My lilac bushes didn’t bloom last year. Is there something...

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Question: My lilac bushes didn’t bloom last year. Is there something I can do to get them to bloom? Also, when is the best time to cut them back so they don’t get too leggy?

Answer: Lilacs appreciate a light application of wood ashes in the fall. Mostly, they need full sun and good drainage. Usually, the only pruning they need comes from picking the flowers (with an eye to the shape of the shrub), but if you feel you must prune, do so just after the flowering season and take out a few of the oldest stems. Avoid a lot of fertilizer, and be patient – maybe this year will be a better lilac year for you!