When pruning lilac bushes, make sure to trim back the deadwood after the plant is done blooming. Prune a lilac bush with tips from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.
Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, from vanveenbulbs.com, and in this segment, we're going to learn about how to trim our lilac bushes. We love our beautiful lilacs in the spring. They have gorgeous fragrance, and we enjoy them, even as a bush, for the rest of the year, but there are certain times of year to prune them, and let's talk about it, so the best time to trim a lilac bush, is anytime it's not in bloom, so when it's in bloom, you don't want to trim it back, because you're going to cut all the blooms off, or right before they set the buds, you don't want to trim it, because you don't want to lose any of those gorgeous flowers, so as soon as it's done blooming, and you've got all the dead flowers, that's the best time to trim them, so the first thing when you prune your lilacs, make sure and prune any of the deadwood. If there is not a leaf coming out, you prune it back, so any of the branches that look dead, I prune out, and I still have, I pruned it right after it bloomed, but there's still some blooms that have died, that are on here, so I want to cut those out, and so when you're trimming back too, you don't want to trim back anymore than one third of the plant, so just cut it back a little bit. This one is kind of looking lanky. It's kind of going off to the side, so next year, I want more of a rounded bush in this location, so I'm going to trim it back just a bit, but I don't want to trim it back too much, because you don't want to stop the growth for next year, so I'm just trimming it back just a little bit, because it's getting some lanky sides, but you want to make sure and leave some leaf, so that they get some photosynthesis, because if you have a branch with no leaves and you cut it back, a lot of times it won't grow. It will just die, so you want to make sure that there's some leaves on it, and a lot of times, you start getting little suckers off the bottom, which actually, I would probably turn around and dig up, to start in other areas of my yard, but you can also trim those back too, if you don't want too many suckers, because eventually they will fill up, and grow as well, and you'll just have tons of suckers, if you don't try to cut them out, so the trick too, if they start growing towards an angle and look a little bit lanky, you kind of just trim those pieces out, and this is a smaller bush. It didn't need a lot of trimming. I've already trimmed it after it bloomed. This is just a shortfall trim, and a prune, and it will do really well, and next year, I bet this bush will really fill out, and I'll have lots and lots of lilac blooms.