Lilac Bushes
Q.

Old French Lilac

Zone 24015 | Catherine Slone added on April 22, 2017 | Answered

I have an old dark purple French lilac that only has 2 to 3 blooms a year. I am planning to prune a little after blooms this spring and then fertilize in Feb. of '18. Bone meal will be a component. Does that sound right? This bush was my mother's. Her aunt gave it to her in the '50s.

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Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 26, 2017

Old lilacs will often not bloom or have very few blooms. Yes, adding bone meal and pruning to encourage new wood to grow is a good plan. You can follow one of the two pruning plans described in this article:

https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/1993/2-10-1993/lilac.html

The plan should cause flowering to improve over the next 3-5 years.

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