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Lilac bushes not blooming

Karen Asked

I have 2 lilac bushes (purple) that are supposed to bloom in Spring/Summer, its been 6 years, NOTHING. I am getting ready to have them pulled out, they are big bushes. Thank you.

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Karen: Other than the lack of blooms, do your lilacs look healthy? Depending on the species/cultivar that you are growing, some are more disease resistant than others. Lilacs can be susceptible to several different insect and disease issues especially if they are not happy with their growing conditions. Lilacs (Syringa) prefer to grow in fertile, well-drained soil with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Good air circulation is important for Lilacs.  Have they ever bloomed? If not, it could be due to insufficient nutrients and/or available sunlight. Flower buds can also be damaged by spring frosts or early spring pruning which can remove potential flowers. If necessary, Lilacs should be pruned shortly after they have finished blooming or anytime you notice a dead, diseased, or crossing branch. Older Lilacs may also benefit from having one-third of their oldest branches pruned back to the ground. This will help rejuvenate the plant and encourage new growth. You can contact the Pulaski County Cooperative Extension Offices at (606)679-6361for instructions on having your soil tested. The results will give recommendations for improving nutrient levels if necessary. I hope this is helpful.

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