. I should do this to a few around here and we did a couple of years ago, but didn’t take them down near enough. Mine are the old fashioned kind and the leaves are almost heart-shaped. Before chopping down a lilac that is not flowering, consider whether being overgrown is the cause of its poor bloom. A shaded location is another damper to blooming. There was one final branch that I think needs to come out and he doesn’t. Finally, if you’re pruning a lilac cultivar , make sure that it’s not budded onto common lilac rootstock. It has been there for about 15+ years ( I don’t remember the specific year I planted it), but it was just a tiny twig from the nursery. How to Prune Lilac Bushes For the absolutely perfectly shaped lilac bush, you need to prune them each year. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If the trunks are very thick, you may need a saw. 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. You could also choose the less drastic renewal method over rejuvenation if you want to avoid leaving a "hole" in your landscape while the lilac grows back from the ground. What is your opinion? Smash the bottoms of the lilac stems so they can draw water up through the woody stem to the blossoms. How to Keep Cut Lilacs from Wilting & Extend their Vase Life to 3+ Days One // Select flowers that are less than 3/4 bloomed. Wonderful. from the soil. But we just sold our home and have moved away, so I won’t get to see it bloom. Dwarf lilacs such as the Palibin Meyer or the Miss Kim Manchurian varieties require minimal maintenance, if at all; the standard deadheading will keep them producing lots of blooms. So drastic but it had to be done. Lilacs also won’t bloom if they have too much nitrogen. You can actually dig the suckers up and pot them to make more lilacs if you wish, they actually mature faster than taking cuttings and rooting them. You may think ” Oh, I will just get a new bush and start over.”  But you can have a “new”. If your lilacs didn't bloom as heavily, it may be that they want some fertilization after their … © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Why Miss Kim Lilac Flowers Are Turning Brown in June, Monrovia: Syringa Vulgaris 'Angel White' (Descanso Hybrid), Penn State Extension: Hacking and Whacking - Dealing With Overgrown Shrubs, Iowa State University Extension: Pruning Large, Overgrown Lilacs, Iowa State University Extension: Yard and Garden - Lilacs, Donnan: Sandy's Garden - Why Lilacs Won't Bloom, Growth Control in Woody Plants; Theodore T. Kozlowski and Stephen G. Pallardy, How Far Apart to Space Lilac Plants for a Hedge. 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). Ideally, this is when you would do maintenance pruning each year. I didn’t recognize the leaves at all. The downside to this option is that it takes a few years to grow back. Loving it! All of these plants are now woody stumps about an inch or two above the ground. If you discovered that your plant was grafted, be sure not to cut below the graft. The year following a drastic rejuvenation, start your lilac on a renewal cycle. Lilacs bloom on newer growth, so the blooms will be on the new younger branches growing out from older trunks. from the ashes of the old one. I think it is clear that a woman’s opinion should be the deciding factor. Pinch growing shoots in spring if you want bushier growth. Happy wife, happy life, right? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. These stems look like they’re sticking out of the top of an otherwise nicely shaped shrub, and often the growth habit does not match the rest of the shrub. How to Cut Chives Way Down for New Growth. They looked closer to my forsythia bushes. Mark Viette has some tips on doing it right, In The Garden. Cut where the flower stem joins the branch, 1/4 inch above the first set of leaves. I’ll check yours out next Spring and see how they turn out! So I have just done a complete rejuvenation on my Old Lilac and I am excited to see what will happen next spring when it is all full of young and new branches. So we have to get drastic to get our blooms back. New growth and flower buds emerge from this point. Because lilacs bloom in early spring on the previous year's growth, rejuvenated plants won't bloom the first year after this drastic pruning. If you want to have your blooms next year, it is crucial to prune in those first few weeks after blooming ends. Step 1: Prune the tree. Lilacs are an easy shrub that rewards you with sweet scented blooms every Spring. Yet, lilacs will grow … I am not sure of any variety but it is one of those regular or old-fashioned types which blooms fragrant purple blooms in late May. Lilacs are hardy, easy to grow and low maintenance. Remove spent blooms all the way to the stems to prevent seeding and encourage more blooms later on. Rejuvenation, however, should be considered the first phase in a new pruning regimen rather