- Reasons Why A Lilac Bush Is Not Blooming And How To Fix Them
- Why is My Lilac Not Blooming?
- Proper Pruning
- Rejuvenating Lilacs
- Lilac Glossary
- Get growing
- What Is the Meaning of the Lilac Flower?
- Ancient Times
- Natural Associations
- Color Symbolism
- General Symbolism
- Mediterranean Symbolism
- Syringa vulgaris (the common lilac)
- Syringa meyeri (the Meyer lilac)
- Syringa patula (the Manchurian lilac)
- Syringa x prestoniae (the Preston hybrid lilac)
- Syringa reticulata (the Japanese tree lilacs )
- Lilac Bush not blooming
- A lilac that won’t bloom
- Gardening in Spain Jacaranda trees
- Jacaranda Trees
Reasons Why A Lilac Bush Is Not Blooming And How To Fix Them
& Heather Rhoades
Lilacs are very fragrant and having one or two in your yard in the spring and summer can make your surroundings smell fresh throughout the season. But what happens when a lilac bush never flowers? Having lilac bushes that won’t bloom is a common problem for gardeners. If you are wondering why is my lilac not blooming, keep reading to learn more about what you can do to make your lilac produce those fragrant flowers.
Why is My Lilac Not Blooming?
If you have a lilac bush that doesn’t seem to produce flowers the way you’d like, you are probably asking yourself, “Why won’t my lilac bush bloom?” There are many different reasons for there to be a lack of lilac flowering. Here are a few reasons why a lilac may not be blooming:
Late freeze – Sometimes a late freeze can knock the flowers right off the bush by damaging the buds. If your lilac bush is not blooming, you might want to think back about whether or not there was a late freeze. If this is why your lilac bush is not blooming, your bush is fine. Next year, you should have a ton of blooms.
Insufficient light – Another reason for your lilac blooming season to be lacking some flowers could be that the plant is not getting enough sunshine, which is what helps the plant produce flowers in the first place. Oftentimes, lilac bushes that won’t bloom are planted in a location where they get enough sun to live, but not enough sun to bloom. A lilac bush needs at least evening hours of sun, and preferably a full day of sun, in order to bloom their very best. If you suspect that your lilac is not getting enough light, you will need to move it to a sunnier location in your yard.
Additionally, you might need to thin the area around the bush to make sure sunlight is getting through other foliage. Remove the oldest and thickest branches at the base of the bush to allow sunlight to penetrate throughout the bush.
Improper pruning – The next reason that makes a lilac bush not flower is improper pruning. Lilacs do not need to be pruned, but if you prune it back hard in order to rejuvenate the bush, it will take several years to recover and may not bloom during that time. Even lighter pruning, simply to shape the bush, can affect how well a lilac blooms. Pruning lilacs in late summer will cut away the wood that would have been the blooming wood for next year.
Age – Yet another reason for a lilac not blooming, or not blooming well, is that it is too old. Lilac bushes bloom best on younger wood and, if your lilac is mostly old wood, the number of blooms will be reduced. You will need to do a rejuvenation pruning on the tree, which will affect the blooming further for 2-3 years, but after that the lilac bush will return to full blooming.
Pests/Disease – Pests or disease can also affect how well a lilac blooms. If your lilac is not flowering well, check the plant for these. Problematic pests include scale insects and borers. You can see scale insects pretty easily on the leaves of the bush. If you see them, you will need to treat your bush so that it will do well the next lilac blooming season. If you see borer damage, you can alleviate this by doing your renewal pruning. This way new growth will come back without the damage from the borers and your lilac flowering will resume in the next season or two.
Fertilizer – Your soil may be at fault too. Lilac bushes that won’t bloom could be the result of too much nitrogen. Because of this, you should not fertilize your lilacs. They do not need much in the way of nutrients, and fertilizing can cause a lilac to take up too much nitrogen, which keeps the lilac bush from blooming. Also, lilac bushes planted near lawns may be taking up fertilizer used on the lawn. To correct this, you can add phosphorus (which is responsible for flowering in plants) to the soil around the lilac. Adding bone meal is a great way to fix soil that is lacking phosphorus. A soil test will confirm whether or not this is the cause for a lack of lilac flowering.
