Why Lilacs Don't Bloom

White Lilacs

Why Lilacs Don't Bloom is a Common Question

Lilacs bloom in the spring, just once a year. Certainly, growers are well aware of this fact. Why Lilacs Don’t Bloom? It’s a common question that homeowners ask when faced with a lack of blooms. After all, wait in eager anticipation for about 50 weeks for our Lilacs to bloom. Then, when they fail to bloom, we are devastated. Why, why, why?

Without a doubt, you are in very good company. Why Lilacs don’t bloom, is by far, the most frequent Lilac question we are asked each spring.

Common Reasons Why Lilacs Don't Bloom

Here are the most common reasons why Lilacs won’t bloom:

  • The buds were inadvertently pruned off last year. The new buds form shortly after the flowers die back. See Pruning Lilacs.

  • The lilac bush is immature. Most lilac varieties need three, and sometimes four or more years to grow and develop before they produce their first blooms.

  • Soil imbalance. This is caused by a pH imbalance, either too high or too low. We recommend a soil test. See Soil testers.

  • An improper mix of fertilizers was applied. Flowering plants and vegetables need a healthy amount of Phosphorous. Too much nitrogen in the soil results in lush, green bushes, but hinders blooming.

  • Insufficient amount of sunlight. Lilac bushes prefer full sun. Without enough sunlight, the plant will not bloom.

  • Transplant shock. If you transplanted your Lilac bush since the last blooming period, they sometimes would miss a year. In essence, the plants need time to recover.

  • Dry summer weather can keep buds from properly forming on the bush. If you are experiencing a summer drought, water the bush deeply once a week.

  • Extremely warm winters. Cold winter weather helps to promote blooms. Extremely warm winters, or warm winter regions, can negatively affect the quality and quantity of flowers in the upcoming season.  

If your lilacs won’t bloom, try to determine which of the problems above is the most likely culprit. Ultimately, it may be a combination of a couple of these reasons. Then, correct the problem. Next, year, you should be rewarded!

How To Grow Lilac Flowers Information

How to Grow – Learn how to grow beautiful, fragrant plants.
Lilac Festival – These Spring festivals are very popular. 
Lilac Sunday – Without a doubt, it’s a holiday worth celebrating.
Flowers – About these beautiful blooms.
Lilac Pictures – See our lilac photo gallery.
Lilac Trivia – Cute and informant trivia.
Planting and Transplanting – how and when to move bushes.
Propagation – How to make new plants.
Pruning Lilacs – Most importantly, there’s a right way and a wrong way.
Pests and Disease – Prevent plant problems.
Varieties – In fact, there are over 1000 varieties.
California Lilac – It’s a tree.
Why no Blooms? – Identify and correct blooming problems.
Lilac Poem – By Walt Whitman.
Buy Lilac Bushes – Add beauty to your yard.

More How to Grow Lilacs Resources

Growing Lilacs – from Garden Hobbies

Buy Lilac Bushes select from popular Lilac varieties

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