Asked by: Andras Doev
home and garden landscaping

What's the lifespan of a lilac bush?

Last Updated: 1st August, 2021

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Most people are familiar with lilacs as a shrub, but they also grow as trees and can be as tall as 30 feet with a spread of 15 feet, while shrubs are more likely to grow 10 to 20 feet tall and, depending on the variety, can be much wider. The trees have a lifespan of about 100 years.

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Keeping this in consideration, can I prune lilacs in the fall?

One way to renew a large, overgrown lilac is to cut the entire plant back to within 6 to 8 inches of the ground in late winter (March or early April). This severe pruning will induce a large number of shoots to develop during the growing season.

Similarly, do lilac bushes go dormant? The problem is MOST lilacs require a dormant period or they will not flower.

Beside above, is there a difference between a lilac tree and a lilac bush?

Shrub lilacs and bush lilacs are short and compact. Tree lilacs are trickier. Tree lilacs can grow up to 25 feet high and have a tree-like appearance, but their many stems tend to get them classified as bushes. They are not technically trees, but they get big enough that you can treat them as if they are.

Can I prune lilac in October?

For lilacs, the recommended method is generally to remove one third of the old wood each year immediately after flowering and shape the shrub over a number of seasons. Of course, you can prune in the fall if absolutely required.

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Pablino Fahnenschmitt

Professional

Is it OK to trim bushes in the fall?

Cut back shrubs grown primarily for their foliage, such as barberry and burning bush, almost anytime except in late autumn. New growth that starts after late-season pruning won't harden off properly before winter. If you want to do major pruning, it's best to cut the shrub back when it is dormant in winter.

Graciliana Stampf

Professional

Should hydrangeas be cut back in the fall?

Fall Blooming
Prune in late winter and early spring. Prune as far back as you want right above the first leaf joints. It will grow from that point onward, getting larger each year. Read more about pruning hydrangeas, and learn whether your shrub blooms on old or new growth in “Pruning Hydrangeas” by Janet Carson.

Bohdan Fabregas

Explainer

What perennials should be pruned in the fall?

Types of Plants that Need Autumn Pruning
  • Bellflowers (Campanula)
  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis)
  • Salvia (Salvia spp.)
  • Coneflowers (Rudbeckia)
  • Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
  • All hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.

Abdelhakim Cordovez

Explainer

What plants get cut back in the fall?

Plants To Cut Back In Fall:
  • Bearded Iris.
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Phlox.
  • Lilies.
  • Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
  • Catmint (Nepeta)
  • Columbine (Aquilegia)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Dawda Patskevich

Explainer

How do you prune an old lilac bush?

Instructions
  1. Begin by pruning dead or diseased stems, pencil-thin suckers, and twiggy growth.
  2. Next, remove any stems thicker than 2 inches in diameter.
  3. If you want your lilac to fill in more and become shrubbier, after pruning out the older stems, prune the remaining new stems to an outward-facing bud.

Mikayel De Rasilla

Pundit

Is it better to prune in fall or spring?

Pruning is also a way to encourage growth. Your tree isn't trying to grow in the fall, it is trying to hunker down. Thus, pruning will weaken the plant. It is best to wait to prune until the dormant season next spring.

Ademir Schanke

Pundit

Can I transplant lilacs in the fall?

In general, you can transplant lilacs in the fall or the early spring. If you transplant now be sure to get as large a root ball as possible and keep the root system moist up until the ground freezes.

Abdelghani Quirantes

Pundit

Are coffee grounds good for lilac bushes?

Create your own organic fertilizer by including slow-acting bone meal, fish emulsion, manure or compost. Grass clippings and coffee grounds create nitrogen, but use them sparingly in compost. Banana peels offer potassium to the soil.

Yimei Arriagada

Pundit

Should lilacs be cut back?

Most lilacs don't require pruning until they reach about six to eight feet (2-2.5 m.) tall. The best time for pruning lilac bushes is right after their flowering has ceased. This allows new shoots plenty of time to develop the next season of blooms.

Aiying El Bouazzaoui

Pundit

Why are lilacs dying?

A lack of care or a drought can cause a lilac bush to wither away. One of the main reasons why lilacs start to die back is that they are not pruned enough. When dead branches are left on the tree, they leech nutrients and water from the rest of the tree.

Christia Junge

Teacher

How often should lilacs be watered?

How to Water Lilacs. After planting, check plants often and water whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry, usually once or twice per week. Count to 10 while you water to make sure you're giving each lilac plant enough moisture. (Leaves will begin to droop if the plant is getting too dry.)

Chanel Atallakhanov

Teacher

How do you know when a lilac bush is dying?

During its dormant time, the lilac bush can look dead with its scraggly branches. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure it is alive. Scratch the surface of the lilac bush's bark with a pocketknife. If you see green beneath the surface, there is a good chance the lilac bush is very much alive.

Holger Mlynnik

Supporter

Do lilacs attract bees?

Lilac Attraction
With brilliant purple and bluish petals, lilacs attract numerous bees, especially since the flowers grow in dense clusters. As a result, bees can stay on the blossoms for even more nectar nourishment without having to fly constantly to other plants.

Foad Paraskun

Supporter

Is lilac pink or purple?

Lilac and lavender are two different colors. They are both pale shades of purple but lilac has a pink tint to it, while lavender has a blue tint.

Melinda Rivet

Beginner

How do you keep a lilac bush from spreading?

French lilacs send out their runners in order to increase their overall size. You can install barriers that go down 6 inches or more into the ground that should keep the lilacs from spreading through to your landscape beds. The barrier could be a poly-based material with steel or metal edging.

Pasquale Roberts

Beginner

When should I plant a lilac tree?

In the spring, you'll be rewarded with clusters of fragrant blooms. Lilacs can be planted in spring once the ground has thawed or in the fall before the ground freezes. In spring, lilacs are often shipped dormant in bare-root form.

Odina Kock

Beginner

What color lilac is most fragrant?

The lilac usually considered the most fragrant is a Chinese native—S. pubescens. It has small, white flowers tinged with purple.

Herney Kurai

Beginner

Can you keep a lilac bush small?

Small and Manageable Lilacs
Chinese hybrids (Syringa x chinensis) don't sucker as much as common lilac, and they are more likely to stay within bounds. Preston hybrids (S. reflexa x S. villosa) grow 10 to 12 feet high, but by pruning them to three to five trunks when they're young, they can be formed into small trees.