Root restriction – Another reason that a lilac bush does not bloom is due to having a restricted root system. A restricted root system prevents the lilac bush from taking up enough phosphorus in order to bloom. Restricted root systems can be caused by overly wet ground, container grown plants in too small a container, and inadvertent root pruning. Typically, a lilac bush with a restricted root system will also grow poorly.
So as you can see, there are a lot of reasons for your lilac to stop blooming. All of these reasons, however, can be fixed pretty easily. Just study the tree and figure out the reason for no flowers, and you should be able to fix the issue in no time.
When most people think of lilacs, they think of the fragrant, old-fashioned common lilac (Syringa vulgaris), which blooms for a few weeks each spring, but the genus is quite diverse. By selecting carefully, it is possible to have two months of spring bloom (particularly if the weather is cool), plus some repeat flowering in early fall, and even fall foliage color. For the earliest blooms, choose hybrid S. x hyacinthiflora, followed by common lilacs, which offer the longest blooming, largest flowers with the best fragrance. Extend the lilac season to summer with species such as S. patula, which also has good fall color, and tree lilacs such as S. x chinensis ‘Saugeana’ or the Japanese tree lilac (S. reticulata).
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Most lilacs grow happily in Zones 4-7, but some are adaptable farther south. Common lilacs, natives of somewhat chilly mountainous zones, require a cold period each winter for their flowers buds to mature and bloom the following spring. Lilacs don’t take kindly to the Deep South or the desert, but some cultivars, such as ‘Blue Skies,’ ‘Exel,’ and ‘Sister Justina’ have been bred for warmer regions (Zones 8 and 9). The cutleaf lilac (S. laciniata) also handles some heat, and its fine-textured foliage is particularly attractive.
Lilacs require a sunny spot with rich, well-drained, fairly neutral soil, ideally 6.5-7 pH. If necessary, dig in some dolomitic lime to raise the soil pH. In addition to selecting a spot that is large enough to accommodate the mature size of your plant, choose one that has good air circulation to reduce the likelihood of fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. Early spring and fall are the best times to plant — many growers prefer to plant lilacs in fall, especially in milder climates.
Water young plants regularly. Once established, lilacs need infrequent watering, except during droughts. Feed plants with an all-purpose fertilizer after pruning, and side-dress them with some well-rotted manure or compost each spring.
Lilacs are relatively low maintenance. Powdery mildew, one of the most common lilac problems, is a fungal disease that covers the foliage with a gray-white powder, but it is usually not life threatening. To reduce powdery mildew, spray plants with horticultural oil, following label directions, in summer after they have bloomed.
Mature lilacs won’t bloom if they do not receive enough sun (at least 6 hours daily) or if they have not been pruned correctly. Young lilacs can take up to 3 years to reach maturity and bear flowers, but once established, they need pruning only to promote flowering, to reshape, and to remove unwanted suckers.
Unless they have been long neglected, lilacs rarely need more than regular deadheading and some reshaping in early summer after they bloom.
Because lilacs form their flower buds in summer for blooms the following spring, it’s best to deadhead just after flowers fade and to prune before July 4. Remove the large, unattractive seedpods that form after flowers fade. Prune out any dead, damaged, or diseased branches as you see them, cutting just above a bud. Suckers (shoots that emerge from the base of the plant) should be thinned regularly or removed as necessary to maintain the plant’s shape. Larger suckers can be dug up with their roots intact and grown in pots until they are large enough to be transplanted into the garden.
Long-neglected lilacs can easily become gangly monstrosities that flower little but overshadow their environs. Overgrown lilacs need complete rejuvenation, a 3-year process that entails cutting out one-third of the wood to the ground each year in late winter. The first year, choose the oldest, least productive third of the branches, and cut them all the way to the ground. Follow the same process in the second and third years for shapely, free-flowering plants.
Lilacs bloom in seven official colors: white, violet, blue, lavender, pink, magenta, and purple, with many shades of each, and in many sizes, ranging from 4-foot-tall dwarf bushy types to rangy, 20-foot-tall common lilacs to 30-foot trees. Florets, the tiny flowers that make up the larger flower heads, may be single (with one row of petals) or double, and vary widely in size and shape as do the clusters.
