It usually takes at least three years before you get blooms on your lilacs.
Most people buy lilac bushes from garden supply stores or catalogs. (Yes,
they can be bought on the Internet and shipped.) Most of us buy common varieties
of Lilacs as small bushes that are already 2 to 3 feet tall. Two to three
years later, you will see your first bloom of lilacs.
Another popular way to grow new bushes, is to take small runner shoots
from an existing plant. Select shoots which are one to two feet tall. Look
for good root systems. Dig deeply to extract as much of the root as possible.
The main root will be attached to the mother plant. Use clippers to cut it
from the main bush. Plant the new lilac shoot in the sunny location you have
selected. Add compost to the soil before planting. Plant three to five shoots
in each area. Water thoroughly. Like all transplants, the survival rate is
higher, if transplanted in cooler, spring weather. Keep the soil around your
transplant moist, but not water-logged. Lilac plants do not like wet soil.
You can also grow Lilacs from seed, although homeowners rarely start the
from seed. At the end of the season, you can harvest the seed from the dead
flowers after they have dried, before they fall out of the seed pods onto
the ground. Growing from seed takes time and patience. Most gardeners don't
want to wait four to five years to see the first lilac blossoms.
Nowadays, growing Lilacs from seed is a task left to horticulturalists and
garden supply stores. If you are really into creating a unique variety, you
can pollinate blooms by hand, protect them from cross-pollination, and carefully
harvest the seed. After generations of plants and many, many years, you could
create a new variety to add to over 1,000 that already exist.
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