Q:

How do you prune a Persian lilac?

A:

Quick Answer

Pruning Persian lilacs is essential for keeping the plants healthy and encouraging growth. Without regular pruning, new blooms are slow to form and the lilac bush may begin to look messy or unattractive. Using a pair of garden shears, it can take about 10 minutes to prune old growth and shape stems at the end of the blooming season.

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Full Answer

  1. Remove dead flowers

    Begin by removing old, faded flowers from the bush by clipping them off close to the stem with a pair of garden shears. The best time to do this is right after the lilac has finished blooming.

  2. Shape the stems

    Lightly prune the stems of the bush to maintain their shape. Use a pair of pruning shears to cut away some of the heavy leaves near the tip of each stem to give it a tapered shape. Leave outward facing buds and shoots, since these develop into the most attractive flowers.

  3. Prune old stems

    After the lilac is about 4 or 5 years old, begin cutting away some of the old growth. Choose several of the oldest, thickest stems on the plant and cut them down to ground level. This encourages the growth of healthy new stems and keeps the plant from getting too tall and looking overgrown.

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