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‘Adelaide Dunbar,’ a disease-resistant common lilac, bears spikes of sweet-scented, double, purple flowers and grows 10-12 feet tall.
‘Angel White,’ which reaches 10-12 feet tall, bears an abundance of fragrant, pure-white blooms, and thrives as far south as Zone 8.
‘Annabel,’ a hybrid S. x hyacinthiflora, reaches 10 feet tall. Its double, pink flowers bloom earlier than common lilacs.
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‘Firmament,’ introduced in 1932, has long been favored for its showy single, pale-blue flowers, and grows 8-15 feet tall.
Japanese tree lilac (S. reticulata) has striated, shiny bark resembling that of a cherry tree. Its creamy flowers bloom very late in the season on 20- to 30-foot branches.
‘Krasavitsa Moskvy,’ also known as ‘Beauty of Moscow,’ is a distinctive, double-flowered 8-10-foot-tall shrub whose pink-lilac buds open to white tinged with the palest lavender.
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‘Little Boy Blue,’ a dwarf common lilac that remains shorter than 5 feet, bears sweet-scented, single, sky-blue flowers.
‘Marie Francis,’ a small shrub at 5-6 feet tall, has lovely, clear-pink flowers with a strong fragrance.
‘Miss Kim’ Korean lilac (S. patula) is a late-blooming lilac reaching 6-10 feet tall, with spicy-scented, blue-lavender flowers and reddish fall foliage.
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‘Primrose,’ introduced in 1949, grows to 12 feet tall and remains rare among common lilacs for its pale-yellow flowers.
‘Sensation,’ first known in 1938, is unique for its bicolor deep-purple petals edged in white on 8-12-foot-tall shrubs.
‘Wedgwood Blue,’ as its name implies, has fragrant flowers in hues resembling blue Wedgwood on spreading shrubs that reach 6 feet tall.
May is one of our most beautiful months. The hedgerows fatten once the hawthorn has flowered and cow parsley narrows the lanes. Our lightest months in early summer are also the season of some of our most flamboyant flowering shrubs, many of which eclipse their companions for a glorious flurry. Once-flowering roses and sweetly scented Philadelphus may only be with us for a moment, but they are worth it for that feeling of time slowing down.
In Russia, lilac grows wild on the fringes of woodland to spill into the sunshine. They can be a hungry neighbour in a mixed planting, but if you have the right place you will be happy you have planted one. This year I have promised myself that I will get to see a national collection, to pick a couple with just the right tone of lilac and grace in the branches.
Once it has had its moment, the common lilac is a scruff for the second half of summer, but in season there is nothing else like it. The foliage is pristine as the clustered buds swell. The best lilac is delightful for being made up of several tones, with a dark reverse to each bud and a paler interior so that the colour appears to lighten as the flowers bud, open and age. I prefer the single-flowered varieties, which retain a lightness in the panicles. The doubles are physically weighty and hardly seem necessary in a plant that is not shy of flowering.
Of the common lilac varieties, Syringa vulgaris ‘Maud Notcutt’ is a good pure white. I’d like to find ‘Massena’, which I once grew among creamy tree lupins at Home Farm. It has ruby buds and the flowers open a thundery purple. I have plans to combine it with a lilac, such as ‘Firmament’, and let them go together near the compost heaps. They will be planted in rough grass and the cow parsley allowed to seed among them. When they are grown I’ll bring whole branches in bud into the house to extend their season.
Short and sweet: the Philadelphus is another short-lived beauty. Photograph: Karen Appleyard/Alamy
You should never be worried about plants that have a short season. But it is a good idea to only invite the best and then to know that you can live with them for the rest of the year after their flowers are long gone. For those of us with smaller spaces and where a good companion is an important criteria in a shrub, there are lilacs that are more light-footed. S microphylla ‘Superba’ is a delightful shrub of 6ft or so with well-mannered branches and roots. The flowers are like those of a larger lilac in miniature.
I’ve also been planting Syringa x josiflexa ‘Bellicent’ in clients’ gardens and found this to be a very superior thing, forming an open, arching shrub with plenty of air in it. The rose-pink flowers are in elongated sprays, each individual flower appearing to be dripping from the branches.
