Transplant a lilac bush by severing some of the roots in the winter and spring and removing the root ball before the plant begins to bloom. Prepare a hole twice the size of the root ball, finish severing the roots, and replant the bush.
- Sever a portion of the roots in the winter
Make six equally spaced cuts into the roots of the bush in a circle around the base of the plant in the winter. The diameter of the circle should be equal to the size of the root ball you plan to transplant.
- Sever the remainder of the roots in the spring
Finish severing the roots around the plant in the spring. Sever any roots underneath the plant, leaving as many roots intact as possible. Lift the lilac bush out of the ground.
- Dig a large hole
Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball. Amend the soil with compost. Soak the hole with water.
- Replant the bush
Place the lilac bush in the center of the hole. Position the roots around the bush. Refill the hole with dirt, and tamp the dirt down. Water the plant deeply, continuing to water once a week until new growth appears.