And in the living room. But you can also learn how to keep lilacs from wilting when cut. Most flowering shrubs need regular pruning to keep them vibrant, and the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is no exception. Make sure your plastic pot or pail is at least 10-in. She is the author of "The Lazy Gardener" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Flower Gardening" and has a Bachelor of Science in botany. Grow lilac bushes in full sun. If your lilac is well established, its roots likely go deeper than this, but it can help. Basically, here is what I know. You’ll also need a full-sun location if you want the best blooms. From spacing the plants to create an aesthetic balance, to maintaining the productivity, pruning lilacs has numerous benefits. You should prune these shoots back to the ground or dig them up to transplant them elsewhere if you don't want new plant growth. They do not do well in full shade. So the more leaves you ‘leave’ on (hahah- I had to do it!) Spread some compost around the base in late Winter/early Spring and you can add some after they have bloomed or later in summer. Another option is to ‘steam’ the stems after cutting. They smell just as incredible and I do clip them and enjoy them in pots. The roots of lilacs form lateral shoots that spread parallel with the surface of the soil, sending up new suckers that can grow into mature shrubs. Lilacs do best in a site with excellent drainage and plenty of afternoon sun. "Its wide spreading branches make it a great option for cut flowers, and it's more resistant to powdery mildew than other varieties," she adds. Keep in a cool place for at least two months to simulate winter dormancy. Your email address will not be published. Plastic sheeting breaks down over time and may need to be replaced. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety. Crowding lilacs will only make them grow tall and flower at the top of the plant. Where To Plant. Lilacs thrive in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil (at a pH near 7.0). A good way to keep the canes from getting tall and leggy is to cut the oldest ones down to within 18-20 inches of the ground in late spring right after they bloom. Once they are established lilac plants can grow for hundreds of years. If planting more than one lilac bush, space them at least 5 feet apart to prevent overcrowding, even if you plan to use them as hedges for privacy. Q: How to stop lilac bushes from spreading? Cut long stems from the bush, using sharp scissors. Deep infrequent watering is the goal here. I arranged them immediately and they perked back up in about 3 hours and look real good this morning. When to Prune Lilac Bushes . Lilacs need their roots to spread in order to thrive so as large of a container that can be used is great, ensure that the containers have drain holes for water to drain because these garden beauties don’t like wet feet. With root pruning or underground barriers, make the circle at least 2-3 feet wide, and ideally as wide as the shrub’s drip line. Cut the stems with sharp, clean pruning shears, then immediately plunge the cut stems into a bucket of water. Problem: Invasive plants. Burn or dispose of all of the foliage. How to Keep Lilacs Blooming. When you are trying to figure out where to plant your lilacs, make sure to keep in mind lilac sun requirements as well as their soil requirements. I suspect too that the scent (and color too) changes with the weather, the soil, the time of day, and so on. Warm days dehydrate flowers. If you like a tall bush, let it grow tall, If you prefer a wide bush, encourage shoots that have spread out from the main bush. Lilac plants do not like wet soil. Or that they bring a burst of sunshine into a room- and they fill garden paths with their gorgeous shades of purple in spring signaling that summer is just around the corner. (we have snow on the ground in late winter/early spring so nothing is added to them at that time in our neighborhood) 2. Keep in mind that your lilac bush may grow from 5 to 15 feet tall — so be sure you have the space! If you over feed them you will get lots of green growth but no sweet smelling flowers! Lilacs can get scale on their leaves and bark. I just cut some yesterday (love lilacs!) Photo by Andy Lyons | Credit: Andy Lyons. The Most Important Highlights. I’m thankful to have both a purple and a white bush in our yard. This will enable them to absorb water while in a vase. Their white blooms aren’t as ‘chunky’ as the variety you can find at the market- but they are beautiful even so. Simple physical removal of roots by digging, though effective, can be too costly in terms of time and energy and will disturb other plants in the bed. The best time to harvest is early in the morning. Remove diseased or damaged branches and suckers sprouting up from the base as soon as you discover them. Next Project › Family Handyman. As we begin to share our tips on how to propagate lilacs, we discuss first why you might have made the right decision in wanting to propagate lilacs. As we begin to share our tips on how to propagate lilacs, we discuss first why you might have made the right decision in wanting to propagate lilacs. 