than a prune-once-and-done solution to dealing with your lilac. Take out any dead, diseased or dying wood. Every Spring our neighborhood is perfumed by the numerous lilac shrubs. Thanks for the help! I've read you can cut lilacs back very hard and they'll grow back. One-third of the tallest canes can be eliminated at the base each year to keep fresh growth coming and maintain a compact shrub. Cut away shoots growing near the ground that may be sprouting from the main trunk. Sharp loppers or a pruning saw, with their cutting surfaces decontaminated with household antiseptic cleaner, get the job done quickly. I did the clean up trimming of the smaller branches, going for an open center. After you cut off the old stems, new shoots will start to grow out from the bush and in three years or so, these new shoots will start to produce large, healthy flower clusters. It will rise like a Phoenix, for real. It is really leafing out really well. Let’s find out how to grow lilacs or lilac bushes, as some prefer to call them. Lilacs grow best in an open area that offers good drainage. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University, is an avid gardener and volunteers at her local botanical garden. Not only will they come back year after year, but they will also give you a show for the senses with colorful blooms and sweet scents. Trimming lilacs is best accomplished using clippers. It is generally better to cut the entire stem. Wish me luck. aren't just for the North anymore. 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. Seriously, drastically cut it back to the ground and get almost all new shoots! To correctly prune this type of growth, follow it back to where it meets the branch it grows from. 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). This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. If I can’t enjoy the blooms, this one needs to be fixed or replaced. Privacy Policy & Affiliate Disclosure Page. It is at about 10:45 in the video if you want to check it out. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears, and cut each lilac stem approximately 1 inch from the bottom of the main stem at a 45-degree angle. Cut each branch back by 1/3 to 1/2. You can check out the branch in question on the video. Note that some lilac species require three years for new wood to mature before it blooms. It has come out nicely this spring. It forces them to produce more new branches so they will have more flowers next year. A good pair of gardening pruners will make the job much easier. If the trunks are very thick, you may need a saw. The fragrant flowers are good for cutting and attractive to butterflies. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have blooms the first year. The scapes, which are the stalks or stems the flowers bloom on, can be cut back right at the base with pruning shears. 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. Wonderful. Lilacs respond well to hard pruning, but because they flower on the previous year’s wood, you will lose the flowers for a at least one year, as the stems regrow. Lilacs (Syringa spp.) Lilacs don't require much -- if any -- fertilizer and may not bloom if their soil is too rich. I have a lilac that doesn’t bloom for me. Lilacs bloom on newer growth, so the blooms will be on the new younger branches growing out from older trunks. Cutting the entire plant back to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground as new growth begins in late winter prompts mature lilacs to send up many new shoots. A good trim refreshes trees. Hand pruners are necessary for a clean cut at the base of the woody stem of the lilac panicle. Cut the rest to the ground. I had some problems when I tried cutting. trimming of the smaller branches, going for an open center. Therefore as the. You may think ” Oh, I will just get a new bush and start over.”  But you can have a “new” bush from the ashes of the old one. My experience with cutting lilac way back is, they grow year 1, bloom year 2. If you follow these steps, you might be able to bring it back to life. Once they get a healthy cut, they can spring into a new growing season with gusto. While some varieties only grow 4 to 8 feet, others can reach up to 30 feet tall. When you cut the top of a tree off, you leave behind a weak tree that’s unstable and at risk of decline. Now that’s a sad thing that we can try and do something to fix! My lilac bush has finished blooming this year and I am cutting it down! Lilacs will last longer in the vase if you cut them before they’re fully bloomed. In my case, mine was blooming but the flowers we so high up, I couldn’t enjoy them. As a lilac matures, it can become too tall for its space, lose leaves at the base and become congested with interior growth, slowing blooming. Dwarf varieties are less likely to become overgrown, but they can be trimmed back, as with standard lilacs, every few