Pruning Lilac

Hi all, hope you can help, a friend of mine has a Lilac in the back garden which has gotten a little out of control, would it be ok to remove a few limbs now? and tame it a little or would I really have to wait untill late Summer?

Many thanks



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    That depends-if you prune it now that will probably mean losing next years flowers-they are best pruned after flowering around May or so.

    So the choice is- do you lose a years flower and tame it now?

    Whatever you do they are the toughest of plants and respond well to pruning

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,046

    If you remove some large limbs to base you may be Ok but if you shorten branches all round it will be as Ernie says.

  • If it needs a radical chop don't chop out more than a third of the main branches at a time as otherwise it can be too much of a shock and the plant might not recover but lilacs do respond well to hard pruning.

    There is some advice on this on the RHS site and this article is quite good- link below

    Having said no more than a third, our college tutor said the usual problem was gardeners being too timid! image

  • I usually try and google the name and a few plant types eg rose, clematis although the results can be a bit random.

    But also try searching on the RHS site as sometimes you get plants listed from their plantfinder database - if from here it wont always have pictures but it wil tell you what there is and what nurseries stock it and you then have a definite name to google if it's something you might like. Their database is very comprehensive.

    I seem to use their site a lot from my recent posts - I wonder if they pay commission! image 

  • Whoops not sure how I managed to post a response to that question on this thread image

  • Thanks Guys much appreciated image

  • Lilacs flower beautifully after being pruned, the trick is not to let them get too woody

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