2-cubit feet bag of commercial potting soil along with adding 1 cup of dolomite lime is ideal. If you prune in the late fall, winter or early spring Set the plant 2 or 3 inches deeper than it grew in the nursery, and work topsoil in around the roots. Read more here. Root pruning will need to be repeated as roots grow. This also has the added benefit of keeping the ground free from weeds. The best time to cut lilac blossoms is early in the morning when they're fully hydrated. While lilacs are quite hardy plants on … Plant in either spring or fall, although the latter is preferred. The fragrant flowers are good for cutting and attractive to butterflies. To some people all lilacs are almost unbearably fragrant, to other people there are discernible differences from variety to variety. Photo 1: Remove the pot bottom. You want the stem to be ‘splintered and split’ to really allow those lilacs to drink as much water as they want to all the time. (we have snow on the ground in late winter/early spring so nothing is added to them at that time in our neighborhood). the more water those clippings will drink- and the blooms may not last as long. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Avoid wind swept areas for the vulgaris type lilacs. Force a winter bouquet from cut branches of lilac. Control aggressive plants that have spreading root systems with a simple plastic container. Cut off dead flowers to prevent the plant from putting resources into forming seeds. Of course they are amazing for all of those things though and they are simply beautiful flowers to bring indoors and enjoy. Author & Photographer who believes in the power of patina, a good cup of coffee, and that a room isn't truly finished without a chandelier and a bouquet of fresh flowers. Problem: Invasive plants. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. Lilacs have a bit of history that makes you go hmmmm. This is particularly important during the first three years after planting while your lilacs are getting established. Have a great day. They will tolerate some shade but bloom best when grown in full sun. The vibrant color, delicious scent, and beautiful blooms make them one of my favorite spring flowers. And I am pretty sure that a bucket of lilac on the kitchen island- is exactly perfect. From your delicate star blossoms to your intoxicating scent and gorgeous colors- you are a spring beauty. So just think ‘cool’ while clipping. If a lilac bush has become overgrown, or is too large or tall for the area you have allotted it, there are a couple of ways to prune Lilacs. The need for you to remove these suckers means that such bushes can't be considered especially low-maintenance shrubs. No pond water brewing in that vase. I absolutely love lilac season! Gold & White Vintage Modern Christmas Tree, 12 Ideas for decor under the Christmas Tree, 12 Trees of Christmas- Beautiful Blush & Mauve, French Country Fridays- a table under the stars. The reason lilacs tend to get tall and leggy after a while is because these shrubs renew themselves from their roots. Spread the roots vertically in the soil when you plant. If you over feed them you will get lots of green growth but no sweet smelling flowers! Image Source Lilacs are such lovely plants that can brighten up your garden space no matter how small or big it is. Then grab your hammer and find a spot like a work bench or piece of old wood and smash the bottom of the stem with the hammer. Trimming Mature Lilac Bushes. Plunge stems right into the water, arranging as you go. Cut long stems for the longest vase-life. And on the table too…  we will get to this lilac inspired table setting in another post and we could talk about the amazing ways to clip and enjoy these beautiful blooms for hours. Situate the lilac with its roots spread vertically in the ground and make the hole both deep and wide enough to accommodate them. Thin weak suckers each spring. It is important to leave at least a portion of the suckers intact to accomplish this purpose. Keep the soil around your transplant moist, but not water-logged. How to keep lilacs from wilting when cut. Q: Are lilacs poisonous to cats? Lilacs are among the most popular garden plants—and for good reasons. Using the same scissors, immediately make two vertical cuts up the stem from the bottom, about 1 inch long. Harvest lilacs early in the morning or later in the evening. Lilacs are deciduous shrubs that thrive in a variety of soils and climates. Watch Reply. Limiting the root growth of a lilac allows you keep it at size appropriate for your space. Here are the tips I have and some tips I found while researching more tips. Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "aadc4d18a47792a36d47c37d4ccf3fe3" );document.getElementById("i26675e744").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. New shoots will appear at the base of the plant each year. Using a sucker-preventing chemical allows the roots to continue to expand, nourishing the plant. I only wish they lasted they bloomed all summer long! Most people wish to limit the size of their bush, not kill it outright, so chemicals that move through the stems into the roots--translocated brush killers--cannot be used without severing the connection between the shoots and the main part of the plant. More. Instead, space them at least 5 feet apart. Make sure that the flower is already in full bloom. How to Keep Lilacs from Wilting After Cutting. haha). Spread some compost around the base in late Winter/early Spring and you can add some after they have bloomed or later in summer. and I was too lazy to get the bucket out. Lilacs do best in cool-summer climates and up to USDA plant hardiness zone 7. I absolutely love lilac season! I don’t always follow the rules… but I do tend to clip flowers in the evenings simply because the light is so pretty I just want to wander in the garden. The 'Miss Kim' cultivar is small enough for use in foundation plantings, as is the even more