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Can someone tell me when's it's best to hard prune a lilac?

Got an overgrown lilac & it looks a bit tired, I went onto rhs homepage & it doesn't say when it can be hard pruned, I thought it was after it had flowered etc but also wondered if it could be done now as winter approaches etc Thanks


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    I'd do it in late march/april when the weather begins to improve. If it's cut back hard you'll get new growth pretty quickly. This coming winter is forecast as being very cold, so pruning now would cause more damage and risk losing it.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,487

    The people opposite are having their big one cut back as I type (well, actually the chap is having a mug of coffee at the moment, but he's done most of it). 

    We shall see what transpires ....

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,073

    Pruning to shape is done immediately after flowering as spring flowering plants do it on last year's wood an dthis gives them time to grow new stems and flower buds.

    If you are doing a drastic prune and can't wait till they've flowered again then you could do it now, or as soon as the leaves have fallen and the plant is dormant, but you will have no flowers next spring.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ok thanks everyone, it can wait until next spring as I think having flowers is more important image
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 12,002

    Paul, in order to get next years flowers, you must wait until after flowering to prune.

    Consequences, altered cases
    Broken noses, altered faces
    My ego altered, altered egos
    Wherever I go, so does me go
  • Will do thanks
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