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is it ok to cut lilac blooms? will they grow back?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by Trina on April 02, 2004 07:51 PM
I have noticed that when I cut my blooms off my lilac bushes for bouquets, the bush doens't flower as heartily the following year. I have seen enourmous bushes and wonder if that's the secret to lots of blooms, not to cut the flowers. But whats the point if you want that lovely fragrance in your home? Please help. Thanks.
by Jiffymouse on April 03, 2004 01:03 AM
[wayey] hi trina [wayey] i don't have your answer, but wanted to welcome you to the garden helper.
by Bess of the Piedmont on April 05, 2004 05:56 PM

Quite the contrary! You've picked a fine time to cut the lilacs. If you cut them while they're blooming, you'll not only get to enjoy them indoors, you will also be preventing the blossoms from wasting their energies on producing sterile seeds, so that next year they'll have better blossoms. I cut mine, and after the bush has bloomed, I snap off as many spent blossoms as I can reach.

If your lilacs didn't bloom as heavily, it may be that they want some fertilization after their blooming period. Let's see if one of our fertilization experts shows up to tell us how that's done. But you go ahead and make some bouquets.

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by Trina on April 06, 2004 07:42 PM
thank you for your reply! I didn't even think about fertilizer! But I'm definately a newbie when it comes to gardening. Thanks for your tip.
by Bess of the Piedmont on April 08, 2004 11:56 PM
Trina- Here's a good website about lilac care:
There seems to be some good advice in there.

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by Jiffymouse on April 09, 2004 01:50 AM
[wayey] hi trina (& bess) i was reminded about this page on lilacs right here on the garden helper! let me know how it helps!
by Bess of the Piedmont on April 12, 2004 09:30 PM
Ah yes, Jiffy. Thank you.

It mentions in there not to over-prune. I believe the rule of thumb is never prune more than a third of the branches off any plant per year.

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by Chrissy on April 14, 2004 04:56 PM
My 7 year old daughter LOVES to pick flowers. I am always telling her not to touch the flowers in our neighbor's gardens...well needless to say mom forgot to remind her not to touch the flowers in my gardens unless I tell her it is ok (I plant a small cutting garden for her each year just for this purpose)...well 2 years ago she cut every single lilac bloom off my favorite bush that she could reach. My bush looked more like a tree when she was done with it, as she totally cleared 3/4 of my branches off completely. I was so sad, but I had to bite my tongue when she presented mommy with the BIGGEST lilac bouquet I had ever seen with such a smile of excitement on her face I just couldn't be mad. In any event I feared my bush was destroyed, but they all came back the following year without any problems:)

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