You cannot begrudge such a flower for only being with us briefly. Plant a clematis at its base to cover for the late summer and let yourself enjoy the moment.
Resilient groundcovers such as Symphytum ibericum or S ‘Hidcote Blue’ are good companions for lilac’s hungry root zones.
Email Dan at [email protected]
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What Is the Meaning of the Lilac Flower?
lilac image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com
Lilacs are bushes that may, depending on the variety, grow to over 25 feet tall. Lilacs produce stalks of fragrant flowers that can be white, pink, red, blue or purple, although most people envision the purple flowers when thinking of lilacs. There are 26 known species of lilacs with over 4,000 different cultivars.
Lilacs have been cultivated since ancient times. Lilacs play a role in Greek mythology. Its use in that mythology indicates that lilac cultivation dates back to prehistoric times. According to Greek mythology, Pan, the god of the forests and fields, became enthralled with the nymph Syringa. Syringa was frightened because Pan had been chasing her through the forests. She turned herself into a fragrant flowering bush to escape his advances.
Because lilacs bloom so early, they are strongly associated with spring, renewal, and fresh starts. The year-to-year differences in timing of the lilac bloom are said to indicate whether spring will be early or late. Its early blooming on the heels of a cold winter also symbolizes hardiness. The lilac is the state flower of New Hampshire, where it symbolizes the hardy character of the state’s citizens.
Two colors of the lilac are especially meaningful. The white lilac represents youthful innocence and purity. Purple lilacs often symbolize first love, while in some contexts purple lilacs can suggest protection.
Lilacs are sometimes said to stand for confidence and sometimes said to symbolize pride or youthful innocence. Lilacs have been used in many literary works, including the famous poem “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” by Walt Whitman. In this poem the lilac is used in a symbolic trinity with a star and and a thrush. Whitman uses the star to represent Abraham Lincoln, the thrush to represent the poet’s attempt to come to terms with Lincoln’s death, and lilacs to symbolize life after death.
In parts of the Mediterranean, the lilac is strongly associated with Easter. This association comes from the frequency with which the lilac blooms around Easter. In Greece, Lebanon, and Cyprus, its strong association with this Christian festival is the root of its local name, paschalia.
Q: Around seven years ago I was given a lilac plant, which I planted in our back yard. It gets several hours of direct sun each day. The leaves have always had a healthy green with no mold. It is now around 7 feet tall. I looked forward to blossoms year after year. Last spring (2011) there were the first blooms — two or three clusters of florets. This spring (now) there is only one! Is there anything I can do to fill the plant with flowers next spring?
—Luke Martin, Allentown
A: The scent of lilac is one of the wonderful things gardeners look forward to each spring. If your lilacs don’t bloom, there really isn’t, in my opinion, much reason to give them valuable space in the garden. However, there are several reasons why they don’t bloom.
•Growing conditions: Lilacs like a slightly alkaline soil (pH 6-7), even moisture and plenty of sunlight (at least 6 hours). So, if you have very acid soil, a dry summer while buds are forming or your plant doesn’t get enough sun, you may get few or no blooms.
•Age: Lilac plants need time to grow before they begin flowering. So, if you have a very young plant, it may not be mature enough to bloom.
Most plants start blooming after three or four years but some may take as long as six or seven. The blooms for the first few years will be sparse but should increase with time. This is, obviously, not your problem if the plant you bought was flowering when you bought it.
•Pruning: Lilacs bloom on old wood. They form their buds over the summer so they are fully formed and ready to bloom in late winter.
Therefore, any pruning should be done in the two to three weeks after they bloom, or should have bloomed. Later pruning will decrease or eliminate next year’s flowering. Annual pruning can keep the plant rejuvenated and blooming. Cut out damaged or dead branches, then old woody ones, then any that cross or rub and finally shape. Remove no more than a third of the plant in any year but with a three-year schedule, the plant will be totally rejuvenated in three short springs.
•Overfeeding: Sometimes to correct a problem, we create another. Lilac does not generally need supplemental fertilization. If you feed your lilacs, particularly with a fertilizer that has a lot of nitrogen, you will get a large, lush plant but few if any blooms.
Nitrogen, the first number in a fertilizer marking, i.e., 10-5-5, stimulates the growth of foliage, not flowers.
