How to root lilacs?

chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)May 13, 2005

Are lilacs easy to root?

How would I root them if I got a cutting?

What's the minimum size cutting I should get? Is 12" enough?


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georgez5il(z5 IL)

Take a cutting of firm new growth. applu 0.3 to 0.8% IBA (Rooting hormone) stick in well drained soil. Takes 30-90 days to root.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 6:39PM
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LAA668984(z4/5 ny)

I have so many suckers on my lilacs, can I just pot them up? Will they grow into plants? I think this would be easier than rooting cuttings.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 10:56PM
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I think as long as the suckers have good roots they will flurish. Maybe not flower right away though. As for rooting--I have heard from other gardeners that Lilac is really easy to root. Some have said cuttings have rooted in a vase of water after probably quite some time. Others have said that they stuck cuttings in the ground, covered them with a upside down jar and let them be---and they rooted. Rooting hormone always helps. You can get this (like Schultz-Take Root) at home depot or any garden center. 12" cuttings is good size. Or pencil length (6-8"). GOOD LUCK!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 8:05PM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

I get replies to this thread via email, so your reply (in my email) said 12 foot cuttings(!), and 6-8 foot pencil length. I was going to say something witty but now I know it was just my email dropping a quote mark somewhere.

OTOH, isn't rooting hormone kind of expensive? Like $9 for a little bottle?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 8:18AM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

The page below seems to imply that salicylic acid (from willows, and in aspirin) can be used as a rooting hormone. Any comments? Has anyone tried this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Make your own rooting hormone

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 8:29AM
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FlytrpL8E(z8b CA)

"Willow water" as it is called is well know among organic and herbal gardeners as a rooting stimulant.Takes about 3 weeks from the time you put the willow stem inot water until it is ready to use

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 12:24AM
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ImaHockeyMom(SW Mich--Zone 5)

Chuck, I think I paid about $3-$4 for a bottle of rooting hormone powder at Wally World last week. A lot cheaper than buying a bunch of their dried out, almost-dead lilacs they had to offer!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 5:09PM
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ItsAWeed(z4 NY)

I'm going to ask a stupid question (LOL) where do you put the rooting hormone? I have some, bought it at Wally World for about $4.

Today I happened upon a gentleman trimming his lilac bushes (white AND purple WOO HOO) and I asked him if I could have the scraps he was throwing in a pile... I pulled out two cuttings, one white, one purple, both look great, have the blooms still on them and they look wonderful, and the branches (about 12" long, both of them)

I just clipped off a branch of each about 12" long, but where do I put the rooting hormone? At the end of the place where I cut? On each little "fork" in the branch? Thanks!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 1:02PM
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Eclectic_Garden_Lady(4 - 5 IN)

I read this earlier today, and then did some searching online. I've seen that aspirin is not hte same kind of acid that is in willow, perhaps it's altered, that unadulterated honey works as a rooting aid, and then even saw an experiment where someone used icing, like for cakes and pastries, as a rooting aid. I just stuck the cuttings in the ground and am hoping for the best. I used parts where it had older growth and green groth both, and laid that in a groove in the ground, and covered it up, watering it as I do the rest of my garden. I'll post back to let you know at the end of the summer how it went. If it doesn't work, I am going to go get some rooting hormone, as I really want a lilac bush in my yard, and it's worth it, as bad as I want one. I just wish I already had one and it was already huge. :)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 11:08AM
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I'm really glad to see this old post, and read that it's easy to get new root growth on a Lilac cutting. I just brought home a cutting, have it in water now, and happen to have Shultz Take Root already. Yay! lol =)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 12:22PM
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Brandy, Rooting hormone goes at the end of the piece where you cut.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 11:08PM
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I know no one has posted since May but I have a question in my grandmas yard she has a lilac and it was taken from runners from my great grandmas Lilac. We want to start spreading parts of the bush to other homes of our relatives here in new mexico. What time of year is the best time to take trimmings and runners from the parent plant. My uncle had to do some work on her fence and pulled part of it out with a shovel and there is some root I planted it in a pot and have it inside because it is to cold outside and I don't believe it will survive the winter. Will it survive inside and what kind of care do I give it.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 7:07AM
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Last year I was able to root a lilac branch in a bucket of water but once planted in the ground, it didn't take off despite doing well in the bucket of water Any suggestions of what could have helped? I also bought an unusual lilac bush from a catalog company which is like a blueish purple & it was called President Lincoln. However I was impressed in the way it took off in height but failed to bloom now 8 years later. I was told to put bone meal in the soil & did that as well & nothing. I have a white, purple & this blue one I just mentioned in lilac bushes as they're my favorite flower but very seldom get blooms. The last 2 years I didn't get any. Anyone have any suggestions to any of my failures of blooming lilacs & the root i planted not taking in the ground would be greatly appreciated, thanks! PS I live in the middle part of NJ in case the zone area is needed. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 11:44AM
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madrone(VancIsl BC)

Rocky, lilacs often fail to bloom because they are not getting enough sunlight to set flower buds for the next year. Also, people often prune their bushes too late in the year and end up cutting off next year's flower buds. Prune them after they have finished blooming. If yours are in full sun and not blooming, an application of sulfate of potash applied late June should get you some flowers next year. (Tip from Brian Minter, of Minter's Garden).

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:47AM
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It's best to make the cut at a bud and apply the hormone there. You can also use a layering method, where you make a small V notch cut at the bottom of a bud (use a sharp blade, as you want a very clean cut), apply the hormone to that cut, and bury this portion in the soil. Weight it if necessary to keep the branch in the soil. The benefit to this is that the branch is still part of the bush and receives energy while rooting itself into a new plant. You need to choose a newer growth branch that will bend to below ground level. Once the new plant has formed roots, you can then cut it from the main bush. This normally takes a growing season.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 7:46PM
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