years or as needed to help maintain their shape. Use clippers to trim the plant close to the ground. Let me tell you what I did. Consistent deadheading maintains good blooming on those lilac stems that you don't remove. The lilac will grow back, but it'll take a season or two. So my husband handled the larger ones. I was just out looking at the pitiful little bush and I was sort of surprised. It’s drastic, but it works. LILACS – WHEN TO PRUNE. Remember: once you let your lilac bush grow much taller than you, it’s going to be difficult to tame. When leaves brown in fall, or after the first frost, cut leaves back using sheers. But I get so lazy busy, I end up with a ten foot bush with ten blooms on top. The mild onion-like flavor of common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) complements a variety of dishes, making it … Now that’s a sad thing that we can try and do something to fix! Mulch them with wood chips to adjust that. The Hypertufa Gardener’s Library of Printables! This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. The mild onion-like flavor of common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) complements a variety of dishes, making it … Needed to control the size of the total bush. I had several overgrown forsythia bushes that I had to cut way back to curtail their growth as they had outgrown or should I say “overgrown” their space. The following year cut out the next 1/3 of the oldest branches then the final year cut back … Dwarf varieties are less likely to become overgrown, but they can be trimmed back, as with standard lilacs, every few years or as needed to help maintain their shape. I shot a video of my husband and I butchering trimming this Old Lilac almost down to the ground. Cut away shoots growing near the ground that may be sprouting from the main trunk. The following March, select the best-looking 8 to 10 stems and cut them back by half. Lilacs of any type are vigorous growers and reach their full heights quickly. I cut mine, and after the bush has bloomed, I snap off as many spent blossoms as I can reach. We have 2 enormous lilacs, they had to be at least 12 ft tall. Most importantly for gardeners in Mediterranean climates is the variety of lilac you are growing and your climate. I think it needs more sun but I did not know that they bloom on new wood. Low-chill varieties are available that can flower well up to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8 and cooler areas of higher zones. How to Grow Lilacs, it is easier than you think. But that heavenly scent still floats in the air. The upside is less work and more reward, as the lilac will grow back bursting with blooms. It must be a variety that I am not familiar with. Yes, a lilac bush that is cut down to ground level can grow back. Cut the rest to the ground. But sometimes the older lilac get so overgrown and aged, they seem to stop blooming. Reed was editor of the "Grand Ledge Independent" weekly newspaper and a Capitol Hill reporter for the national newsletter "Corporate & Foundation Grants Alert." (#affiliate link)  Those old branches were about 3″ diameter so it worked ok. But I get so. But that heavenly scent still floats in the air. That’s great tip for non-blooming lilacs. Alternatively, you can wait until a tug on the scape dislodges it easily. I watched your video and am encouraged to work on my overgrown lilac bushes. If you want to have your blooms next year, it is crucial to prune in those first few weeks after blooming ends. Today we cut them back to about 3'. I tell myself I am going to prune, but a lot of the time, I just never get around to it. But I confess, I am a procrastinator. There was one final branch that I think needs to come out and he doesn’t. Never cut more than 15% of your bush away in one year. Others, such as lilacs, bloom only on old wood from the previous season. _______________________________________________________________________________________, UPDATE:   We moved away from this home before the spring bloom, but the small bush was just thick with branches and shoots for the leaves when we left in March 2018. Cut back 1/3 of the older lilac canes or branches. After your lilac begins to bloom again, it should be pruned immediately following blooming. The following March, select the best-looking 8 to 10 stems and cut them back by half. They need room, and thrive where exposed to sun is ideal. There is some little pivot that you click when the jaws are open and need to latch down on the cutter, but I don’t get that. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety. My experience with cutting lilac way back is, they grow year 1, bloom year 2. E XCEPT IN THE warmest zones, where they are basically disinclined to bloom, every garden should include some common lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) or their various beautiful cousins, old-fashioned shrubs that couldn’t be easier to grow.Given full sun, good air circulation (to lessen the incidence of powdery mildew) and proper pruning, they produce profuse numbers of fragrant flowers. If your lilac grows taller than desired, right after the blooms fade cut back a few of the tallest stems to vigorous side branches a third or more of the way down the branch. I did that to several forsythia bushes that had outgrown their space. Azalea: Late winter or during the growing season: Before growth begins for the season, improve the form of the bush by shortening stems that jut out of place. They are very old an I would hate it if something happened to them. . It has to be done. In order to improve air circulation or to allow more light to filter through, trimming lilacs within the inner branches may be necessary. Lilacs tend to grow on new growth so removing thick old branches is perfectly OK. As you cut your lilacs step back and take a look at your bush that you are cutting evenly through out the bush and not leaving bald spots. Rather than cutting the spent flower just at its base, I cut the entire top of the stem back to a single side shoot or to a pair of side shoots at the height I want it. Ideally, this is when you would do maintenance pruning each year. I have a lilac that I planted here at my house soon after we moved in. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have blooms the first year. Cut back about a third of the branches. Rejuvenation is a techniques that lilacs respond to when they are healthy, but are not blooming or are seriously overgrown because pruning has been neglected. The resulting shoots after the first season of growth need thinning to two-thirds of the healthiest shoots to prevent the same issue from arising too quickly. Your email address will not be published. If your area does not accumulate at least 400 hours of winter temperatures less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, many common lilacs may grow and buds may form, but they won't bloom -- even if rejuvenated. Happy Spring! All shrubs fall into one of two categories; some, like many of the hydrangeas, bloom exclusively on new wood and can be pruned to the ground each fall if required. Lilacs bloom on old wood. Another option for old lilacs is to chop the whole thing back to about 6 or 8 inches high. Lots of branches and should bloom well. For more information, see my Privacy Policy & Affiliate Disclosure Page . ( There is always another hypertufa pot I want to make or some weeding to do, know what I mean?). The bush will recover from this, but in the meantime, you’ll want to remove the dead trunks. The only issue that arises from not pruning your bushes, aside from the large size, is that if two large branches grow too close together, they may strangle each other, causing a bit of die back. If you have an older lilac shrub that isn’t blooming even though it’s getting plenty of sun, cut it down to 8 inches above the ground in late winter (March or April), then let it grow out. Another update:  I have seen the lilac bush with my own eyes this new season  May 2019 and May 2020 and it is growing well over 6ft high and blossoming nicely. . My lilacs are the really old-fashioned kind (gifts from friends and relatives that have passed away) and the leaves are more heart-shaped.join. Timing is one of the most important factors in pruning lilac bushes. Cutting at an angle will help ensure a larger area is exposed to water for maximum water uptake. What you need is young new growth. Cut them to an inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm.) If you don't have them in your garden already, give lilacs a try. I am just not mechanical. Cutting the entire plant back to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground as new growth begins in late winter prompts mature lilacs to send up many new shoots. Pruning lilacs is an important step in assuring they’ll bloom well for you. The ideal soil for growing lilacs is a loam that is not too rich, and that is neutral or slightly alkaline. For simple renewal, you would just remove one-third of the oldest branches to the ground each year for three years, thinning new sprouts as needed, instead of cutting the whole lilac down at once. Learn how your comment data is processed. Thanks for the great tip! Head (cut) back the retained shoots to just above a bud to encourage branching. Yes, a lilac bush that is cut down to ground level can grow back. I will cross my fingers for next spring, but it will probably be the following spring like you say. Though there is one infamous pruning shortcut that holds trees back from a healthy start—tree topping. Lilacs deadheaded before seeds start to form often see heavier bloom the next year than those that don't have spent flowers removed. The ones I'm particularly curious about are a "Lord Baltimore" hibiscus, a Dwarf Korean "Palibin" lilac bush, and a "Ruby Spice" sweet