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07-01-2019 11:45 AM - edited 07-01-2019 11:47 AM
@JustJazzmom , I read in the local newspaper over the weekend that trimming lilacs does not produce more blooms. Is that true of the common Lilac? I trim it every year. It is large and very bushy. I have to get the stepladder to trim it or use something to pull the branches down. LM
What does help bring more blooms to lilacs is removing non flowering or old wood all the way pruned to the ground level. Since you own lilacs, you can tell which stems are older and those that are newer. The hope is for the younger thinner stems to produce the flowers. As lilacs age, they can get less floriferous, so that selective pruning of non performing stems can give it the boost to create more blooms.
Lilacs only bloom 1X/year. You can also prune rejuvenatively by cutting all stems to the ground & having the plant put out new growth. That might be too extreme though. The general rule is never more than a third of the plant to remove when pruning, but if you are pruning to shape the shrub, you can remove more. Just know that this method might take a little more time to get the plant to bounce back.
This article is on lilacs & mentions pruning: http://ccenassau.org/resources/lilacs
This article discusses shrubs and when they should be pruned: http://ccenassau.org/resources/pruning-shrub
This article discusses the various methods of pruning which Richard Weir wrote who is an adjunct professor now at Cornell: http://ccenassau.org/resources/pruning-trees-shrubs-and-vines
07-01-2019 11:52 AM
@JustJazzmom , I prune my common lilacs regularly and they are very very full. I have not had an issue with few blooms except for one that is too crowded. I will move him in the Fall.
i think I will skip pruning this year. With the common lilacs, it is a huge job. I only prune Miss Kim to shape which is hardly ever necessary.
Thanks for the link. Off to read. LM
07-01-2019 07:22 PM
@Lilysmom I was just thinking of you this evening. I went out to the back porch to put new suet in the feeders.
I'd taken in the screened part of the porch the group of hens and chicks because the squirrels were killing them. I decided to put them BACK out in the sun on the uncovered part of the porch....
Anyway, I was thinking that if you had these poor babies they'd be growing like crazy (you and your green thumb...)
I bought them from QVC and they were growing amazing, then...poof! They're almost dead.
I still have one round dirt-filled tin that has a few little chicks (the babies are chicks...right)...
I've been sweet talking them....but @Lilysmom it's not looking good for these poor little babies.
They're so freaking cute....they really are trying.
I buy the hot pepper suet from Amazon in groups of I think around 8 or so (can't even remember).
The very large woodpeckers love eating eat. But I've noticed other birds also enjoy it.
I got so frustrated with those @#$% squirrels I drip down the bird feeder/seed pole that very, very red hot pepper liquid.
The squirrels scamper up the pole and still manage to hang on the feeder without pulling the thing down.
I had so many feeders out there, they'ver destroyed many of them.
They even managed to destroy that feeder that causes the squirrels to spin around! I ended up giving it to my friend. He fixed it and gave it back...once again they messed it up. This time I gave it to him and said, "Keep it".
The squirrels are so afraid of him, they run when he comes out his door! I must not yell loud enough! Ha!
Ok, so now I've gone on and on....take care sweet girl and know that some people have "IT" and some don't...The latter would be me! Ha!
07-02-2019 05:08 AM
I have a few hens and chicks in my rock wall. They survive well there which is saying something because the soil isn’t naturally great but the drainage is good. Hope the above link is helpful.
I know what you mean about the squirrels. My neighbour feeds them. Nice to see them play but they tunnel in the rock wall and kill some of my plants.
Here is one keeping an eye on me in the garden...I think he has taken up residence in the birdhouse. LM
07-02-2019 04:56 PM
@Lilysmom Thanks for website! So, I just went out and put seed in the birdfeeder (I only hang one these days)....
I also drip that liquid hot stuff down the pole and on the bird pedestals. Not easy and I make a mess!
My daughter is visiting from Denver for a month. She's only spending a night or two with me (staying in hotels and with sister).
I live kinda out a little way and she has a lot of friends further up toward D.C. so it's easier for her to get around.
Anyway, I do love looking at your pictures. I think it's just as well I don't know how to post pictures because I'd bore all of you to death. (Like I do with my posts....Ha).
07-02-2019 04:59 PM
I forgot to tell you, my granddaughter's name is Madeleine Lilly....it's pretty, isn't it. My daughter said she spells the Madeleine the way the French spell it. I wouldn't know.
All of my daughter's speak French. Although I've never heard them. My oldest daughter has a Masters in International Foreign Affairs and in Business French. You'd think as their mom, I'd hear a little of the French? But I don't remember hearing it.
07-02-2019 06:42 PM
I know NS is "behind" us (NJ) a bit season-wise but wow, lilacs in July! Ours were about 2 weeks late this spring, but were full and fragrant. All (15 or so) of ours are the old-fashion variety and are 75+ years old. They are too tall for us to trim and are more like trees. Mother Nature trims them naturally. The oldest branches become storm damage. They were really trimmed during Hurricane Sandy.
You know how much I enjoy your pictures. This year we've hired someone to care for ours, as we both have had medical problems making weeding and deadheading an impossibility. My husband received a medical release today so he's anxious to become a "man of the soil." I'll watch from inside.
07-02-2019 06:47 PM
Rochester NY (my city) is known as the flower city because of our fab Lilac Festival each May. The lilacs may or may not be in bloom, but it doesn't matter - the festival is fun anyway.
I could use some advice on lilacs. I have 2 bushes, not old, which never/rarely bloom. The are healthy otherwise (leaves are fine). Any advice from lilac experts?
07-03-2019 11:27 AM - edited 07-04-2019 12:20 PM
@Peaches McPhee Are they in full sun (6 hours or more)? Are they near a lawn? Sometimes the high nitrogen fertilizers of the lawn prevent bloomIng because they encourage foliage.
Did you accidentally prune it at the wrong time of year like like fall or early spring? The buds might have been removed.
Selectively prune now some of the older branches. The lilac should have it’s younger thinner branches do the flowering.
What is the soil’s pH? If it’s below 7, the lilac will have problems accessing any fertilizer you do apply around it. Add pelleted lime to the soil & scratch it in to raise the pH.
Have your local Extension service do a pH test. Go down about 4” deep & it should be random & dry. If the soil is wet, lay it out in the sun before bringing a half cup over to them. There may be a slight fee for the test & it may not be done right away.
07-03-2019 03:20 PM
@JustJazzmom @Lilysmom Are either of you familiar with Tasha Tudor? She has a Lilac that is actually a tree with long reaching bare branches but with fabulous enormous blooms at the tips, said she is afraid to prune for fear she will kill it or the blooms will not return, interesting from one who gardens every day of her life except in snow. She has passed on, in her early nineties, but I have two of her garden books and each Winter I look through them to give me a jump start for Spring.
Her family has kept her property and house, barn, etc. and maintains it for tours to this day.
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