How to Care for a Lilac Bush


Lilacs are a shrub that can be trained as a tree, bush or hedge. Lilacs burst into bloom in the springtime, filling your yard with the lovely scent of their beautiful blossoms. Lilacs are as hardy as they are fragrant. They prefer nutrient-rich, alkaline soil but will grow in most types of soil as long as it is well-drained. Lilacs do require full sun. Without full sun, your lilac bush will not have as many blossoms. Additionally, your lilac bush will do best in colder climates; lilac bushes need a dormant season. Planted in these conditions, your lilac bush will not require too much care.

Step 1

Feed your lilac bush a couple of shovelfuls of compost in the spring. Too much nitrogen from fertilizer will cause your lilac to have good leaf growth but not very many blooms.

Step 2

Prune your lilac tree annually in the early summer after the blooms have faded. Pruning at this time will help ensure you do not remove branches that are growing the blooms for the following spring.

Step 3

Dig up shoots (suckers) that grow up from the roots of your bush in the spring or fall. This will help keep your lilac bush strong, and you can then transplant these shoots to another part of your yard to start a new bush or give them to friends.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Pruning shears
  • Hand shovel


  • Gardening Know How: Lilac Care
  • Fine Gardening: Lilacs
  • Doug Green's Beginner-Gardening: Growing Lilacs

Who Can Help

  • Flowers-CS: Lilacs
Keywords: lilac bush care, growing lilacs, lilac information

About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She writes fiction, creative non-fiction and essays. McCarty's work has been published in Hip Mama magazine.