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Lilac Bushes

Q.Can I Trim My Lilac Bushes Now Since The Leaves Have Fallen Off?

Zone Fresno, California | Pat Toombs added on November 22, 2019 | Answered

I have several lilac bushes on the north side of my house. They have not been trimmed since last year, and are about 10 -15 feet tall. They have lost all their leaves. Is it okay to trim them now, and how far down? I don’t want to trim them all the way to the ground, as I am 90 and don’t want to wait three years for a bloom. They did bloom some in the spring. They are white. Do they bloom only once a year, or all summer?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 23, 2019

You need to wait to prune till next spring AFTER they bloom. Old fashioned lilacs form buds the previous summer before they bloom (referred to as old wood). So any pruning you do now will cut off the buds and your spring show.

If you look closely at your bush, you can see the buds.

Here is an article that tells you how and when to prune:


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