Wednesday, May 15th, 2013...7:15 am

How to get lilacs to bloom (Part III)

 

Image Source: Puttering In The Garden

Newer varieties of lilacs, such as the Descanso Hybrids (see image above), thrive in areas where winters are relatively warm and do not require winter chilling to produce abundant highly fragrant blooms in the spring. So if you live in a warmer  climate or your temperature Zone shows it is now warmer where you live, you might want these lilac hybrids.

Descanso lilacs were developed to bloom in very mild winter areas . The Descanso lilac provides the same abundance of showy flower, superb when cut, as do other lilacs.

Here is what Descanso recommends when planting their lilacs:

‘Like all lilacs the Descanso requires a very well drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Also, like most lilacs, Descanso lilacs bloom on second year wood (branches grown the previous year). Thus directly after the blooms are spent, cut back their branches 20% to 40% and to a pair of leaves (buds). New wood will grow, becoming previous year’s (blooming) wood by next Spring. Once the Lilac is established (3+ years) prune out a few of the oldest branches each year. Remove these branches at the base of the plant. This will help new branches develop at this basal area, thus insuring blooms for years to come. This will also keep the plant more compact in size. Often it takes two to three years (a couple of prunings) to see blooms from Descanso Lilacs. Of primary importance, DO NOT overwater – these are large shrubs and they need deep watering every week (Summer) to two weeks (Spring). They do not want watering in the winter unless there is no rain for approximately four weeks. With a very little patience, no overwatering, and Spring pruning, the Descanso Lilac is an outstanding addition to any mild winter (low chill) garden.” (see here)

Let readers of TheGardenLady blog know if any of this has helped your lilacs bloom or what you have done to promote flowering.

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