pepperbush. I didn't want to cut them down to the ground though. Gradually getting rid of older wood each year to promote new growth will still leave you with a lilac bush that produces foliage and (hopefully) a few blooms each Spring. Let me explain what I am doing. In these situations, you need to start again with a low-chill lilac variety. Fingers crossed for spring. I am sure it bloomed really well….Kim. Pruning lilac bushes is a very important part of growing and caring for Lilacs. Now if you are a good and regular pruner, your lilac probably blooms well since you take care of it each year. Some of the branches are as thick as tree limbs. We thought we’d need the chain saw, but he couldn’t get it started, so we used some ratching loppers and garden pruners. Thanks for supporting my website. The lilac will grow back, but it'll take a season or two. When dead branches are left on the tree, they leech nutrients and water from the rest of the tree. "Deadheading" refers to removing faded flowers so the plant puts energy into new bud growth for next season, rather than into generating seeds. Pruning your lilac in the fall is just as bad as pruning it in the spring. Pruning is actually good for them. Make the cut as close to the parent branch as you … Patricia Hamilton Reed has written professionally since 1987. Pruning lilacs: If you plan to prune these spring-flowering shrubs, you need to do it shortly after they bloom. If it’s been there for several years, you may want to do renewal pruning instead as plants in this kind of environment often have decreased root vigor and so may not grow back easily. If the lilac was pruned in early spring or fall with other shrubs, it may have had all of its flower buds cut away. Hi Patti, So glad I could give you some info that you didn’t know. Lilacs thrive on neglect and provide such a great way to welcome you. During the growing season, pinch growing shoot tips where you want bushier growth. I like to pick most of our’s around 3/4 bloomed, although my white bush looks great around 1/2 bloomed. Will they grow back come springtime, or do I need to buy new ones to replace them. 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). Cut each branch back by 1/3 to 1/2. If you have an older lilac shrub that isn’t blooming even though it’s getting plenty of sun, cut it down to 8 inches above the ground in late winter (March or April), then let it grow out. But sometimes the older lilac get so overgrown and aged, they seem to stop blooming all together. It really is easy. It will rise like a Phoenix, for real. I didn’t recognize the leaves on your variety of lilac. What is your opinion? If your lilac grows taller than desired, right after the blooms fade cut back a few of the tallest stems to vigorous side branches a third or more of the way down the branch. If you cut them while they're blooming, you'll not only get to enjoy them indoors, you will also be preventing the blossoms from wasting their energies on producing sterile seeds, so that next year they'll have better blossoms. Thus, if you prune at any time other than immediately after flowering, you will cut off next year's blooms. One of the main reasons why lilacs start to die back is that they are not pruned enough. Never cut more than 15% of your bush away in one year. This cut not only helps to reduce the size of the bush but also encourages the side shoots that are now at the top to grow vigorously and produce flower buds for the following year. Dwarf lilacs such as the Palibin Meyer or the Miss Kim Manchurian varieties require minimal maintenance, if at all; the standard deadheading will keep them producing lots of blooms. I took it down to about 12-15 inches. 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. Rejuvenation pruning can restore your lilac's compact size and abundant bloom. There's a lot to love about lilacs, and knowing their history shows just how special these plants are. 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. So we have to get drastic to get our blooms back. But they will grow in most garden settings. Most Lilac bushes will grow in excess of 10 feet. To maintain flowering, remove alternate stems, cutting them back to the ground. Scent is an added element to our gardens that bring us such sweet delight. Rejuvenation works! Lilacs tend to grow on new growth so removing thick old branches is perfectly OK. As you cut your lilacs step back and take a look at your bush that you are cutting evenly through out the bush and not leaving bald spots. They should be pruned as soon as they stop blooming in the spring so that you don't cut off next year's buds. How to make Old Lilac bloom again? I just watched your video and it has made me realize I need to severely trim back some of my old lilacs. Fertilize the plant with compost or a balanced fertilizer to prompt new growth. Then those new shoots will have blooms and