How to Propagate Lilac Bush
Lilacs have long been known and loved for their distinctive, sweet spring fragrance and beautiful pink, white or purple spring flowers They are fantastic to use for screening around fences and shrub borders, and best of all, they are extremely easy to propagate.
If you are looking to add some shrubs to your landscape but money is an issue, consider taking some lilac root cuttings to grow your own lilac shrubs. They are fast growing, very hardy and propagating them is almost fail proof.
Process Slide ShowClick thumbnail to view full-size
What You Need
- Pruning sheers or some other kind of garden cutting tool
- Shovel or hand trowel.
- gardening gloves
Taking the Cuttings
The best time to take Suckers from a Lilac is in the Spring or fall (I have successfully done both) Look around the base of the Lilac bush for the fresh, young shoots coming out of the ground. Try to use shoots that are no larger than 1 foot tall, because the larger the shoot, the more roots you need to take to be successful.
Remove the soil around the shoot until you can see the roots and cut the shoot away from the parent plant, using pruning shears or a large shovel. Make sure that you have a few inches of root attached to the new shoot. Plant 3-4 shoots together either in a 1-quart pot or you plant them right in the ground wherever you want the new shrub to be. If you want, you can add a little rooting hormone to the roots, but this is not necessary. Plant the shoots at the same depth that they were planted while attached to the parent plant. Keep the new plant well watered until it becomes established.
I have done this twice and it really is extremely easy. At first, the new plants may not look like they are doing well, but that is just because all of the plants energy is going to the roots system. Once the roots get going again, your plant will take off. Remember that the more root you take with the shoot, the better healthier the plant will be.
Planting the New Lilac Bushes
Preparing the site for your new lilac bush correctly is well worth the added effort as your new bush will become an established, healthy plant much faster. To start, dig a hole about 12 inches deep and about 12 inches in diameter. Water hole well and add about 3 inches of composted manure, which can be purchased at any lawn and garden store for under $2.00 a bag. Mix the composted manure into the existing soil and fill the hole back up with dirt. Use a hand trowel to plant the cuttings in their new home.
The Tools I UseClick thumbnail to view full-size
What To Look For in Gardening Tools
When choosing gardening tools, the most important features are strength and durability. Tools made from reinforced stainless steel, will resist corrosion and will be less likely to bend or break when working in heavy soils or thick plant roots.
Make sure your tools are full tanged or the handle make break off with use (that happened to my husband with a trowel he purchased and used one time). They should feel heavy in your hand and have a comfortable grip.
High quality tools may cost a little more up front, but are worth it in the end because they will last much longer and you'll enjoy using them so much more because you wont have to stop to bend them back into shape between digs! I use the set above from Pampered Chef. I've found them to be very durable--In fact, even my husband loves them--and are hands down, the best gardening tools I've ever used.
I you love the Pampered Chef gardening tools I've shown you, you can purchase them from the source links below the photos.
This is the second spring since I transplanted this lilac bush. It is taking off and becoming tall and bushy!
Last fall I got a very tall cutting with very little root from a family member. I really didn't think it would live, but it made it through the winter and is sending up shoots. Lilacs really are fail proof!
Questions & Answers
My lilac did not bloom this year. When is the best time to prune it?
There are lots of reasons a lilac won't bloom--including low light, late freezes, and age. Heavy pruning can cause the bush to stop blooming for several years. Lilacs bloom on old wood, so try to prune only lightly right after the blooms fade (or when they would have faded if you'd had any). In a year or two, you should start getting those wonderful flowers again.Helpful 2
I am ready too cut down my lilac bush because it is dry and dead. Towards the center, a little bush is growing. How can I save it?
Cut away all of the dead dry stuff and the center live plant should be just fine.
© 2010 Sarah