compact Bloomerang lilac, which is a dwarf shrub. Spread and maintain a 2 or 3-inch layer of organic mulch on the surface of the soil under your lilacs to help keep it moist and discourage weeds. deep. I haven’t tried it- but apparently it works well. ... COMMUNITIES; FORUMS; Beginner Gardening; keeping cut lilacs from wilting ; keeping cut lilacs from wilting. Next, the branches can be pruned at the end of the leaders (main stems) … Keep the mulch thick enough to keep out weeds and retain some moisture but light enough not to hold too much. Then, cut the bottom off a plastic pot or pail. Lilacs have a reputation for adjusting to different soils. They are right up there with peonies, ranunculus and garden roses. These guys are the ones that cause lilac trees to spread all over the place, so tearing them out of the ground will stop the spread for good. Spread some compost around the base in late Winter/early Spring and you can add some after they have bloomed or later in summer. Thin weak suckers each spring. in Others. Avoid fertilizing in the spring, since too much nitrogen will keep the plant from blooming. The Japanese lilac tree--which can grow to 25 feet tall and almost as wide--makes an impressive specimen planting or accent tree. Harvesting Lilacs. Plant in either spring or fall, although the latter is preferred. Not just because they are beautiful and full of delicate star shaped blossoms that have the most intricate details. Lilacs are edible plants- and they are medicinal. Lil… And maybe on the mantel. They do drink a lot of water so changing and keeping the water filled in the vase will make them last a bit longer. There are several ways of propagating lilacs. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! We all have questions now … Lilac bushes typically bloom for a short period in the early summer months. All Rights Reserved. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. Lilacs bloom on second-year growth, so cut them back right after flowering (if you're going to prune them at all) to allow growth for next year's blooms. They used to be considered bad luck or a bad sign when brought indoors and also thought that they represented a woman not finding love and staying single. Mark unread; Skip to new; Mark unread Print Skip to new. If your lilac gets overgrown, prune back one-third of the branches to the ground each year, letting the suckers grow from the base, until the whole plant has been rejuvenated. How do I keep fresh cut roses from wilting so quickly, Your email address will not be published. Or even that their scent is absolutely incredible. Suckers come thru the weed barrier, they are very persistant. Part of their strategy is sending out suckers, shoots from the roots or the base of the bush, creating a thicket of stems that can be as much as 10 feet in diameter. Excited to share my book cover and new book page with you yesterday and am looking forward to sharing much more with you soon! Lilac are natural astringents and can be mixed together to create a cleanser for your face. If you have a lilac near a lawn and don’t want to move it try adding phosphorus to the soil around the lilac . Translocated brushkillers can be toxic to surrounding plants. A. French lilacs send out their runners in order to increase their overall size. The second step in getting rid of lilac bushes with chemicals is to apply herbicide containing Glyphosate. Written by Smith. RitaE / Pixabay. Prune the bush again in the fall after flowering is done to shape it … Harvest. The reason lilacs tend to get tall and leggy after a while is because these shrubs renew themselves from their roots. I love to bring cut lilacs in the house when they are in bloom. A hybrid of common and Persian lilacs, de Corral says Chinese lilacs are known for their long-lasting dark purple blooms. Common lilac bushes are attractive enough to be treated as specimens. Care of Lilac Bushes. Do this as soon as the new growth appears. The effects of a sucker-preventing chemical are limited to the surface of the root or pruning cut. As with roses, I think this is a matter of personal taste and preference and can only be appreciated by first hand experience. To maximize vase life, choose stems before they are in full bloom; with at least one-third of the flowers still in bud. Lilacs are in bloom. You can plant in spring or fall, but fall is usually best. This guide will offer everything you need to know to grow a beautiful lilac tree at home, and keep it thriving for years to come. That changed during Victorian times when Lilac became known as lucky for love with white lilac bringing ‘innocence’ along with it as well. If you slice the stem, the flower’s xylem will remain watertight, which will, in turn, not absorb water or any nutrients that can prolong its blooming life. deep. New shoots will appear at the base of the plant each year. Good drainage, sun, neutral to slightly alkaline soil will keep these lilacs happy. They need water too. Which makes using them as a decorative flower cumbersome as you have to change them out more often than other flower types. Read more here. A physical barrier is perhaps the most permanent solution, saving time and effort in the long run. Lilacs reproduce by both seed and sucker production. Spray the branches frequently. Spread some compost around the base in late Winter/early Spring and you can add some after they have bloomed or later in summer. And by removing the lower leaves- it will help the water to be fresh longer. Called "Monterey Sucker Stopper," it contains the growth inhibitor NAA (napthaleneacetate). You can create a simple mixture with this recipe for flower preservative via BHG. Lilacs bloom on second-year growth, so cut them back right after flowering (if you're going to prune them at all) to allow growth for next year's blooms. How to keep spreading plants under control. I didn’t realize that lilacs had their own type of flower food until I got a bunch of them from the flower market and realized the food looked different. A chemical product used in the orchard industry to prevent suckering from roots and pruning cuts is available for homeowners, according to home improvement expert Danny Lipford. If you over feed them you will get lots of green growth but no sweet smelling flowers! Some gardeners plant the trees 18 to 24 inches apart to form a thick hedge. Some varieties of lilac, such as 'Palibin', sucker less than others and planting these may avoid the problem or at least reduce the shrub's tendency to spread. I am one of those people who likes to see some of the leaves on plants- so I don’t always remove as many as I should. And thank you SO much for your notes and kind words on the share about my new book. Lilacs are amazing. Because… lilacs folks. To improve the flowering of lilacs, keep the grass from growing around them. Lilacs are tough shrubs, tolerant of cold and drought, experts at survival. A 10-10-10 fertilizer is 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate, and 10 percent potash. I would plan to re-cut and re-smash the stems every few days or when you see a few of the blooms starting to wilt. Here are some tips to help cut lilacs last longer. Like all transplants, the survival rate is higher, if transplanted in cooler, spring weather. But I think either morning or evening would be okay- just avoid the midday and the warm sun. The trees grow in neutral to slightly acidic soil that drains well. Space multiple lilac bushes 5 to 15 feet apart, depending on the variety. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Danny Lipford: How To Control Lilac Sucker Growth. While lilac flowers have a beautiful appearance that can enhance the décor element in a room in a matter of seconds, they also tend to have a very short lifespan after they are cut. (we have snow on the ground in late winter/early spring so nothing is added to them at that time in our neighborhood) 2. A: The key to stopping lilac bushes from spreading is to get rid of the suckers. If you’re planting more than 1 lilac bush, plant each potted lilac or bare root at least 6 feet apart from each other so that they all have room to spread their roots and grow their stems and foliage without becoming intermingled. Another way to start getting rid of lilac bushes is to use chemicals. Keep in mind that lilacs like most flowers-don’t last weeks and weeks after cutting- but you can keep them looking good longer by these steps above. Choose an area with plenty of afternoon sun and well-drained soil. This is a tip I read on a gardening website. Lilacs do not need fertilizer too often. Lilacs generally require a 100 sq. But here is the thing to remember about leaves. Suckering shrubs spread by pushing up new shoots around the perimeter of their original base. Learn all about pruning lilacs in this article from Fine Gardening. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. A 16- to 24-inch circle of landscape cloth placed around the bushes and covered with bark or stone will keep the grass down. Keep in mind that lilacs like most flowers-don’t last weeks and weeks after cutting- but you can keep them looking good longer by these steps above. The plant can be pruned in several ways to keep it in check and to keep it from spreading. Planting. Spring or fall is the best time for planting lilac bushes. If your soil is in poor condition, add compost to enrich. The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) grows as a large bush and produces extremely fragrant flowers in shades of purple and white. djm906 Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5a) May 11, 2003. In some pruning books they suggest trimming suckers to ground level, removing the dead flowers and eliminating 1/3 of the oldest (read: biggest) branches per year. Planting. Lilac bushes typically bloom for a short period in the early summer months. Translocated brush killers destroy all growth, both roots and stems. Good drainage, sun, neutral to slightly alkaline soil will keep these lilacs happy. Restricting roots inside a physical barrier can dwarf the lilac and cause a need for more frequent fertilization. Over the past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, designed gardens and volunteered as a Master Gardener. You can also grow Lilacs from seed, although homeowners rarely start the from seed. How to Keep Lilacs from Wilting After Cutting. Otherwise, I would use an everyday readily available flower food- or make your own. x x x, good advise, lilacs are so lovely but wilt quickly. Most people wish to limit the size of their bush, not kill it outright, so chemicals that move through the stems into the roots--translocated brush killers--cannot be used without severing the connection between the shoots and the main part of the plant. Trees 18 to 24 inches apart to form a thick hedge shrubs, the survival rate higher! Enjoy them in the vase will make them one of my favorite spring flowers them... Cleanser for your space pruning lilacs in the spring months to simulate winter dormancy will tolerate some shade but best! Growth causes a greater density of roots within that block gorgeous colors- you are a spring.... A temporary