•Transplant shock: Lilacs need a bit of time to settle in. It is not unusual for plants to take two or even three years to get established and start blooming, even if they had blooms when you bought them.
If none of the above situations apply to your lilac, you can try something we commonly do to wisteria that doesn’t bloom — give the plant a little stress. Using a sharp shovel, insert the blade into the ground about a foot from the base of the lilac bush. Cut down, severing the roots on two sides of the plant.
Tulips and daffodils
Q: I have 2 questions regarding daffodils and tulips: (1) How to finish them once they are done blooming? Deadhead them or cut them down at the base? (2) How to plant other flowers to take their place: right next to the bulbs? To do this, do we cut away all the green to make way for new flowers?
A: No one wants to hear it but if you want the spring tulips and daffodils, you have to put up with the bare greens, even as they start to turn ugly. You can tidy the plants by cutting back the flower stems to the ground but the greens need to remain. Do not cut, tie or braid them; those greens need to grow and store energy for next year’s bloom. When they are brown, the leaves will easily rake off the bed and can be cleared.
As far as planting among the bulbs, it is just like planting bulbs amid the perennials. Give them space to grow; try not to damage the bulbs when digging new planting holes, and, ideally, select plants that will start growing just as the bulbs start to fade. A common pairing, daffodils and daylilies, creates an ideal situation as the daylilies grow up and cover the daffodil greens just as they start looking really ratty.
Community plant exchange
Remember that the Fifth Annual Community Plant Exchange will take place 8 a.m.-noon May 19at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley (2845 Center Valley Parkway, Center Valley). This is one of my favorite events of the year when I get to meet gardeners from throughout the Lehigh Valley. We still could use a few volunteers to help us sort and display plants as they are received for the exchange. For information or to register, see http://www.thepromenadeshopsatsauconvalley.com or call the mall office 610-791-9707.
Sue Kittek is a freelance garden columnist, writer, and lecturer. Send questions to Garden Keeper at [email protected] or mail: Garden Keeper, The Morning Call, P.O. Box 1260, Allentown, PA 18105.
This Week in the Garden
•Start seeds for: Salsify.
•Direct sow: Snap, bush and pole beans, cantaloupe, melons, cucumbers, rhubarb, summer and winter squash.
•Rake and fluff old mulch; apply new mulch as needed but keep depth to a maximum of 2 to 3 inches.
•Plant or pot up summer bulbs and tubers such as dahlias, cannas, calla lilies, caladium.
•As weather warms, consider planting out tomatoes when nights are about 55 and soil temperature is abut 60.
•Visit nurseries for inspiration and new plants. Shop for spring bulbs.
•Buy annuals for pots, window boxes and to fill in bare spots until perennials and shrubs grow to mature size.
•Finish by next week:
•Broadleaf weed control in the lawn.
•Pre-emergent crabgrass control.
•Apply spring lawn fertilizer treatments by mid June.
•Complete sod projects by the end of May to allow the grass to establish before the heat of summer
•Clean pots, trays and other planting materials and equipment.
•Check spring power tools: mowers, tillers, blowers, and shredders.
Repair or replace damaged tools.
•Send winter snow removal equipment for seasonal tune-up or repair.
•As the weather warms, begin to ease out the hardiest of your wintering over plants. Start with a short hour or so on a nice day and increase daily until the plants are accustomed to the weather and nights are in the 50 range
•Check for ticks after every outing. Wear light colored clothing,
long sleeves, hats and long pants when working in grassy areas or under overhanging branches.
Lilac wears a purple plume,
Scented with a sweet perfume;
Very high-born lady she,
Quite proud of her family tree.
In the private world of the gardener’s imagination there exist certain flowers that have entwined themselves in our past. We associate them with happy memories of childhood, with family celebrations, and with traditions. Lilacs, most certainly, are a part of many of our fragrant dreams, whether we have actually grown them or not.
Extensive cultivation and hybridization of more than 30 known lilac species have led to 2,000 varieties blooming from as early as the second week of May through mid-June. Syringa vulgaris, the common lilac, is the oldest lilac in cultivation and was brought to this country from Europe before 1700 by the earliest settlers. Hybridization of this species and the introduction of new varieties became a seemingly endless endeavor.