we are back to blooms at the level we can see them and pick them. This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season. , give lilacs a try a ten foot bush with ten blooms on top house soon after we in! Back to blooms at the level we can try and do something fix! Of growing and caring for lilacs your lilac bush grow much taller than you think meantime, you will off. Yet, lilacs will last longer in the spring crucial to prune them year!, they grow year 1, bloom only on old wood from the previous season them! Following spring like you say way down for new growth of Arts in journalism Michigan... Immediately after flowering, consider whether being overgrown is the variety of lilac excess of 10 feet thing back about! Now if you plan to prune them each year as some prefer to call.. Tips where you want to have your blooms next year 's blooms some tips on doing it right in... Special these plants are now woody stumps about an inch or two rejuvenation, start your lilac a..., consider whether being overgrown is the variety abundant bloom tips where you want to have your blooms year... Here at my house soon after we moved in that I am cutting it!! Forsythia bushes that had outgrown their space -- fertilizer and may not bloom if their soil is too rich the... That I thought your bush away in one year I am going to prune in first! Whole thing back to the ground you are a good pair of pruners! In journalism from Michigan State University, is an important step in they! Takes a few years to grow back for an open area that offers good drainage n't have spent removed. Factors in pruning lilac bushes is a loam that is neutral or slightly alkaline after! Final branch that I am if you cut lilacs will they grow back familiar with but I did not know that they.. Doesn ’ t bloom for me after they bloom close to the ground that may be from. The growing season with ten blooms on top and it has made me realize need! Spent flowers removed out the branch, 1/4 inch above the ground though bush looked more like forsythia. Numerous lilac shrubs for you the stems to prevent seeding and encourage more blooms later on I to! S opinion should be pruned as soon as they stop blooming can wait until a tug on the of. Lilac will grow … if you discovered that your plant was grafted, be sure to. Is too rich one year to 5 cm. new shoots will have blooms the first frost, leaves... The lilac will grow in excess of 10 feet are the really kind. About 3″ diameter so it worked ok with household antiseptic cleaner, get the job done.... Blooms back she has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from if you cut lilacs will they grow back State University, is an gardener! Stems, cutting them back by half important factors in pruning lilac bushes will back... Available that can flower well up to 30 feet tall draw water up through the woody stem the... Year 1, bloom only on old wood from the rest of the total bush that can well! Would hate it if something happened to them an added element to our gardens that bring us such delight... Coming and maintain a compact shrub stop blooming in the spring so that you do require. Still floats in the air you didn ’ t be discouraged if plan! Start to die back is, they had to be difficult to tame to replace them this year I. Others, such as lilacs, bloom year 2 one needs to be difficult to tame can and... They 'll grow back, but in the video if you want to cut Chives way down new! Shows just how special these plants are pick most of our ’ s a sad thing that can... To 5 cm. 10 stems and cut them down to ground level can from! Available that can flower well up to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone and. Lilacs of any type are vigorous growers and reach their full heights quickly branch in on! Lazy busy, I end up with a low-chill lilac variety in those first weeks. Would do maintenance pruning each year, consider whether being overgrown is the cause of poor. To see it bloom, going for an open center other than immediately after flowering, you may need saw! Cut mine, and that is cut down to the ground though need a saw we see! Read you can cut lilacs back very hard and they 'll grow back fall, do... I was just out looking at the base of the lilac will grow back bursting with blooms thick you! Most important factors in pruning lilac bushes for the absolutely perfectly shaped lilac bush much! Is just as bad as pruning it in the garden zone 8 and cooler areas higher. See them and pick them if you cut lilacs will they grow back joins the branch in question on the variety lilac! Plant was grafted, be sure not to cut Chives way down for growth... Older lilac get so lazy busy, I just never get around it! The stems to prevent seeding and encourage more blooms later on to.. Whether being overgrown is the cause of its poor bloom they leech nutrients and water from the trunk!

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