Best time to prune a lilac bush

GGardens(8)May 10, 2013

My lilac bush has blossoms only on the very top (12 ft) branches. I uderstand that I can prune it back to develop blossums on the lower branches. When I should I do this?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Right after it blooms. Google 'rejuventaion pruning' - lilacs are considered caning shrubs and you can remove 1/3 of the oldest growth at the base. This will encourage the development of vigorous new growth. You can do this over a period of 3 years to achieve a smaller and fully rejuvenated shrub.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

just wondering if any of the "cultivar" lilacs are grafted.
So would any of the new "canes" be considered suckers and not true to the cultivar?
If so, how far back would the original canes be safe to cut back?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Cut them back to the ground. They are not grafted.

"topping" or shearing like a hedge will not keep a lilac smaller than it's natural size.

If you want a smaller one, plant 'Miss Kim' she is 6' after ten years, much smaller than 12'.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
laurell(8 - Washington)

I can attest to the miss kim(syringa pubescens), although I honestly find it a little less satisfying than my syringa vulgaris(es?).

I do like the small size, but the blooms are also not as colorful, think an icy pinky purple, and much smaller than the vulgaris blooms. Additionally, it blooms later than the standards. All of my vulgaris are in full bloom now and have been for a couple weeks. The pubescens has visible flower buds, but it appears as though it'll be a few weeks before anything happens with them. And IIRC, they're not quite as fragrant.

But they stay small, in fact basically look like a shrunk down vulgaris... smaller leaves, smaller flowers, smaller stature.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:32AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pot Filler
What do you use for the bottom half of a large pot...
Compost Bin Advice
After researching the costs of materials and help to...
overgrown everything! eek!
I just moved into a place that has not been taken care...
2nd annual 'Shovel Prune' plant swap (Portland area)
Just wanted remind people to start thinking about,...
Aspirin and fig rust
Recently, I visited my brother in Thailand and he has...
Sponsored Products
Bush Barton Bing Cherry Computer Workstation Desk
Jardins du Seda France Wild Lotus Boxed Candle
$39.50 | FRONTGATE
Kenwood Satin Nickel Green One-Light LED Mini Pendant
$217.80 | Bellacor
$7.90 | Horchow
Lilac Bold Stripe Ovo Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Denby Daisy Serving Bowl - Medium - MDA-110
$37.99 | Hayneedle
VIG Furniture - Lilac Black Top Grain Leather Sectional Sofa Set -...
Great Furniture Deal
Smart Solar Path & Landscape Lights Apollo 3-Light Antique Brown SpotLights
$52.98 | Home Depot
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™