Some of the best hybrids were introduced by Monsieur Victor Lemoine of Nancy, France, in the 1800s. His nursery developed the French lilacs with extremely fragrant double blossoms. Isabella Preston introduced many of the later-blooming varieties, primarily in the pink and lavender shades. And it was Father John L. Fiala who was responsible for bringing 78 new cultivars to the public before his death in 1990, including many of the blue-flowering types.
Lilacs demand full sun and good air circulation, especially to keep powdery mildew from forming on their leaves. A neutral, fairly alkaline soil composted with plenty of organic material is necessary for good growth. After their first few years of regular watering, lilacs become quite drought tolerant. They are heavy feeders and appreciate an application of 10-10-10 granular fertilizer once in early spring and then again after they flower. Failure to bloom can be the result of failure to fertilize.
The modern cultivars, including the dwarf introductions, generally require a light pruning for shape after the plant flowers. Old, overgrown lilacs, particularly the common lilac cultivars, benefit from renovation pruning where one-third of the oldest canes are cut to the ground, taking care to leave the main trunk or stem. This process is repeated over a few years until all the oldest canes are removed. All lilacs will produce more flowers the following year if their flower heads (and developing seeds) are promptly pruned off as they begin to dry up.
Of the thousands of available cultivars in eight recognized flower colors, the following lilacs have shown great promise for gardens in the Midwest:
Syringa vulgaris (the common lilac)
This species is the oldest in cultivation, with an upright form that can extend to 20 feet. The flowers are highly fragrant, 8-inch lavender clusters. While this species tends to legginess, there are many outstanding cultivars with better form, mildew resistance, and a variety of flower colors. Most grow between 8 and 15 feet. The following are some of the common lilacs you will find at the Garden:
Syringa vulgaris ‘Monroe’
‘Little Boy Blue’
‘Monroe’ BLUE SKIES®, developed by the Monrovia Nursery, has pale-blue fragrant blossoms that emerge from rosy violet buds.
‘Little Boy Blue’ is a dwarf form that bears abundant sky-blue fragrant blooms in spring.
‘Mme. Lemoine’ was named in honor of the wife of the foremost lilac breeder of the nineteenth century, and has double, pure-white, fragrant flowers that bloom in midspring.
Syringa meyeri (the Meyer lilac)
Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’
The Meyer lilac has many attributes that make it a good choice for gardens. It is mildew resistant, produces many flowers, and has an ornamental, rounded habit less than half the size of the common lilac. Its flowers are violet to purple, with a strong fragrance.
‘Palibin’ is the dwarf form of the Meyer lilac. Its compact, 5-foot habit, numerous pink to lavender flowers, and mildew resistance make it a fine selection for smaller gardens.
Syringa patula (the Manchurian lilac)
Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’
Often touted as a plant with three seasons of interest, this lilac features very fragrant violet to purple blooms, an upright form that can extend to 9 feet, and foliage that turns from dark green in summer to reddish purple in fall.
‘Miss Kim’ is the dwarf form of the Manchurian lilac. It grows from 4 to 6 feet and features clove-scented, light blue flowers and good fall color in its foliage.
Syringa x prestoniae (the Preston hybrid lilac)
Syringa x prestoniae ‘Hiawatha’
These fast-growing lilacs were developed in Canada and bloom two weeks later than the common lilac in tones of purple, pink, and white. Most of the cultivars grow to a rounded form between 5 and 8 feet.
‘Hiawatha’ features bright green foliage with pale pink blooms.
Syringa reticulata (the Japanese tree lilacs )
Syringa reticulata ssp. pekinensis
‘Zhang Zhiming’ BEIJING GOLD™
This lilac is a true tree reaching 25 to 30 feet with an upright oval habit. The attractive bark is a glossy, dark reddish-brown, resembling cherry tree bark. This is the last lilac to bloom, starting in June, with large, fragrant, creamy white panicles. Two cultivars listed below, known as Peking lilacs, were released through the Chicagoland Grows® program in which the Garden participates.
‘Morton’ CHINA SNOW® features abundant fragrant white blooms and exfoliating amber-colored bark for winter interest.
‘Zhang Zhiming’ BEIJING GOLD™ produces unusual yellow blooms and its foliage turns golden in the fall.