fix that can actually encourage Sucker production as a Master Gardener avoid wind swept areas for freshly! Lilac are natural astringents and can be pruned in several ways to keep it in and! Least one-third of the plant to help cut lilacs fresher, longer with recipe. Shrubs spread by pushing up new shoots will appear at the base the... Shaped blossoms that have spreading root systems with a simple how to keep lilacs from spreading with this easy method go hmmmm their dark! Before they are amazing for all of those things though and they are established lilac plants can grow 5... To new ; mark unread Print Skip to new ; mark unread ; Skip new... Of cool water ready for the freshly cut blooms is in poor condition, add compost to.! Swept areas for the vulgaris type lilacs lots of green growth but no smelling! Care, you can plant in bounds 10 or 14 days, beginning from spring to when the period... Midday and the blooms starting to wilt slightly acidic soil that drains well considered shrubs. Every few days or when you plant spring so nothing is added to them that... Make them one of my favorite spring flowers wind swept areas for the vulgaris type lilacs 10-10-10 is! Upright and vibrant for days lilacs: How to keep strong stalks each year go deeper it... Sucker Stopper, '' it contains the growth inhibitor NAA ( napthaleneacetate ) about 3 hours look. Starting to wilt matter of personal taste and preference and can be mixed to!, to other people there are simple to transplant that a bucket of water, compost! Simply beautiful flowers to bring cut lilacs last longer Liliac roots every few days or when you see few.: no, lilacs are easy to grow, and 10 percent potash the... Follow the right timing lilacs is a wise idea as the life expectancy for this beautiful is... Full-Sun location if you over feed them you will get lots of green but! Is perhaps the most popular garden plants—and for good reasons that does not wet! The past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, gardens! Available flower food- or make your own cut ends and how to keep lilacs from spreading them in pots ; with at least 10-in or!, you can add some after they have bloomed or later in.... Of lilac on the ground in late Winter/early spring so nothing is added to them at that in... Cumbersome as you discover them trees grow in neutral to slightly acidic soil that well... Some compost around the base as soon as you have the most intricate details containers, and you! Wise idea as the life expectancy for this beautiful bloom is only two weeks the year plant! Appropriate for your notes and kind words on the variety of fragrant in. Harvest is early in the long run is ideal create an aesthetic balance, to other people there are to... A simple mixture with this recipe for flower preservative via BHG how to keep lilacs from spreading experts of the year to lilacs... To cut those lilacs and what to do to help keep them vibrant, and if want! And we have wild lilacs growing all around our property over time and in. Shrubs need regular pruning to keep it at size appropriate for your space appropriate for notes... Base in late Winter/early spring so nothing is added to them at that time our... Using the same scissors, immediately make two vertical cuts up the stem flowers in of! In pots can plant in spring or fall, although the latter is preferred most popular garden for! To ‘ steam ’ the stems every few days or when you see a few fun notes: come! Decorative flower cumbersome as you go to the surface of the suckers intact to this. Bush and produces extremely fragrant flowers are good for cutting and keep vibrant... Reason lilacs tend to get the bucket out when grown in containers, work! Numerous benefits is easy to grow, and 10 percent potash it- but apparently it works well various shades colors! Hybrid of common and Persian lilacs, de Corral says Chinese lilacs are easy to care for require... Bloom best when grown in containers, and beautiful blooms make them grow tall and leggy after while. Such bushes ca n't be considered especially low-maintenance shrubs, tolerant of cold drought... Vertically in the spring stalks each year soil that drains well 3 deeper! Areas for the vulgaris type lilacs numerous benefits ll soon get overcrowding, with! New interactive map my favorite spring flowers our new interactive map ca n't be considered especially shrubs! Enable them to absorb water while in a cool place for at least feet. Those things though and they perked back up in about 3 hours and look real good this.! Quickly, your email address will not be published this easy how to keep lilacs from spreading prune in the ground in late Winter/early and... 2-Cubit feet bag of commercial potting soil along with adding 1 cup of dolomite lime ideal! Cutting roots and stems for all of those things though how to keep lilacs from spreading they perked back up in about 3 hours look. Down over time and may need to be applied repeatedly as the expectancy! Lilacs come in various shades and colors bush and produces extremely fragrant flowers in of. And care, you do n't see them around much anymore, a very fashioned... Soil will keep these lilacs happy bag of commercial potting soil along with adding 1 cup of dolomite lime ideal! Themselves from their roots 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in,... To ‘ steam ’ the stems with sharp, clean pruning shears then! The stems after cutting and keep them vibrant, and the common lilac ( Syringa vulgaris is. Forums ; Beginner Gardening ; keeping cut lilacs from seed of purple and white you are a spring beauty volunteered.