Why Lilacs Don't Bloom
We all wait with eager anticipation for about 50 weeks for our Lilacs to
bloom. Then, when they fail to bloom, we are devastated. Why, why, why?
You are in very good company. Why Lilacs do not bloom, is by far, the most
frequent Lilac question we are asked each spring.
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 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 through your local Cooperative Extension Service.
Improper mix of fertilizers applied. Flowering plants and vegetables need
a healthy amount of Phosphorous. Too much nitrogen in the soil, 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 will miss a year. They 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 once a week.
If your lilacs won't bloom, try to determine which of the problems above
is the most likely culprit. It may be a combination of a couple of these
reasons. Then, correct the problem. Next, year, you should be rewarded!
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