Lilac Bush not blooming
Lilacs need to experience full sunlight at least six hours daily. If your bush has failed to bloom A lilac bush can shade itself. If it becomes overgrown and dense, you may find that a few flowers will only appear around the edges. Lilacs prefer a soil pH from 6 to 7 (a little on the alkaline side). If your soil is too acidic, or missing certain nutrients, your lilacs won’t bloom. The International Lilac Society suggests spreading fireplace ash around the drip line of the bush for bigger and better blooms. Using a fertilizer high in nitrogen such as lawn fertilizer will encourage your lilacs to produce an abundance of green leaves, while at the same time, prevent it from flowering. Fertilizing lilacs is not mandatory, and if your soil is nutrient-rich, your lilacs won’t need feeding more than once per year in the early spring (if at all). Lilacs don’t like their feet constantly wet, but summer droughts can take a toll on the next year’s flower buds. Keep your lilac on a regular watering schedule and adjust it for heavy rain or extended periods of drought. Improper pruning almost always causes lilac blooms to not appear in the spring. Lilacs should be pruned right after they bloom and the flowers die back. Waiting until later to prune a lilac bush is a costly mistake, because the flowers that will bloom next year set right after the old flowers die. If you wait until mid-June to prune your bushes, you’ll prune off the following year’s blooms. If you pruned too late last year, do not prune again in the current year, and you should experience full blooms next spring. (Answer courtesy of another MG)
A lilac that won’t bloom
Your lilac just won’t bloom? This could be caused by various factors. For a lilac to bloom in abundance, it must be planted in a rich, compost-amended soil that drains well, and in a sunny location.
The absence of flowers may also be caused by inadequate pruning. Do not prune your lilac at the end of the summer or in the fall to avoid eliminating the flower buds that have already formed for the following year. Pruning lilacs is not necessary, but if you do it, know that the best time is right after it has bloomed.
Simply eliminate the wilted flowers by cutting directly above the first pair of leaves. If despite all that your lilac still refuses to bloom, I recommend spreading a little fertilizer at its base in the spring. Use a natural, potassium-rich slow-release fertilizer such as MYKE Rose Food 5-3-8. Also, avoid fertilizing your lawn with nitrogen-rich fertilizers within 3-4 metres of your lilac. You can also stimulate flowering by trimming your lilac’s root tips with a well-sharpened spade.
The distance from the trunk should be equivalent to the width of the leaf crown.
By Albert Mondor, horticulturist
Gardening in Spain Jacaranda trees
The blue jacaranda tree is one of the most popular trees that people love to grow because the delicate fern-like leaves and the purple flowers make them look like trees straight out of a fairytale
Gardening Spain tips tricks Mediterranean
Written by Marc Vijverberg
♪ “Purple rain, purple rain…”
This song pops up in my mind every time I see one of the beautiful, flowering Jacaranda trees.
This time of year (May June), when these trees are nearly barren of leaves and as stark looking as decduous trees in winter up north, they suddenly burst forth with a nearly solid covering of lavender-blue flowers.
For about 8 weeks the tree covers itself with showy trumpet-shaped flowers that are about 1.5 inches wide and arranged in panicles (pyramid shaped clusters) that grow at the tips of branches.
The flowers drop off individually – the purple rain – carpeting the ground beneath the trees.
Plumeria Tree Frangipani One of nature’s most exotic plants
The spectacular jacaranda tree, which is native to Mexico, Caribbean and South America, is enjoyed as an ornamental in many near-frostless areas all over the world.
But unfortunately is not as plentiful here on the Costa Blanca as one could hope.
Pretoria in South Africa is called the Jacaranda City due to the enormous number of Jacaranda trees planted as street trees.
In flowering time the city appears purple in colour. The time of year the Jacarandas bloom in Pretoria coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria, and students believe that if a Jacaranda flower drops on your head, you will pass all your exams.
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The jacaranda tree has many species, but the most common and popular is the blue jacaranda tree with the botanical name Jacaranda mimosifolia (because the foliage of this tree resembles that of the mimosa).
Nurseries sometimes label this tree J. acutifolia which is a synonym.
It is a large tree with fine-textured, fern-like pinnate leaves. Young trees are upright, but assume an irregular branching pattern that produces beautifully asymmetric open crowns as the trees age.
The jacaranda tree sheds its foliage at the end of the growing season making it a deciduous tree type.
However, it does not necessarily shed all its leaves in winter unless the temperatures go down drastically.
Young trees will die if exposed to frost, though mature trees are quite hardy.
The blue jacaranda tree is one of the most popular trees that people love to grow, because the delicate fern-like leaves and the purple flowers make them look like trees straight out of a fairytale.
The following are a few facts about the jacaranda tree that will help you grow your own beautiful tree:
The jacaranda tree is a fast growing, shallow rooted tree that thrives in fertile, well drained sunny locations – it needs a lot of sun. It does not like heavy, wet soils or strong winds – especially not if saltladen.
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The spectacular jacaranda tree
In the right climate, the tree reaches 12-15 m in height (35-45ft) and about 7-10 m in width (20-30ft).
Its roots are fairly aggressive, and so the tree should not be planted too close to the house.
Jacaranda trees are ideal for urban street and park plantings and as ornamental trees for landscaping in large and medium sized gardens. They are sometimes planted in small backyard gardens, but should not be.
People can get so carried away by its spectacular performance in flower that they forget that it is a fast growing tree that rapidly outgrows a small plot.
The species, as its dimensions imply, is fine as a shade tree, but thought should also be given to its potential as a focal point in the garden.
They create the perfect summer experience by erupting in a blaze of brilliant colour when most spring flowering trees have long shed theirs. Jacaranda’s seasonal flower display can be so overwhelming, that it ought to be strategically placed for maximum effect.
But keep in mind that the tree tends to litter quite badly. The fallen flower petals can make a decorative covering on the ground, but they are somewhat sticky, and together with the falling seed capsules, can be a nuisance in the vicinity of parked cars or swimming pools.
It is best to choose a place where its stunning purple flowers can be seen easily and where the falling flowers will not be a problem.spectacular jacaranda tree.
The branches of the tree have a tendency to grow at narrow angles to the trunk and need removing before they become troublesome.
One very important point is that branches must never be shortened as this will lead to a group of new stems to sprout out from the place where it is cut.
Instead the limbs should be carefully pruned at the base of the trunk or from the branch to which they are attached.
These were some of the facts of the jacaranda tree to keep in mind if you decide to plant one.
It is probably the most beautiful tree you can have in your garden that puts on a breathtaking floral display, and the best part of the tree are the feathery leaves that make it an asset to the landscape of your garden throughout most of the year.
Written by Marc Vijverberg
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Blue Jacaranda Tree – Jacaranda Mimosifolia – 1 Pkt of 25 seeds – Stunning Tree – Bonsai
Usually dispatched within 3 to 4 days. Estimated delivery 3 – 21 June to Spain – Mainland when you choose Standard Delivery at checkout. Details Dispatched from and sold by Seeds Shop.
- 1 packet of 25 seeds.
- Privick Mill Nursery germination instructions included.
- Sow – February onwards.
- Sub-tropical species, ideal for bonsai cultivation.
The Blue Jacaranda, Jacaranda mimosifolia more often known simply as the “Jacaranda”, is a sub-tropical tree native to South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting blue flowers.
The Blue flowers form a dense terminal clusters of lavender-blue, lightly fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers which are up to 5 cm long, and are grouped in 30 cm panicles. Blue jacarandas bloom in spring and early summer.
Jacarandas flourish well in sandy, well-drained soils. Jacarandas should be watered during dry periods. Pruning of branches is very much recommended so that the branches of Jacaranda remain less than half the diameter of the trunk to help keep the plant intact and increase durability.
Sowing: Scarification: Seeds need to be scarified to facilitate germination. Place seeds in hot water for 24-48hr, let water cool down. As an option, you can renew the hot water after 24hr.
Sowing :After the stratification period, seeds can now be sow outside or in container. Sow 1/16″ deep by 70-75F degrees.
The natural way :As an option, you can sow the seeds in fall, leaving to nature the scarification process. These steps will achieve themselves in winter, and the next spring you should have seedlings
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The beautiful, flowering Jacaranda trees in Spain.
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